Franklin-Campbell's Appalachian heritage was a major influence in this collection of poetry. Her writing is part of her mission to raise awareness to combat Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia.
Our finalist judge was Jay Parini, a poet, novelist, and critic who teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. His numerous books include The Last Station and Robert Frost: A Life. Parini said he loved in Uncommon Clay what he called an "aura of a hovering spirit."
"This is a poet with a deep sense of not only nature but spirit," Parini said. "She sees nature as the embodiment of spirit, and she brings rich native tradition into play here, in language that is strict and pure."
Uncommon Clay will be released in print and as a digital edition on March 19, 2012.