White Ghosts, the debut poetry collection by Cumbrian poet and novelist Katie Hale, is a collection of revealing, unflinching poems tracing maternal lines and difficult legacies of slavery & whiteness interwoven into the fabric of America.
Praise for White Ghosts:
“From immigrants and settlers to slave owners and abolitionists, Katie Hale’s candid poems of portraiture constitute a necessary work of decoloniality and witness. By tracing the histories of women in her family, she offers a radical exploration of whiteness and its impact across the centuries that, ‘Let the body learn to witness its own skeletons.'” – Malika Booker
“How do we understand our maternal legacies, and how is that understanding inflected by race? Katie Hale’s White Ghosts explores the author’s own maternal legacy and its entanglement with America’s history of immigration, white privilege, and slavery; what that means for the contemporary moment and the woman standing at the end of this maternal line. Here is tenderness and rigour, beauty and truth-telling, in an engaging and ambitious debut.” – Carrie Etter
“A reckoning with self, and with familial history: where often there might be shame, or avoidance, these poems look into the white spaces of history in search of truth” – Andrew McMillan
“This haunted, haunting book is unflinching in its confrontation of history, and what it means to own or be owned. Poems about whiteness are gradually erased and in this erasure reveal new, painful stories that examine the intersection between responsibility and guilt, between truth and omission. Throughout, Katie Hale’s work displays that rare quality – vivid moments of lyric stillness that hold their own whilst carrying the weight of a wider personal, social and political narrative.” – Kim Moore