(Tarpualin Sky Press, 2020)
In 2013, poet Lauren Russell acquired a copy of the diary of her great-great-grandfather, Robert Wallace Hubert, a Captain in the Confederate Army. After his return from the Civil War, he fathered twenty children by three of his former slaves, including the poet’s great-great-grandmother, Peggy. As she transcribed the 225-page diary, Rusell became fascinated by its gaps. Through years of research, she would seek the words to fill the diary’s omissions and to imagine the voice of Peggy Hubert, a Black woman silenced by history. The result is Descent, a book-length reckoning with this part of her family’s history.
Lauren Russell is a poet and writer in hybrid forms. She is the author of Descent (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2020) and What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta Press, 2017). Her third book, A Window That Can Neither Open nor Close: Poems, Plots, Chance, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2024, as part of the Multiverse series.