Rafting Rise, a collection of narrative poems by 2003-2004 Kentucky Poet Laureate Joe Survant, is an album capturing a year in the life of a rural Western Kentucky community on the eve of World War I. In quick but deftly composed snapshots, the poet introduces a variety of characters: solitary river rats, tobacco farmers, young men and women seeking adventure or falling in or out of love, a homeless woman who is alternately welcomed as a healer and shunned as a witch. The Green River itself is also a powerful presence, giving life and sometimes taking it away, its seasonal risings and fallings defining the rhythms of human existence.
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A Raft Pilots Log, transcribed from a history written by Captain Walter A. Blair in 1929