The poems in The Belle Mar by Katie Bickham are set on a Louisiana plantation from 1811 through 2005, and speak through the imagined voices of slaves, masters, mistresses, servants, and children. Focused on events that take place in a single room within the plantation home, Belle Mar, Bickham offers an unflinching portrayal of the atrocities that form an undeniable part of Lousiana’s history. The fully rounded characters she evokes allow readers to contemplate the social forces that shaped a slave-holding society and perpetuated injustices long after abolition.
Katie Bickham has also received the Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize from The Missouri Review. Her work can be found in Pleiades and Prairie Schooner. Winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, chosen by Alicia Ostriker, The Belle Mar will be released by Pleiades Press on April 14, 2015.