Approaching the Fields: poems
“These poems gather memory and lyric craft into a seamless mix of language and music. . . . These are wonderful, memorable poems.”
—Eavan Boland, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University and author of A Woman Without A Country.
“Chanda Feldman's quiet, powerful verse unfolds bloom after bloom with a slow seethe. . . . a stumble-proof voice that never leaves a passenger behind.”
—Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olio.
“In a cadence reminiscent of old gospel rhythms rising from deeper reflections on the evolution of self and culture. . . . Approaching the Fields is a beautifully crafted book of courage gone, courage now taking breath, and courage yet to come.”
—Afaa M. Weaver, 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and author of Spirit Boxing.
LSU Press: Elegiac and fierce, solemn and celebratory, the poems in Chanda Feldman’s Approaching the Fields consider family and history. From black sharecroppers and subsistence farmers along the Mississippi River to contemporary life in the suburbs, the rituals of home and work link racial experience, social lines, and economic striving, rooting memory and scene in the southern landscape. Love and violence echo through the collection, and Feldman’s beautifully crafted poems, often formal in style, answer them sometimes with an embrace and sometimes with a turning away. She witnesses the crop fields and manicured lawns, the dinner table and birthing room, the church and juke joint, conveying the ways that everyday details help build a life. These evocative poems bring to life a rich and complex world, both timely and timeless.