In 2009, I published a novel, St. Peter’s Monsters. Last month I published Sawmill Boys: Poetry & Short Fiction.
Sawmill Boys is a collection of 26 poems and two short stories that offers an earthy and sensuous glimpse of Southern Appalachia: the place and its people. It honors the region’s landscape, explores its history, and reveals its culture. Sawmill Boys tackles love and passion, childhood and aging, heartache and joy, religion and spirituality, and issues of geography and environment (including mountaintop removal mining and logging). Imbued with a distinct regional personality, it addresses universal themes that can be appreciated by readers anywhere.
I’m asking for funding in the amount of $3000. This will help cover expenses related to table/booth fees, travel, and meals for festivals and readings including the Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta, GA; Appalachian Trail Days, Damascus, VA; Blue Ridge Bookfest, Flatrock, NC; Galax, VA; Abingdon, VA; Home Craft Days, Big Stone Gap, VA; Southern Festival of Books, Memphis; Malaprops, Asheville, NC; Savannah Book Festival, Savannah, GA; the National Book Festival, Washington, DC; and the Wise Fall Fling, Wise, VA.
Project based in Virginia.
Do you find it peculiar,
the art of our conversation?
It’s a regular feast,
peppered with silence and similes:
that boy’s as rough as a cob,
but cute as a speckled pup.
Let’s get beyond this talking.
I need the tender touch of bone-thin men
with hard hands and aching eyes.
Serenade me with the
stutter of Jake brakes on coal trucks
traveling down mountains.
Anoint me with the
pickled tang that hangs heavy
around the red bubby bush.
Lay me down in horsemint
and hemlock shadows,
shallow valleys, hallowed hills.
Let us love beneath the gaze
of mourning doves and silly larks,
in crow-specked, deer-flecked fields of green.
Help me forget these towns
stitched tight with thick black thread
and dread for madmen in mines.