by Cheryl Unruh
Cheryl Unruh’s Gravedigger’s Daughter stands as a testament to how great writing uses particulars to capture the universal. While few readers may have helped to prepare graves as a child or know what the summer sky looks like from their depths, Unruh’s beautifully crafted reflections unearth the relatable joys and confusions of youth, love, and loss. While each poem preserves a carefully honed memory, the collection as a whole carries the reader through a lifetime with touching humor and heartbreaking grace. It is an intimate look into a specific family, but it stirs familiar emotions that have the magic to conjure readers’ own pasts.
2022 Nelson Poetry Book Judge