"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Archive for the ‘Must Read Writers’ Category

Monday Must Read! The Long Weeping by Jessie Van Eerden

 

JessieJessie Van Eerden is the author of Glorybound (WordFarm, 2012), My Radio Radio (Vandalia Press 2016), and most recently, her collection of portrait essays,The Long Weeping, just released from Orison Books.

A West Virginia native, Jessie holds a BA in English from West Virginia University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Oxford AmericanRiver TeethImageBellingham ReviewWillow SpringsRock & SlingAppalachian Heritage, Ruminate, and other publications. Her prose has been selected for inclusion in Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia(Vandalia Press); Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean (Ohio University Press); Red Holler (Sarabande); Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, Seventh Edition (Longman); Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Cascade Books); and Best American Spiritual Writing (Houghton Mifflin).

Jessie has taught for over fifteen years in college classrooms and in adult literacy programs. She lives in West Virginia where she directs the low-residency MFA writing program of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Follow Jessie on Twitter: @jessievaneerden. To see what Jessie has been reading, visit her Goodreads page. To learn more about WV Wesleyan’s MFA program (#wvwcmfa), visit the program website.

Visit Jessie’s website: http://www.jessievaneerden.com/

Buy Jessie’s beautiful books!

The Long Weeping

My Radio Radio

Glorybound

Praise for The Long Weeping

In these startlingly honest and imaginative essays, van Eerden enlarges the world around her, giving flesh to what is all too often flattened by the outside eye, anointing places and people and the throbbing spaces between them as she searches out and sings litanies to what she calls the “larger body I belonged to and could not leave.” Lush and razor-sharp, The Long Weeping shimmers with intelligence and grace. The truest essays I’ve read in a long time.”

Sonja Livingston, author of GhostbreadQueen of the Fall, and Ladies Night at the Dreamland

Van Eerden is one of the best essayists working today if judged by her craft and intellect alone, but her gifts go beyond those: she is also one of the most honest. The Long Weeping turns a visionary eye and a laser mind on subjects often simplified or even scorned by contemporary culture: white poverty; mysticism; love of family; the wisdom of modest people. Van Eerden is brave enough to say the hard things. She’s strong enough to love the hard places.”

Ann Pancake, author of Given GroundStrange as This Weather Has Been, and Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley

More from Jessie Online

http://www.jessievaneerden.com/short-fiction-creative-non-fiction/

https://imagejournal.org/artist/jessie-van-eerden/

http://appalachianheritage.net/2015/09/09/interview-jessie-van-eerden/

http://cheatriverreview.com/jessie-van-eerden/

https://www.ruminatemagazine.com/blogs/ruminate-blog/works-with-soul-interview-with-jessie-van-eerden

http://memorious.org/?author=217

https://rockandsling.com/2011/03/30/an-interview-with-jessie-van-eerden/

https://web.tusculum.edu/tusculumreview/2014/05/14/jessie-van-eerden-2/

Hear Jessie Read

https://vimeo.com/217706875

 

Happy Reading, y’all!

xo

Mary

Monday Must Read! Cat Pleska: Riding On Comets

cat pleskaCat Pleska is a seventh generation West Virginian, and an amazingly loving and generous person. She is the author of Riding on Comets, and most recently, she published a cookbook with a sense of humor, One Foot in the Gravy–Hooked on the Sauce. Cat is a writer, editor, educator, publisher, and storyteller. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. She is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio and a book reviewer for the Charleston Gazette. She coedited the anthology Fed from the Blade: Tales and Poems from the Mountains. Pleska has been published in literary magazines and newspapers throughout the Appalachian region. She lives in Scott Depot, West Virginia, with her husband, Dan, one dog, four cats, and with a daughter, Katie, in nearby St. Albans.

Cat’s Website

Buy Cat’s Books!

Riding on Comets

Praise for Riding on Comets

“The gifts of Cat Pleska’s Riding on Comets are many: it is fresh, candid, gently humorous, tautly lyrical, and deeply moving.”-Lisa Knopp, What the River Carries: Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte

This is a storyteller who knows how to piece together shards of story into a brilliant mosaic of a life. A joy to read.”–Janice Gary is the author of Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance, winner of two Silver 2014 Nautilus Awards and a 2014 Eric Hoffer Prize for Memoir.

