Reckless Pilgrims / Allison Thorpe

RedklessPilgrimCoverWelcome to the rich world of storyteller Allison Thorpe. The beauty, which “lived in all things”, the “Giveth and taketh away moments”, the speaker’s “carrying the crease/ of some sharp-eyed certainty” illuminate the day-to-day living and the war within and without. Plants and animals take front stage with the metaphors of their lives, relationships, functions and interactions. “How often do we look up/ for warmth, beauty, answers?” asks this book and the fortunate reader who takes the journey will be well- rewarded with insight.
– Katerina Stoykova – author of Second Skin

Do not be misled by the title of Alison Thorpe’s newest collection. Each word, every line of this welcome book is carefully evaluated and arranged. Her tender examination of place and memory is steadfast and clear-eyed, never maudlin. Conflicts, natural and human, are grappled with, resolved, mourned, even celebrated in these lush poems. Here, the rotation of seasons brings specific gifts – harvested bounty or the marauding threat of winter. There, one might find the “recklessness” alluded to in the title – the abandon of spring, when nature indulges itself with color and abundance. Even as she turns away,
with equal parts of sorrow and confidence, to take up city living, her “eyes hurry to that
green slash of life/that earthy illusion of roots” which carpet her memories and lost
mountain hollows. Thorpe’s plea and mantra can be distilled to this line: “May we find
value in what we are/ Not in what we lack.” Looking back on the absences she considers,
those shadows of the past, we share her delight and abiding pleasure in what was and is
still there, always at hand.
– Brigit Truex, poetry editor, Hopper Journal and author of Sierra Silk

Rooted in both the love of a local place and the poesies of Kentucky, Allison Thorpe’s
poems are emblems of change that teach us to search, know, and then “relearn our heart.”
Thorpe’s “green theater of spreading hills” is a pilgrimage through a life rich with
wonder, love, damage, and loss. We are guided by the voice of the poet-farmer singing
the “joyous seeds of hope” as well as the poet-pilgrim who never shirks reality: “fever,
fires, insane / men who rule the world.” These remarkable poems navigate the unique and
striking journey of living a particular life with communal details and astonishing imagery
and pull us “like a rogue tide” toward “the next luring bend, sparkled, drenched.”
– Marianne Worthington, poetry editor, Still: The Journal

Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Paperback, 104 pages
ISBN: 978-1-937968-79-3

Purchase at: Broadstone Books