The Girl Singer: Poems
Feminism, Appalachian culture, and country music: three threads beautifully woven into one in Marianne Worthington’s poetry collection The Girl Singer.
The poet grew up in urban Appalachia, listening to country and folk music and letting it live within her. The speakers in The Girl Singer offer lyrical celebrations of the women who performed that music and recite their stories anew. The girl singer is also the poet—one who traces loss through turning seasons, monitors the patterns of neighborhood wildlife, and creates a sisterhood for singing old songs in new ways.
The Girl Singer is part family history, part music, and part nature walk. Worthington’s attentive eye and heart are reflected in the starkly striking and painful images she paints in the poems. Every poem, whether describing a connection with Appalachian wildlife, retelling the lyrics of a classic country tune, reflecting on the speaker’s bloodline, or giving voice to famous musical figures of the past, strikes a powerful chord.
Marianne Worthington is co-founder and editor of Still: The Journal, an online literary magazine publishing writers, artists, and musicians with ties to Appalachia since 2009. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, CALYX, Chapter 16, Ethel, and CHEAP POP, among other places. She received the Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and artist’s grants from Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Berea Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship. She co-edited Piano in a Sycamore: Writing Lessons from the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop and is author of a poetry chapbook. Her poetry collection, The Girl Singer, was released in late 2021 from Fireside Industries, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky. Marianne grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and lives, writes, and teaches in southeast Kentucky. Visit her website at https://marianneworthington.com/