Cat Pleska’s restrained but graceful prose allows us to witness four generations through the eyes of the author, first as a child and then through the years that followed as her people live, age, and die. The details Pleska offers have the immediacy of truths well told, with a resolute eye and spacious heart, neither shying away from family and personal dysfunction, nor sentimentalizing the bonds of fear and love that held her family together.”–Geoffrey Cameron Fuller is an author of the true crime Pretty Little Killers and the crime thriller Full Bone Moon

One Foot in the Gravy–Hooked on the Sauce

Fed from the Blade

More from Cat Online

http://www.friedchickenandcoffee.com/2016/04/27/reckoning-fiction-by-cat-pleska/

https://www.catpleska.com/interviews-reviews-blogs/

http://www.rednecromancer.typepad.com/mouth_of_the_holler/

https://pocahontastimes.com/memories-to-memoirs/

http://www.lauratreacybentley.com/apps/blog/entries/show/41683985-spotlight-cat-pleska

 

Happy Reading!

xo

Mary

Monday Must Read! Helen Losse: Every Tender Reed

helen losseA former English teacher, Helen Losse was born in Joplin, MO and educated at Missouri Southern State University (BSE, 1969), where she majored in secondary education and English and Wake Forest University (MALS, 2000), where she studied African American history and religion and creative writing. Her master’s thesis, Making All things New: The Redemptive Value of Unmerited Suffering In the Life and Works of Martin Luther King Jr., is available in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. She wrote four entries in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

She is the author of four books of poetry, Evey Tender Reed, Facing a Lonely West, Seriously Dangerous, and Better With Friends, as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina, and Kakalak 2014, nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. She was featured by Kathryn Stripling Byer, Poet Laureate of NC, on the North Carolina Arts Council web site along with two other Winston-Salem poets. Helen’s poem “Four Snapshots of the Sea-Going Boats,” won 1st place in the 2009 Davidson County Writers’ Guild Adult Writing Contest. The former Poetry Editor for The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, she is now an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review.

Helen lives with her husband Bill in Winston-Salem, NC, where she occasionally writes book reviews for various literary magazines. She is a rail fan, a NASCAR fan, a Tony Stewart fan, a Kyle Busch fan, a Ryan Newman fan, a Kurt Busch, a Carl Edwards fan, a fan of the flip, a Dallas Cowboys fan, a Wake Forest Demon Deacons fan, and a fan of the Carolina Tar Heels. Helen is a Roman Catholic who loves Christmas. She and her husband have two grown sons.

Helen’s Website

Buy Helen’s Beautiful Books!

Every Tender Reed

Seriously Dangerous

Facing a Lonely West

Mansion of Memory

Better With Friends

Gathering the Broken Pieces

Praise for Every Tender Reed

If books of poetry were considered fitting contributions, Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed, would be among the most heartfelt gifts in a church offering plate. With a keen eye for craft, Losse takes readers on a personal pilgrimage—pondering everything from the beauty of God’s creations to what it might feel like to “be consumed” in pursuit of spiritual purity. Written with fierce tenderness and the courage it takes to write poems both honest and true, this fine collection is a must read. “—Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds

Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed resonates with a tone of loving memory and forgiveness—a promise for the good life, the verses raising blinds on the dark to brighten songs born to all the world’s beauty. Grace becomes a natural outgrowth of Imagination’s repose. Red clover soft-lights the people; all of us are the ever-present tender reeds.”—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate

Losse’s Every Tender Reed is penance in poetry—honoring the reader as much as the Creator. This volume, for the most part, is a serene journey with the author as she walks the Path toward the enlightenment of self-knowledge.”—Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate, City of New Bedford, MA

More From Helen Online

https://helenl.wordpress.com/interviews/

https://poetsgulfcoast.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/three-poems-by-helen-losse/

http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=1606

http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=381

http://kathrynstriplingbyer.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-others-may-know-what-we-knew-by.html

