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ISBN: 978-1-62557-059-8
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Categories Poetry

No Spare People

Publication Date: October 2023


During the month of June, Black Lawrence Press will donate $1 to the ACLU of Tennessee for every copy of No Spare People sold through our website.

Poetry. Women’s Studies / Gender Studies. Writing About the South. No Spare People documents the joys and perils of a tiny mother-daughter family navigating life on the margins. From poems about finding autonomy as a queer, unpartnered parent by choice in the South to those chronicling a generation’s economic instability, Hoover rejects so-called “acceptable losses” stemming from inequalities of gender, race, and class. The book asks, what happens to the woman no longer willing to live a lie?  How does language invent not only identity, but possibility?


Erin Hoover’s second collection, No Spare People, recalls to me the sobering effect of encountering Adrienne Rich’s work in the late ’80s. These poems deal in reality, eschewing the fantastic … This is a deeply intellectual and expertly wrought collection.

—Cate Marvin

The poems in No Spare People illuminate the injustices of income inequality, misogyny, womanhood and motherhood in America with an expanse of time and geography.

—K. Iver

In the mother-daughter family of No Spare People, everyone is essential—one parent, one child—with truly no one to spare. This collection explores the difficulties of such economy within our particular economy … Yet the poems do not give up, continually questioning the constraints of an American South.

—Jessica Jacobs

These are hard poems in that they press far past the facile reductive binaries of good and evil, savior and saved, and into something—a lyric, a voice—that feels a little more complicated, a little more like our own world.

—Kaveh Akbar

About the Author

Erin Hoover

Erin Hoover is the author of Barnburner, selected by Kathryn Nuernberger for Elixir Press’s Antivenom Award and winner of a 2018 Florida Book Award. Publishers Weekly called Barnburner a “candid portrait of normalized cruelty” that was “likely to get readers to question their own malignant perceptions and passivity in the face of injustice.” Her second book, No Spare People, is forthcoming in October 2023. Hoover’s poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry and Best New Poets, among other publications. Poems from No Spare People have been published (or will appear) in Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Couplet, the Florida Review, On the Seawall, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, and Split This Rock. Hoover is an assistant professor of English at Tennessee Tech.

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