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Dirt Eaters
By Teri Youmans Grimm (University Press of Florida, 60 pgs)

Those of us born in Florida – or, more accurately, those of us whose grandparents were born in Florida – are more than likely to have some snake-handling, shack-living, dirt-eating relations only a couple of branches away from us on the family tree. Grimm, a Jacksonville resident, is clearly of similar stock and the tales she weaves in this, her first poetry collection, evince that deeply odd strain of Southernism that's peculiar to Florida and Georgia. Strongly narrative and thick with equal parts dust, humidity and brimstone, Dirt Eaters is a wistful collection that manages to make a reader pine for his long-lost hardscrabble roots.

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