Bottom Dog Press, Inc., an independent Ohio publisher, has announced the release of a new book of poetry set in Appalachia by author Chris Green of Marshall University. The poems are set in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, and deal with themes of place and family. The book is part of the press’s Appalachian and Working Lives Series.
Gurney Norman, Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of Kinfolks describes the book: “Chris Green’s Rushlight is a powerful new book of poems. Rushlights were made from rushes growing in marshy ground by old-time working people as substitutes for candles, to push against the darkness of the night. For me, Chris Green’s poems light the world in a similar way. I see better in my own dark through these brilliant poems, for which I thank this very necessary writer.”
Chris Green lives in Huntington, West Virginia, where he teaches, writes about, and crusades for Appalachian literature and social justice at Marshall University. He was born and raised in Lexington, a city of some 300,000 in central Kentucky. He recalls, “When I was a high school senior, I asked the AP English teacher, ‘Why don’t we read anyone from Kentucky?’ She leaned over her podium and proclaimed, ‘There are no great writers from Kentucky.’ Thus, I began my quest to discover Kentucky and meet other writers.” He is co-editor of Coal: A Poetry Anthology, has most recently authored The Social Life of Poetry: Appalachia, Race, and Radical Modernism, and is working on a history of Appalachian literature.
During the 1990s his quest then took him to the mountains in Boone, North Carolina, on to Bloomington, Indiana, and (after marriage) to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “All the while, I sought to understand how poetry lived in the world and the world lived in poetry.” He taught poetry writing to college students, to elders in community centers, to special education students in rural Indiana, to kids in juvenile correctional facilities, and to poets in the community. Along the way, he staged community readings and celebrations of the world and the word.
In 1999, Green returned to Lexington, Kentucky, where he took over editorship of Wind publications and taught as a poet-in-the-schools around the state. He also became a father, completed his PhD, and rediscovered his connection to the mountains. He states, “My passions for poetry, people, justice, and community are now united in my work at Marshall University, where I help students to tell their stories, and thus touch, value, and fight for their worlds.” The author is a member of the Appalachian Studies Association.
The book which is 104 pages long is available in soft cover ($15) and may be ordered directly from Bottom Dog Press (PO Box 425, Huron, Ohio 44839) at http://smithdocs.net, or at area and on-line bookstores. A series of readings and book signings is planned.
[Chris Green may be reached at: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Or Contact Larry Smith, editor of the press at: 419-433-5560, ext. 20784]