The Coal Life
In many of the poems in The Coal Life, Adam Vines, an avid outdoorsman and former professional landscaper for nearly twenty years, explores the cultural landscape of Alabama coal-mining camps in the first half of the twentieth century and how the industry can shape and distort a cultural text similar to the way it contorts and upturns the physical landscape.
“The Coal Life is not a book about nervous breakdowns, addictions, madness, taboos, or debauchery, and in this sense a quote from John Updkie comes to mind: ‘I like middles. It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules.’ Vines — within neat stanzas and muscular loaded lines — does a superb job of situation his poems in this restless, ambiguous middle zone where most of us live our lives.”
-Alex M. Frankle, The Antioch Review
Available for purchase on Amazon.
According to Discretion
“Allen Jih and Adam Vines’ According to Discretion is a series of relay races, each poet adding a burst of speed as the baton is passed on and then passed back with dizzying panache. But it’s also an energetic anatomy of middle-class American life with a realist’s reluctant appreciation of the surreality that surrounds us: “You wish it all to be a simple hallucination.” Meanwhile nature serenely goes about its business of unknowningly chastising human artifice. According to Discretion is vibrant and enthralling poetry.”
–Andrew Hudgins, author of A Clown at Midnight
“This collaboration is a triumph. The language is so sharp and the description so precise, each poem unveils images that leave you with a kind of synesthesia. One sense stirs another until the world of the book becomes your own. You see things you didn’t know you’ve been wanting and waiting to see: Spanish Moss lashing dragonflies, an afternoon’s impersonal reverie. You cannot rest, nor should you. As you read these poems reverberating at every turn, you wish there was more of you to absorb every chord they strike. According to Discretion is electrifying.”
–Erica Dawson, author of The Small Blades Hurt
Available for purchase on Unicorn Press.