Calving Season, by Debbie Collins-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Calving Season, by Debbie Collins

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Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Debbie Collins offers up her sophomore chapbook effort, Calving Season, with keen insights of a world that most people today seldom see. Collins, who grew up in Southside and East End suburban Richmond, spent the summers and weekends of her youth on her grandparents' farms in southwest Virginia.  It is there where she became well acquainted with the practicalities of life and death on a working farm. "Buzzards were circling low, // the grass all clover and dew" starts to set the reader's expectation, and the hard truth when life just doesn't work out:
 
   We could hear the mother bellowing
   for her stillborn calf, a heart-rending sound
 
The reality of that delicate new life that fails and how the custodians of the land have to do what needs to be done is thoughtfully rendered but also stark: "Grandad drove out in his truck // and hoisted the calf into the bed, // its perfect black coat still slick with birth."
 
In contrast to learning the stories of life and death on a farm, Collins also delves into city life and a some of the harsher realities. "…above the city din, the air ringing with the // music of trash cans being thrown around," lends a discordant but vibrant voice in "Richmond, Monday Morning". Here, she brings into focus the lives of those on the fringes, the devalued, and “the kings and queens of the street, the royalty of // the city, all tattered robes and tragic smiles".
 
Collins shares a life of experiences, challenges, and ultimately, happiness, in Calving Season. The book examines life and death, joy, and intense conflict. Taken together, farm life and city life, she explores both with results that are startling and true.

Debbie Collins reads and writes from Richmond, VA. Her stories have been published in both online and print journals including Panoplyzine, Streetlight Magazine, and Third Wednesday. Additionally she has been nominated for Best of the Net. Debbie spends her a good deal of time at home roaming the streets of the city in search of the best cup of coffee.