October 22, 2017

Celebrating women in my life with poems – and a little banjo

With Mother’s Day almost upon us, it seems a good time to share a couple of poems I've recently published celebrating two of the many marvelous women in my life. The first poem is "Our Spirits Shall Sorrow No More."  Available in both print and audio here in Deep South Magazine, it's about my grandmother - known as "Mamaw" to multiple generations of my family - but if you grew up in the South or Appalachia, it may remind you of your mama or granny, too. I think Mamaw would particularly … [Read more...]

Your Sun, Manny: A Prose Poem Memoir (and Book Giveaway)

They first saw him on TV as "Wednesday's Child," a feature on the Boston news. They had already raised two boys - her sons from a previous relationship - when they invited Manny into their lives. "The story of any boy's fourteen years should tumble and trip over dogs and cousins and best friends, baseball gloves and birthday parties, hand-me-down bicycles, stuffed animals, crayoned drawings stuck to refrigerators with alphabet magnets, sports posters and lacy valentines from Guess Who," Marie … [Read more...]

Tennessee Joltwagon: Words & Music in Knoxville (and Beyond)

After a great trip to Knoxville back in December, Kelsey and I are delighted to be invited back so soon for a new collaboration. Along with poets Dawn Coppock and Susan Underwood, we'll be appearing as the group Tennessee Joltwagon and celebrating our Appalachian roots in words and music for two unique performances in one weekend: At noon on Saturday, February 18th,  we'll be on the WDVX Blue Plate Special. The one-hour show broadcasts live before a studio audience at noon EST from the … [Read more...]

Yay! A New Year, and My 2011 Favorites in Books, Music and Techy Stuff

On Christmas morning, each of us Wells found a different Yay! LiFE! magnet in our stocking. As they congregated on our fridge later in the day (undoubtedly holding out hope for a bite of  yay! sausage balls! or yay! eggnog!), I realized that they are an astonishingly simple but enthusiastic expression for most of the passions in my life: Yay! Books! was in my stocking and of course represents my love for reading and writing both prose and poetry. Favorite fiction I read in 2011: The Night … [Read more...]

A Child’s Poem Inspires My Prayer for the Mountains

Recently in a used book store, I came across a small volume entitled Chrysalis by Harry Behn. Although the book had a worn and yellowed jacket, its subject matter – children and poetry – and a quick thumb-through convinced me to purchase it to read for myself and share with a friend. It has a number of delightful stories and insights, but one particularly stuck with me. Behn tells of working with a group of children in which one little boy shares this poem: Did you think about the … [Read more...]