"Our only sin was not having what they thought was enough. And being forced to take what they called help."
Pain and anger resonate deeply in the voice of New Covenant Bound's central narrator. Forced from her homeland on the Tennessee River in the 1930s, she recounts the memory of upheaval and destruction caused by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Western Kentucky area that now boasts beautiful, expansive bodies of water was once home to some 20,000 people, their houses, farms, townships and ancestral history. Residents were subjected to three waves of forced relocation to make way for Kentucky Lake in the 1930s, Lake Barkley in the 1950s, and Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area in the 1960s.
Renowned poet T. Crunk intersperses narrative prose and vivid lyric verse to explore the devastation one family experienced in this often overlooked episode in Kentucky history. The voices of a grandmother and grandson speak to each other over time, evoking the relentless advance of irrevocable forces that changed the land, forever.
""The book is sad and beautiful in its effects; its artistry is complex and sophisticated, the work of a consummate craftsman making use of original stanza patterns and intricate lineation. The quality of Crunk's lyricism is rare in contemporary American poetry; passages of New Covenant Bound are among the most moving and visionary work I've seen in a long time." -- Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man: Poems" --
""In New Covenant Bound, Tony Crunk blends lyric and lucid prose to take us on a journey through time and into the heart of historical sorrow. It's a haunting, haunted story that finds here its eloquent celebrant and elegist." -- Gregory S. Orr, author of How Beautiful the Beloved" --
"" New Covenant Bound is a poetic take on the lives of families oprooted by the early 20th-century creation of Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area."-- Centrepiece" --
""The quality of Cruck's lyricism is a rare in contemporary American poerty; the passagesof The New Covenant are among the most moving adn visionary work I've seen in a long time."-- Appalachian Heritage" --
""By juxtaposing the words of grandson and grandmother, Crunk sets the tragedy in a wider scope, showing how a single injustice twenty years in the past can still be operative in the lives of those in the present."-- Alabama Writers Forum" --
""Crunk's verse speaks in agner, in despair, in sorrow and in questionable hope. All of these emotions, and many more, are present in his lastest poetry collection, New Covenant Bound, a testament to generations of Kentucky families displaced by vast federal projects to reshape the land around them."-- Louisville Courier-Journal" --
""Crunk's material is archtypal: rivers, crossings, floods, cycles of renewal and destruction, exodus, and return."-- Rain Taxi Review of Books" --
"Crunk's New Covenant Bound is a book which provides a necessary education for anyone interested in the fate of exiles in general. From the painful story of grandmother and grandson we learn what it means to eat the bitter bread of displacement and to end up feeling like a permanent wanderer with no real home for the heart or soul. -- Martinsburg Journal" -- Sonja James, Martinsburg Journal