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What It Done to Us, by Essy Stone, is a poetry of narrative tension, sense of place, and with a wide-angle scan of lyrical language. There is a landscape here, the depiction of Appalachia, a beautiful backdrop of loves and struggles with violence, poverty and all its minions such as drugs and crime, and its religion. Stone has created a southern gothic for today, a testament, a collection that could be the mythology that we find at the intersection of flesh and spirit, or maybe it’s the reveal to a hard-times question like, “Why does the Devil get here faster than God every time?" This is a tough community that Stone, with a deft touch of empathy and eloquence, shows us and we begin to know these folk. These poems are understated but highly charged vignettes from the hollers, a shadow world of the embattled folk who bear up and just do what needs done without apology. This is a stunning debut collection, and it is our introduction to an amazing poet.