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Cover for Railsplitter


Maurice Manning


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Railsplitter, the seventh collection from Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Guggenheim Fellow Maurice Manning, envisions the role of poetry in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Manning, who writes each piece in Lincoln's persona, provides a lasting reflection on how poetry guided and shaped the President's mind while leading a divided nation. Equal parts prophetic and rich in both rural folklore and literary allusions--from Shakespeare, to Whitman, to Poe, to the comedic--Railsplitter transcends the darkness of Lincoln's time, to imagine a new lore entirely--one comprised of buzzard feather quills, horse treats in a top hat, and finally, a fateful bullet. Lincoln, who was born nearby to Maurice Manning's childhood home in Kentucky, is alive again, in new form.

Copper Canyon Press, 9781556595714, 96pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

About the Author

Maurice Manning has been praised for his ability to transcribe the land and culture of his native Appalachia into six full length books of poetry. His first book, Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions, was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. His fourth book, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning teaches at Transylvania University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives with his family in Kentucky.