February 24, 2018

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...]

Coffee with Erin Morgenstern

Yesterday Chapter 16 published "In Praise of Making Things Up" an interview by Sarah Norris with Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, who will be reading in Nashville next week at the Nashville Public Library. Being a big fan of Chapter 16 and of The Night Circus, I shared the article - and a reminder of the reading - on Facebook as soon as I read it. "I can’t go that night," a friend commented. "I’m bummed." "I'm not sure I can go, either," I replied. And then, right there … [Read more...]

What’s All This Praying and Politicking for the Mountains About, Anyway?

I often use social media to encourage my friends to pray for the mountains, or to contact their legislators to protect the mountains. Those posts don't always get a lot of comments, but sometimes someone will ask me in person,  "WHAT are you talking about?" So here's a bit of background information, and a great music video that helps explain. Living on a very flat piece of middle Tennessee, I'd never heard of a mining process called mountaintop removal (MTR) until I started attending writing … [Read more...]