A book from the award-winning poet that “bursts with anecdotes and experiences . . . its poems inhabit the psychology and mythology of this Southern town” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
Village Prodigies imagines the town of Cold Springs, Alabama, from 1950 to 2015 and unfurls its narrative reach as six boys—prodigies and swains—grow up and leave the familiarity of home and the rural South.
Yet all prodigies, all memories, all stories inevitably loop back. Through a multiplicity of points of view and innovative forms, Rodney Jones plays with the contradictions in our experience of time, creating portals through which we travel between moments and characters, from the interior mind to the most exterior speech, from delusions to rational thought. We experience Alzheimer’s and its effect on family, listen to family lore and read family Facebook posts, relive war, and revive half-forgotten folktales and video games. In this deep examination of personal and communal memory, Jones blurs the lines between analog and digital, poetry and prose.
“A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry . . . [or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel? Whatever you care to call it, it’s a remarkable achievement.” —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“Wonderfully rich and dense; an adventure, a trip, an engrossing read, a Southern golden book of words.” —C.D. Wright, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet
“Any James Dickey connoisseurs or fans of the films of David Lynch or Chris Nolan will feel right at home on these pages . . . This is a gorgeous, thought-provoking, and evocative book of narrative poetry.” —Booklist