Books --the books displayed on this page, except for The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, are part of the LSU Press Poetry Series. Please check their site for some of the best poetry collections being published.
SEARCH PARTY, Amicae Press, 1979. Out of print
ALMA, Phoenix Press, 1982 Out of print
WAKE, Spring Street Editions, 2003
ARETHA'S HAT, with Penelope Scambly Schott, Ash Creek Press, 2010. Out of print
SOUTHERN FICTIONS, Jacar Press, 2011
THE VISHNU BIRD, Jacar Press, 2015
Each of the books still in print may be ordered from the presses listed or from me, at POB 489, Cullowhee, NC 28723. City Lights Books in Sylva, NC can also take your online orders; I can inscribe any of these books for you. Or visit your own indie bookstore to place an order.
"Byer journeys through time and place, following the compass of her heart, and our hearts, as well, for her words transcend the personal as they navigate the complex, difficult terrain between the abiding grief of loss and, as Wordsworth says, the need to find strength is what remains behind.
------RON RASH, author of Serena and The World Made Straight
"Reading these extraordinary poems, for me, is homecoming, a gift I understand.
----JANISSE RAY, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
"Coming to Rest is a concentric, haunted, and yearning series of poems chronicaling the efforts of a woman to come to terms with her community--mother, grandmother, daughter, namesake, friends---all of whom have struggeld with self and other, the familiar and the exotic, excursion and return.
Reaching beyond her earlier, pitch-perfect accounts of rural wives and homesteaders... Byer bravely steps even deeper into emotionally perilous territory to show us all the value of dancing."
---R.T. SMITH, poet, fiction writer, and editor of Shenandoah
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award winner in Poetry, 2006.
Los Angeles Times Book Award nominee.
"The light that Byer's Catching Light is suffused with is the light of the past. Grandmothers and Ghosts move through these strong yet delicate yrics as the poet comes to terms with her own aging. Byer could be describing these poems when she writes: 'words streaming onto the ivory vellum/like blue tributaries.'"
Winner of the Roanoke Chowan Award for poetry.
Winner of the Brockman Campbell Award, selected by Billy Collins.
"Black Shawl is a spirited and spirit-haunted book of poems that interlaces folklore and cultural mytholgy with the myths of the self. Byer sings in her own clear and distinctive voice, but she also speaks in many of these poems through the persona of the ancient woman, a kind of Crazy Jane of Appalachia. These poems are at once old and new, archetypal and freshly minted."
The Lamont Selection for the best second book of poetry, given by the Academy of American Poets, now the Laughlin Award. Judges were Lucille Clifton, Jorie Graham, and Robert Morgan.
"Byer’s poems are certainly gentle, lovely, even delicate; also they tremble, they plunge, they rage, they lash with life. “
Mary Oliver (Wildwood Flower)
Introduction by James Applewhite.
Published in the Associated Writing Programs by
Texas Tech University, 1986.