Praise for Blue Star:
“These are poems of witness, dire and poignant, that chant long after you close the book, poems that exult the working class – an ethnography of farmers, blacksmiths, and mill workers tithed to the earth for all time, and bound to defend it even unto death, ‘their steps weary with unfinished war.’ Barbara Presnell is the heir and daughter of their sacred anthems. Blue Star is utterly essential.”
Joseph Bathanti, former poet laureate of North Carolina, author of The 13th Sunday after Pentecost
“In this treasure tracing war, race, and the Quaker faith through her family history, Presnell's heart belongs to her son, to whom the book is dedicated and who she prays "will never see a battlefield." Some of the book’s most moving poems evoke tender-tough challenges to the mother-son bond, which finds resilience through ‘small miracles of transformation’ as her son becomes a man making a family of his own."
Heather H. Thomas, author of Resurrection Papers and Blue Ruby
“This is first and foremost a testament to the ties that bind mothers and sons, fathers and daughters across time and space. No reader will finish this book and be untouched, nor unchanged through its reading."
John P. Beck, co-director of Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives, Michigan State University