A while back, I was tasked with writing a book blurb for Veronica Golos's volume Rootwork. I wrote several blurbs in fact, and so I'm posting some of them here.
In the process of writing a poetic history of John Brown in her volume Rootwork, Veronica Golos gifts us with an artistic recovery of Brown’s widow, Mary Day Brown – a figure who too often escapes historical accounts. Thanks to this volume, we now have a wide range of speculative thoughts and musings of a woman who was a crucial contributor to the long antislavery struggle. As readers, we become close, silent witnesses as Mary Day Brown communicates with her famous abolitionist husband and other historical figures such as Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth.
Golos offers more than a poetic exploration. Her distinct approaches to chronology and perspective make this book especially unique in its contributions to the practice of imagining the past through verse. More than simply a volume of poetry, Golos' book is a multi-vocal guide for recovering a gripping moment in history. Golos imagines and presents letters and lost notebooks that assist us in preserving invaluable aspects of the past. What we witness here are glimpses of a defining historical moment as well as a skilled poet narrating the past.
This is a book about the creativity and courage of a contemporary poet presenting common and extraordinary people taking part in a long, valiant struggle against slavery.