1. The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
  2. According to the Gospel of Haunted Women
  3. Getaway Girl by Terry Thaxton
  4. People Get Ready by Kevin Meehan
  5. Drawing on the Victorians, edited by Anna Maria Jones
  6. Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies by Patrick D. Murphy
  7. Rattlesnakes and the Moon by Darlin Neal
  8. Elegant Punk by Darlin Neal
  9. Writing for the Web: Composing, •Coding, and Constructing Web Sites
  10. The Rhetorical Nature of XML by J.D. Applen and Rudy McDaniel
  11. Innocence, Heterosexuality, and the Queerness of Children’s Literature by Tison Pugh
  12. Mud Song by Terry Thaxton
  13. The Heaven of Animals by James Poissant
  14. Problem Novels by Anna Maria Jones
  15. Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
  16. The Flight of the Kuaka by Donald Stap
  17. The Zero Theorem by Pat Rushin
  18. The Terrible Wife by Terry Thaxton
  19. Oye What I'm Gonna Tell You by Milanés
  20. The Season of Risks by Susan Hubbard
  21. Everyday Chica by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
  22. The Historicism of Charles Brockden Brown by Mark L. Kamrath
  23. The Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard
  24. Crossing The Creek by Anna Lillios
  25. Lizard Man by David James Poissant
  26. Intercultural Communication by Houman Sadri and Madelyn Flammia
  27. Collecte Writings of Charles Brockden Brown edited by Mark L. Kamrath
  28. As If, poems by Russ Kesler
  29. Transversal Ecocritical Praxis by Patrick D. Murphy
  30. Getaway Girl by Terry Thaxton
  31. Virtual Teams in Higher Education by Flammia

Highlights

English Professor’s Prize Winning Book of ‘Harrowing’ Poems

August 2017

photoTerry Ann Thaxton, a professor in the Department of English, won Truman State University Press’ 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for her third book of poems, Mud Song.

Each year, TSUP receives about 500 manuscripts that are screened and judged by a nationally known poet. Kevin Prufer, author of Churches, In a Beautiful Country, and National Anthem, served as this year’s judge, and selected Thaxton’s book as the winning collection of poetry to be published by TSUP on Sept. 1, 2017.

“In ‘Mud Song,’ the swamps, back roads and small towns of Florida transcend setting and become something akin to personality,” Prufer said. “These are wild, harrowing, brightly colored poems, bristling with violence and trauma. The poet’s language surprises and delights. Her wit is deft and sharp. The engines that power these vivid poems are memory, desire, fear and, at times, a kind of holy rage.”

In her book, Thaxton’s search for herself is guided by a landscape of pine forests, palmettos, gopher tortoises and armadillos. However, as a fifth-generation Floridian, she knows that the natural world is never more than a stone’s throw away from its destruction.

Thaxton spent years sending her Florida-inspired poems to multiple publishers before it finally paid off. Now, her achievement has become a symbol of determination, which she uses as a motivator for students who share her passion.

“It took away a few of the doubts I get, and I think most writers – most artists – get all the time,” she said. “This achievement meant, ‘Yes, I should keep writing,’ and that’s what all art students should do, keep creating art.”

Here's what poet David Rivard said about the book: “Like Heaney in North, Terry Thaxton digs deep to unearth a past both personal and cultural—here, the past of all those long-buried Floridas that survive under the one we think we know best, the Florida of the last ten minutes. Thaxton’s willingness to make herself vulnerable moves me, her insistent openness teaching the earth itself a thing or two. In return, the earth provides these elegiac poems their wonder, a worshipful amazement that even the oranges seem to shine with in the end.”

 

 

Read all highlights.

Department of English • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
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