Horsewomen, hunters, and cavers, the Collins family has known their share of trauma. After the unexpected death of their father, his three daughters and their mother carve their separate ways forward, not all of them healthy. Sometimes it takes a big love to forgive, and in Letters from the Karst, the love of the land and its gifts guide the extended family and their friends to a shared peace.

Caves can be rich with life and they can externalize the emptiness within. In beautiful prose, Olmsted reveals the subterranean truths of these brave characters, their trauma, abuse, and recovery, and the animals who help them get there.


Poet and writer Jane Olmsted is a retired professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Western Kentucky University. Her poems and stories have appeared in Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Adirondack Review, and Briar Cliff Review, among others. A chapbook Tree Forms was published in 2011 (Finishing Line Press). Her essay “The Weight of a Human Heart” won Memoir Journal’s prize for the guns issue, fall 2013. Her collection of poetry, Seeking the Other Side, was published by Fleur-de-lis Press in 2015 and a memoir, The Tree You Come Home To, was published in 2021 (Legacy Book Press).


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