Dear River and Other Poetry

Debut Chapbook by Rachel Bates (Sobylya)

Dear River by Rachel Sobylya is a promising and deeply satisfying debut collection. These poems are at home wherever they go, the author’s native Appalachia, New England college towns, and sprawling Russian cities. They find much to celebrate in each locale, while keeping a skeptical eye open to contradictions and disappointments. Some of the most memorable moments occur, as in “Confession” and “Lenin,” when the speaker reflects on how the present can differ from the past, and the uncertainty that promises for the future. Dear River is a poignant love letter to the people and places that formed a poet, and Rachel Sobylya is a poet readers will be glad to know.

–Jesse Graves, Author of Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine and Basin Ghosts

Indicative of Rachel Sobylya’s world-view, Dear River is divided into two sections:  “The South” and “Everywhere Else.”  Adventurous and inquisitive, she carries her Appalachian affections with her wherever she wanders.  Keen vision and careful diction are her bulwarks against nostalgia.  If the mountains and rivers or characters in her poems look unfamiliar, it’s because she imagines them afresh and draws them precisely and with conviction.

–Gary Lenhart

ETSU Literary Festival Feature in the East Tennessean

Selected Publications

The following poems were published in Aurora, an Allegory Ridge poetry anthology

Other Publications