"Focused on a life sewn into mill town culture of the early twentieth century and on through the sixties, Kimberly Simms’ Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill reignite an important (but often forgotten) crux of the South's history. These are not lugubrious, nostalgia-laden poems longing for a South that never was: they are, in sum, a beautiful lens through which to celebrate and record the joys and hardships of a charged, mythic, and sweat-soaked place, its kin and kith, and the microcosmic realities that gather to form a dynamism, a culture still moving, abiding in memory and the heart." --William Wright, Author of Tree Heresies Georgia Author of the Year, 2016 "With an eye for keen and often surprising details, Kimberly Simms captures the cadence, the splendor, and the heartache of the lives of Southern textile mill workers. These poems of sorrow, joy, and redemption are the sort of literary experience that stick with you longer after the final line has fallen into an echo." --Ryan G. Van Cleave, author of UNLOCKED and LANDSCAPE & DREAM
“Innovative and entertaining. Often Simms reminds me of Rita Dove's THOMAS AND BEULAH, the ability to capture a whole human life in only a few carefully-crafted lines. Simms blends the folk-road with the erudite, makes the plain-spoken country-speak stand for the deepest spiritual constructs with our souls. I’ve read this collection several times for the delight and the surprise. I strongly suspect other readers will too. What a new craftsman is here!” --Paul Allen, Author of AMERICAN CRAWL and GROUND FORCES “I've been reading the Lindy Lee poems for over a decade now, and I'm delighted to see them collected in a volume that amplifies their individual power. In the tradition of Ron Rash, Cathy Smith Bowers, and Linda Ferguson, Kimberly Simms has chronicled the lives of textile workers in the Carolinas with historical accuracy, imaginative insight, and lyrical grace.” -- Gilbert Allen, Author of Catma Robert Penn Warren Prize Winner
Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill features 40 poems based on the history and landscape of Carolina and Georgia textile mill workers from the 1910s to the 1960s. The poems focus on the fictional character of Lindy Lee, her family, and their mill village. Although these poems aspire to portray Southern mill workers as accurately as possible, they constitute a creative work of fiction. Most result from the synthesis of stories gleaned from personal accounts, site visits, newspaper articles, and historical volumes. The poems explore the emotional turmoil, physical hardships, and joys of Southern women and their families in the textile industry.