(Lamar University Literary Press, 2020) Release date: Aug. 1, 2020. $15, paperback
The poems in Some Electric Hum are set in Kansas and Texas and interrogate gender and social norms against the backdrop of a stark rural landscape. These brave and carefully crafted poems explore topics of coming of age, womanhood, immigration and human rights. With beautiful imagery and a clear voice, Some Electric Hum will appeal not only to lovers of poetry, but to all lovers of the written word.
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“Janice Northerns’ debut collection, Some Electric Hum, disentangles the gnarled branches of a family tree into poems of complicated love and endurance. Deeply engaged with place, these poems range across Texas to Kansas to hold up the objects and people that created a personal history and “grapple with words just west of the tongue.” Intimate and invested in the lives of others, Northerns crafts narratives of tenderness and survival, reminding us all it’s always possible to move forward and carry our stories with us.” —Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod
“It’s not often you see a whole life that’s gone into a book, but here we have just that. Janice Northerns lives this life intensely, and lives intensely in language. At the core of this book are the raw elements of birth, love, and death; while surrounding them are sophisticated yet impassioned readings of the violence of history, class, and social codes. These are poems to be read both largely and closely, for the stories they tell, and for their turns of poetic craft.” —William Wenthe, author of Words Before Dawn
“Poetry is the thinking mind bodied forth, and in Janice Northerns’ poems here that comprise a kind of extended meditation on the strange and difficult country of her youth, West Texas, the bodying forth–the impossibly precise, sharply honed imagery; flawless narrative flow; and dramatic landscape description–is breathtaking, a sure sign of poetic talent on a very deep level.” —B. H. Fairchild, author of Usher: Poems
A native Texan now living in Kansas, Janice Northerns holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, including Ploughshares, Third Wednesday, and Southwestern American Literature. Awards include a Brush Creek Foundation residency and a Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholarship.