Is there anything more holy than to salvage something others have perceived as trash, to resurrect it, to make new life from what was deemed artless and unworthy? Woolfitt performs miracle after miracle by writing poems about the discarded, the abused and ignored, the threatened ways of life that are slipping into the past in his beloved Appalachia.
—Todd Davis, author of In the Kingdom of the Ditch and The Least of These
Beauty Strip (Texas Review Press, forthcoming)
poems from Beauty Strip: “Gauley River Blues,” reprinted in Virginia Quarterly Review’s Instapoety Series; “Absentee,” reprinted in r.kv.r.y.; “Water Shrew as the Apostle Peter,” originally appeared in Town Creek Poetry ;”Vanishing Lines,” originally appeared in Still: the Journal
Chorus Frog (poetry) will be published by Yellow Flag Press in 2014.
Not only big eared bats “open their mouths in ardor” in Chorus Frog. Every poem is lyric enough to make a reader gasp at its rich language. Whether praising the elegance of a swimming shrew’s pearly slippers or imagining with empathy a woman who has left behind, to history, her hairpins, Woolfitt’s writing is equally sensuous and spiritual. Chorus Frog both gets down to the bones of timeless stories and fleshes out the small lives (of animals, of unnamed ancestors) otherwise overlooked. Generosity of perception such as Woolfitt’s saves what is beautiful in the world, not as hard fossils, but as lively poems.
–Rose McLarney, author of The Always Broken Plates of Mountains
The Boy with Fire in His Mouth (fiction, 2014) won the 2012 Epiphany Editions chapbook contest judged by Darin Strauss.
Woolfitt blurs boundaries between poetry and prose as easily as he blurs the borders between countries. The characters here possess a dizzying array of problems, an equally broad array of passions, but Woolfitt casts an empathetic, lyrical eye on each person, each story.
–Caitlin Horrocks, author of This Is Not Your City
The Salvager’s Arts (poetry, 2013) was selected by Sascha Feinstein as co-winner of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize.
William Kelley Woolfitt understands the poet’s job, to make a word-world out of the objects and experiences we find in the world around us. He has even given it an apt nomination, The Salvager’s Arts, which describes not only how to build an ark, but also how to build a poem.
– Jesse Graves, author of Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine and Basin Ghosts
header photograh: Yellow Spring Mill (Sepia), zizzybaloobah
abandoned mill site near the Cacapon River in Yellow Spring, WV