Hear Helen Read and Talk About Her Work

https://helenl.wordpress.com/recorded-in-time/

Women’s Voices for Change

https://womensvoicesforchange.org/poetry-friday-helen-losse-video.htm

Happy Reading!

xo

Mary

 

 

 

 


Monday Must Read! Al Maginnes, The Next Place

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAl Maginnes is the author of seven full length collections and four chapbooks of poems, most recently The Next Place (Iris Press, 2017). He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and teaches at Wake Technical Community College. His poems and reviews have appeared widely. He is music editor for Connotations Press and a member of Liberty Circus, a music and spoken word collective dedicated to raising money for those who work with immigrants and other forms of social justice.

Buy Al’s Beautiful Books

The Next Place

Film History

Music From Small Towns

Inventing Constellations

Ghost Alphabet

The Light in Our Houses

Taking Up Our Daily Tools

More from Al Online

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/al-maginnes

http://www.ashevillepoetryreview.com/tag/al-maginnes

http://baltimorereview.org/index.php/winter_2012/contributor/al-maginnes

http://www.poemoftheweek.org/al_maginnes_id594.html

http://www.terrain.org/2013/poetry/two-poems-by-al-maginnes/

http://howapoemhappens.blogspot.com/2009/04/al-maginnes.html

https://www.connotationpress.com/poetry/1319-al-maginnes-poetry

Hear Al Read

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMAFgZIr8YI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6ogdXKsed8

Happy reading!

xo

Mary

Monday Must Read! Katie Fallon: Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird

Angels walk among us, and Katie Fallon is one of them. Her talent, compassion, humor, and committed love for this sweet planet are all breath-taking. You just gotta read Vulture.

katieKatie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction books Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird (University Press of New England, 2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (Ruka Press, 2011). 

Katie is also the author of a beautiful book for children, Look, See the Bird!, written with Bill Wilson of Birds & Beans Coffee Company and illustrated by Leigh Anne Carter, from Hatherleigh Press.

A finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, Cerulean Blues is “part journey, part documentary, and wholly engaging; a tribute to a bird that bridges continents with its wings and to a rising star among contemporary nature writers,” according to Pete Dunne, former Director of the Cape May Bird Observatoryand author of Hawks In Flight and other books.

Katie’s essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Fourth GenreRiver TeethEcotoneBark MagazineAppalachian HeritageNow & ThenIsotopeFourth Riverthe minnesota reviewThe Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. Her essay “Rebirth” (published in River Teeth, Fall 2013) was listed as a “Notable” in Best American Science & Nature Writing 2014, and her essay “Hill of the Sacred Eagles” was a finalist in Terrain‘s 2011 essay contest. She has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Katie has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. Her first word was “bird.”

Katie is also one of the founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds through scientific research; outreach and public education; and rescue and rehabilitation. The ACCA is based near Morgantown, WV, and each year treats more than 200 injured wild birds, conducts dozens of environmental education programs, and sponsors citizen-science research projects.

Katie’s website:

Visit Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia

Buy Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird

Buy Look, See the Bird!

About VULTURE: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird

VULTURE chronicles the life and times of one the world’s most under-appreciated and overlooked birds: the turkey vulture. Part ecological memoir, part travel narrative, part scientific exploration, and part love story, this book examines the roles turkey vultures–and all vultures–play in healthy ecosystems. Fallon travels to India, Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and her own backyard in her quest to study, care for, and observe this often unloved though vitally important (and uniquely beautiful!) bird.

Praise & Reviews

When you read this book you will know why I consider it to be the most eloquent and beautiful depiction of a vulture ever… A heartfelt and authoritative account of the world’s most numerous and misunderstood avian scavenger. Written in a style reminiscent of Edward Abbey and John McPhee, Fallon successfully captures the natural history of the species and its ability to succeed in both natural and man-made landscapes. Destined to change the mind of anyone who reads it.” — Keith L. Bildstein, PhD, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Naturalist and bird rehabilitator Fallon (Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird) presents an entertaining, well-researched title that nominally concerns the familiar turkey vulture but ranges widely, incorporating up-to-date information on condors and vultures worldwide… She displays great passion and enthusiasm yet writes knowingly and dispassionately on the science of her subject in an engaging, literary style.” — Library Journal, starred review

