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Cover for What Travels with Us

What Travels with Us


Darnell Arnoult


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With a storyteller's timing and the emotional range of a singer, Darnell Arnoult in her debut collection offers readers a stirring string of poems about the people of Fieldale, Virginia. A planned community founded in the Virginia foothills by Marshall Fields in the early 1900s to support his textile mill, Fieldale was populated by transplanted Appalachian mountain folk. Arnoult herself grew up there, a third-generation resident and among the first generation to go to college. She took away with her the oral history of her home, and in What Travels With Us she captures in poetic form the townspeople's voices, both remembered and imagined. Personal, poignant, and witty, Arnoult's poems look back as they move forward, demonstrating how we are always creating ourselves anew from the experiences we carry with us.
Pearly Rakes complained
that on long winter nights
Gracie and Charlie
kept the parlor lamp
burning too long,
burning up her kerosene.
Pearly claimed
she courted and married
the same man twice
and never burned up
nearly so much.
Charlie scratched his head.
Told Pearly,
You musta done most of
your courting in the dark.
-- from Boarding House.

LSU Press, 9780807129890, 72pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2005

About the Author

Darnell Arnoult is the author of the novel Sufficient Grace. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in Southwest Review, Southern Cultures, Southern Exposure, Asheville Poetry Review, and Nantahala Review, among other journals. She lives with her husband on a small farm outside Nashville, Tennessee, and teaches creative writing throughout the Southeast.