White Ghosts, the debut collection by poet and novelist Katie Hale, traces maternal lines, and the legacies of slavery and whiteness interwoven into the fabric of America, through revealing, unflinching poems. Travelling deep into an intimate history that spans both sides of the Atlantic, Hale unravels the language haunting those narratives we choose to tell in official versions – through museum labels and civic statues – and in handed-down stories.
Transformational and challenging, these sharply-detailed poems interrogate the bare bones of silence, complicity, difficult inheritances and racial constructs. Via wagon routes or interstates, on desert highways or in the landscapes of northern England, through nature and through human culture, questions of ownership and power are writ into the journey. Through four hundred years of female migration, the poems in White Ghosts use art, music, and lyrical reworking of the curated space, to address white guilt: what is lost through generations, and what is passed on?
Nine Arches Press