Laressa Dickey

Laressa Dickey is a writer based in Berlin. She’s the author of several chapbooks, including A Piece of Information About His Invisibility (MIEL), as well as the poetry collections Bottomland and Roam (Shearsman).

You can see reviews of Laressa’s work at her website.

Books by Laressa Dickey  for the Backwaters Press


TWANG offers readers the increasing power of the voice and the danger of one's words being used against them. What can save you can also make you wretch. Repentance, in TWANG, is a great idea but something far off. What is the speaker offered in its place? You can leave. You can find some way out.

Author: Laressa Dickey
Format: Paperback, 92 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935218-432

Published: February, 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon – Small Press Distribution

Praise for TWANG

Part Red Dirt Girl, Part Blueprint for a Sunrise, TWANG is all album. Swinging “from Loretta Lynn’s lips” and Sappho’s, Dickey’s speaker’s tongue is split, laid on the lathe and cut. We think of coupling as coming together, until families divide into “my people” and yours. Differences in “your raisins” make audible separate roles. Lucky for us, this house, which Dickey calls a “studded box with a golden lid,” burns a record of duets “pure as iron spit.”
Amy Wright, author of Everything in the Universe and Cracker Sonnets

By turns gritty and lush, Laressa Dickey’s TWANG destroys any notion of precise opposites to show us how the animacy of existence renders everything altered by everything else. Subject and object are at times beautifully obscured so that the acted-upon becomes the actor. Once you think you’ve got ahold of an image, expect a surprise — TWANG takes what feels like it could belong to you, could fit in the palm of your hand, and explodes it, makes it too enormous to hold. In this way, you feel held, instead, even as you also tumble and plunge deeper in the service of more knowing. You may start in the ephemeral and find yourself in the colloquial. Lightning may crumble and dogs may bark with their fists. While Dickey paints a stunning portrait of a southern family subsisting on tobacco, she also insists on cutting that painting into strings and building an instrument on which to play her insistent, shocking song—a melody for the harmony of the man who invented Twang. It’s a honey-coated howl.
Josie Sigler Sibara, author of living must bury and The Galaxie and Other Rides

Familial history, cultural critique, and lyric precision animate the poems in Laressa Dickey’s TWANG. This book is a series of crystalline elegies — memory and language are worked into strange alchemies, rural ghost songs that draw their subjects with clarity and empathy. We see a father made sick from spraying tobacco for bud – worm, a woman grown from the ground, a kind man wishing he were a swarm of swallows, a sister framed against a reverie of bees. In the same poem, she writes, “Is that you swinging from Loretta Lynn’s lips?” and “Roam pertains also to the in – side, the stranger walking by in a blue-sky helmet, your own duets.” Wonders like this abound. It’s beautiful, keening work.
Tim Earley, author of Linthead Stomp