This book is about vultures in the human world, but nowhere in the story does the human aspect overly intrude. The great birds are front-and-center, consistently painted in a positive and empathetic light. It is to Fallon’s credit that she is able to coax the reader into the same love affair with vultures that she herself enjoys, without romanticizing her subject to the point of putting off her audience.” — Sense of the Misplaced

Who would have suspected the astonishments of vultures? Katie Fallon has given us an ingenious, funny, delightful book.”—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

More from Katie Online

Listen to an interview with Katie on BirdCallsRadio, September 2016.

Essay “Hill of the Sacred Eagles” published in Terrain and named a Finalist for its 2011 Creative Nonfiction Contest. This piece appears in a different form as a chapter in Vulture.

Essay “Dogs Bring Comfort in Wake of Virginia Tech Tragedy” in Bark Magazine, 2011.

An excerpt from Chapter Two of Cerulean Blues in The Tusculum Review, 2011.

Happy Reading!

xo

Mary

Monday Must Read! Splintered Memories, Leslie Rupracht

Beautiful work from an amazing literary citizen ❤

leslie-ruprachtLeslie M. Rupracht is the daughter of retired artists/art educators who moved their family each summer from Long Island, NY, to the Rupracht farm upstate, north of Syracuse. Leslie’s creative bent was nurtured early by her mother/muse and father/mentor. After earning a BA in English at The State University of New York at Geneseo, where she also studied journalism, public relations and studio art, Leslie infused her career with diverse right- and left-brained experiences. Her poetry has appeared in The Main Street RagIodine Poetry JournalOpen CutTHRIFT Poetic Arts Journal, and Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets (all editions); her prose is published in moonShine review, corporate and non-profit newsletters and magazines. Leslie is senior associate editor of Iodine Poetry Journal. Calling Charlotte, NC, home since 1997, Leslie enjoys life and laughter with husband/favorite architect, Will Weaver, and rescue mutt, Magnum.

Buy Splintered Memories from Main Street Rag

Praise for Splintered Memories

What a wonderfully honest portrait of an uncertain life. A woman in constant transition, painfully aware of her own aging, her own flaws, handwriting gone from calligraphic to indecipherable, vanity to humility, reason to compulsion, identity to doubt. This poetic narrative of a daughter’s relationship with a mother whose illness has deprived her of memory illuminates the impermanence of things, the relativity of reality, the tenuous nature of memory, perception and personality, whether they are fiction, or fact, or something in between.Scott Owens

More from Leslie Online

https://awriterswindow.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/national-poetry-month-leslie-m-rupracht/

http://www.charlottelit.org/event/reading-words-with-love/

https://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/book-releases-by-contributors/splintered-memories-by-leslie-m-rupracht/

Happy Reading!

xo

Mary

Monday Must Read! Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison

How desperately we need Ellison’s wisdom now.

Juneteenth is Ralph Ellison‘s second novel, published posthumously in 1999 as a 368-page condensation of over 2000 pages written by him over a period of forty years. It was originally written without any real organization, and Ellison’s longtime friend, biographer and critic John F. Callahan put the novel together, editing it in the way he thought Ellison would want it to be written.

Ellison’s literary executor, John Callahan, has now quarried a smaller, more coherent work from all that raw material. Gone are the epic proportions that Ellison so clearly envisioned. Instead, Juneteenth revolves around just two characters: Adam Sunraider, a white, race-baiting New England senator, and Alonzo “Daddy” Hickman, a black Baptist minister who turns out to have a paradoxical (and paternal) relationship to his opposite number. As the book opens, Sunraider is delivering a typically bigoted peroration on the Senate floor when he’s peppered by an assassin’s bullets. Mortally wounded, he summons the elderly Hickman to his bedside. There the two commence a journey into their shared past, which (unlike the rest of 1950s America) represents a true model of racial integration.

Buy Juneteenth: A Novel

Learn the History of Juneteenth Here

Juneteenth

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