No Shroud of Silence

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No Shroud of Silence


“Powerful…her poems give voice to emotions most of us hold but cannot express.”—Sandra P. Aldrich

“A psalm of hope that teaches us to hold hands across the centuries and embolden each other to sing out, to never again be stopped, so that our daughters and granddaughters will always know how loved and how lovely they are.” —Rebecca Gayle Howell.

No Shroud of Silence, a collection of literary poems and stories that span decades of life in Appalachia (southeast Kentucky), speaks of family, place, loss, grief, domestic violence, prejudice, perseverance, resilience, spirituality, humor, and hope. In the title poem a woman declares her independence and refuses to bend to the wishes of others. I am a force as real as your financial security/and so-called clout./I will not keep mum about injustice,/prejudice, political bigotry, racism, sexism,/or be quiet about the fact that/IN GOD I TRUST.

“There is much healing going on here for reader and writer in poems and stories that study old wounds, / then bandage them with those healing words./ Read this book…”—Rob Merritt

Reading Group Guide for No Shroud of Silence


Author Bio

Sandi Keaton-Wilson, an American writer of prose, poetry, short stories, plays, and performance pieces, lives a simple Christian life enjoying worship, family, friends, and the arts. Always a nature lover, she considers reading and writing her second nature.

Sandi, raised in the southern section of Wayne County, Kentucky, played with words even as a child. There were always good things to read in her home, and trips to the library and holiday gifts of books were treats that placed at the top of her list. Encouraged by teachers, Sandi began writing in grade school and became published at a young age. She credits being a member of many successful writers’ groups in several counties in aiding her with inspiration, practice, example, and networking—giving these groups and her fellow members credit for the benefit they have proved to be.

Over the years she has become recognized as a Southern Appalachian writer. Her poetry, prose, short stories, plays, and performance pieces have merited publication in numerous college journals, anthologies, and national publications. Her writing, which has been well received, speaks of death, grief, and loss, family, and nature and place and includes inspirational and religious works.

Sandi currently resides in Somerset, Kentucky, near her son and grandchildren, and she is still rooted in Kentucky and grounded in the Word of God.

Read a sample of Sandi’s poetry.

Reading Group Guide: No Shroud of Silence, Sandi Keaton-Wilson

Advance Praise

“To graduate from the New Opportunity School for Women is to graduate from the commons that is this hard-knock life into a new and revolutionary awareness, an awakening that can lead the individual to be born again to herself, her people, and her land—truly, to potential itself. Well, Sandi Keaton-Wilson must have been the valedictorian. In No Shroud of Silence, Keaton-Wilson unleashes not only her own story but also the stories of countless other Appalachian women into a psalm of hope that teaches us to hold hands across the centuries and embolden each other to sing out, to never again be stopped, so that our daughters and granddaughters will always know how loved and how lovely they are.”

—REBECCA GAYLE HOWELL, author of American Purgatory and Render/An Apocalypse, James Still Writer-in-Residence at Hindman Settlement School, and Poetry Editor, Oxford American

“The word powerful best describes Sandi Keaton-Wilson’s No Shroud of Silence. Her poems give voice to emotions most of us hold but cannot express. And the characters within her short stories sometimes are heroic, sometimes tragic. But all are colorfully and honestly portrayed. Her opening three-page comparison of Appalachia to a tall, raw-boned woman of indefinite years is worth the price of the book alone.”

—SANDRA P. ALDRICH, international Christian speaker and author of two dozen books, including the award-winning Zetta’s Dream: An Appalachian Coal Camp Novel

“Sandi Keaton-Wilson has something to say. She, like her southeast Kentucky homeland, is a woe-struck and a strong-willed survivor. No Shroud of Silence demonstrates the rich variety of what it means to be an Appalachian writer. In the poetry (both free verse and formal) and the prose (fiction and nonfiction) of this book she faces square-on the sorrows of a life redeemed by conversations with her Kentucky ancestors and stories of loss and perseverance that are personal as well as part of the fabric of the region and of all human experience. With closely observed details of tobacco farming, coal mining, walks through sunlit forests, and family interactions, Keaton-Wilson serves up elegies, humor, horrors of spousal abuse, and accounts of succumbing to and then standing up to prejudice. She is even able to find understanding for the hard-hearted men who, because of the emasculating effects of unemployment and poverty, see the compassion in / her eyes as mockery. There is much healing going on here for reader and writer in poems and stories that study old wounds, / then bandage them with those healing words. Read this book that teaches Fireflies, like hell’s sparks, / remind us of the dangers of darkness. / ‘Come to the light, oh loved ones, before it’s too late.’”

—ROB MERRITT, author of The Language of Longing, professor of English and director, Honors Program, Bluefield College

Additional information


Poetry/Fiction/Short Stories




$18.00 (168 pages)

Publication Date:

September 2018