Big Muddy River of Stars
University of Akron Press
In Big Muddy River of Stars, her second full-length collection of poems, Alison Pelegrin continues her celebration of the quirks and characters of south Louisiana, tempered now by the devastations of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. These sassy poems come on like a carnival parade, with boisterous shout-outs to sleepy rivers and Big Shot soda, crawfish and trailer trash and those
who rebuild homes ravaged by hurricane and high water. Presiding over the book is the spirit of Chinese poet Li Po, Pelegrin's prodigal mentor and drinking buddy. Sharing his
taste of recklessness,
she wants to write
the Li Po way
” / wine and the wide world.
And she does. With lines that laugh and rage and slur in the piquant tongue of her native Louisiana, Pelegrin knows how to play the blues in a bold and irreverent key.
In addition to Big Muddy River of Stars, Alison Pelegrin is the author of The Zydeco Tablets (Word Press, 2002) as well as three chapbooks: Squeezers (Concrete Wolf 2005), Voodoo Lips (Poems and Plays, 2002), and Dancing with the One-Armed Man (Slipstream, 2000). Her poems have been featured on Poetry Daily and The Writer's Almanac, and in dozens of literary journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, and The Southern Review. The recipient of fellowships from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the NEA, she was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She teaches English at Southeastern Louisiana University and lives in Mandeville, Louisiana with her family.