23 August 2019
Make art about the power of story, of how story can change lives.
23 August 2019
Make art about the power of story, of how story can change lives.
Ace Boggess is author of the novel A Song Without a Melody and four books of poetry: I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled. He earned degrees from Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law. His fiction appears in Notre Dame Review, Lumina, Belmont Story Review, Superstition Review, and other journals. He received a fellowship for fiction from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.
Mercy Adams, the young existential heroine, follows a path of self-discovery through chaos at the turn of the millennium and beyond. Her friend Lucian Lang narrates the story of her struggle to overcome hurt in a world in transition. Violence, drug abuse, and a growing diversity of approaches to spirituality are the norm, setting up barriers to understanding and, ultimately, transformation. States of Mercy explores questions of identity and belief, but also friendship. How far can friends travel this road together before one goes where the other cannot follow? Mercy and Lucian intend to find out together, unless the mad world destroys them first.
Jonathan Corcoran is the author of the story collection, The Rope Swing, published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press. The Rope Swing was a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Awards and long-listed for The Story Prize. His stories have been anthologized in Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia and Best Gay Stories 2017. He received a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Rutgers University-Newark. Jonathan is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University and serves as a Visiting Writer in the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. He was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Praise for The Rope Swing
“Jonathan Corcoran’s Appalachian voice, so fierce, so tender,portrays tradition as both weapon and soothing balm. The Rope Swingtakes us inside quiet revolutions of the soul in mountain towns far from Stonewall: we can never go home again, but we recognize ourselves in these linked stories of love, loss, the economic tyranny of neglect and exploitation, and the lifelong alliance between those who stay and those who leave. The Rope Swing establishes a new American writer whose unerring instincts are cause for celebration.”
—Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Quiet Dell, Lark and Termite, and Black Tickets
Jessie 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 American, River Teeth, Image, Bellingham Review, Willow Springs, Rock & Sling, Appalachian 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.
Visit Jessie’s website: http://www.jessievaneerden.com/
Buy Jessie’s beautiful books!
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 Ghostbread, Queen 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 Ground, Strange as This Weather Has Been, and Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley
More from Jessie Online
Hear Jessie Read
Happy Reading, y’all!
Cat 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.
Buy Cat’s Books!
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
More from Cat Online
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.
Katie 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 Genre, River Teeth, Ecotone, Bark Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Isotope, Fourth River, the minnesota review, The 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.
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.