Faculty Bookshelf

Publications by College Writing Program Faculty

Women and Fairness: Navigating an Unfair World
Blood in the Bluegrass
Avery Colt is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar
Lost Horizon
Ocean
When the Dead Get Mail
Forest
Life After Rugby
Portrait of My Ex With Giant Burrito
The Lost Ode
Newcomer
World of Mortal Light
Euphoria Takes One for the Team
Many Brave Hearts: A Memoir
The Shape of a Man
Inside Such Darkness
Heidegger’s Temple

Women and Fairness: Navigating an Unfair World

"This collection brings together scholars from various disciplines to ask fundamental questions concerning how women handle the manifold impediments placed before them as they simply attempt to live full human lives." Contributions include Senior Lecturer and Assistant Dean Deanna Benjamin's "Writing Someone Else’s Story: Entitlement and Empathy in Maxine Hong Kingston’s 'No Name Woman.'"

Blood in the Bluegrass

"Horsewoman and novelist Virginia Slachman, captures the essence of why devotees of Thoroughbred racing are so enraptured by the majesty, courage and sensitivity of the animal. The author has crafted a fast-paced tale of mystery, highlighted by drugs, murder, love and family, against a backdrop of Bluegrass traditions. Action packed from the get-go and filled with unique characters, the book is hard to put down as it races headlong at full speed to the finish line."

                                   --Barry Irwin, Founder/CEO Team Valor International

Avery Colt is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar

Austin’s semi-autobiographical, linked story collection follows the misadventures of Avery Colt as he struggles to survive in North St. Louis alongside his family. Learning the best way to slaughter a goat, rebuilding his family’s corner market, and reckoning the weight of a revolver are a few of the challenges Avery faces. As he matures through each page, Avery takes control of his circumstances and attempts dangerous feats of alchemy. Charged with urgency and emotion, Austin’s prose faithfully renders a community determined to overcome crisis with strength, dark humor, and plenty of heart.

Lost Horizon

Poetry. Taking as a point of departure the retail utopia of the American mallscapea composite of town square, garden and space stationLOST HORIZON spirals out through interstate and rail to touch national parks, local attractions, truck stops, big box stores, strip malls, tattoo parlors, oil rigs, flower shops, and baggage claims. Throughout the incessant movement of the book-length poem, unbroken by stanzas or sections, Farrell privileges observation over judgment and seeks out the crossroads between cultural myth and brand image. The poem speaks from between the mall fountain and the wishing well, the Disney princess and Spenserian queen, the noble hero and the voyeur. LOST HORIZON is a poem that catalogs and indexes the collision between fantasies of high and low.

Ocean

'Ocean' is a collection of ten short stories and poems in a range of genres, including work from Megan Elizabeth Allen, Faye R Allison, Cathryn Burge, Ekaterina Fawl, Kim Henkel, Helen Kenwright, Susi Liarte, KJ Lowe and E.L. Thompson.

When the Dead Get Mail

When the Dead Get Mail, from Finishing Line Press (2019), is a collection of poems that draws from working class life, loss/neglect, and the strangeness of parallel universes with unusual coincidences. From young speakers longing for the planet Saturn to older speakers reflecting on urban decay, WTDGM takes readers from rural America, to dreams, to North County St. Louis, and even to outer space.

Forest

'Forest' includes stories in various genres, written by eight exciting new writers: Helen Kenwright, LH Annable, Ekaterina Fawl, Susi Liarte, Cathryn Burge, Emmalynn Spark, KJ Lowe and Megan Elizabeth Allen.

Life After Rugby

"I take deep pleasure in these poems, wishing to park in front of them--sexy and larger than life as they are--with my feet up and a big bowl of popcorn." In a collection peppered with odes to films and stars, an elegy for Whitney Houston, and more than a few surprises, Eileen G'Sell gives us more than a little 'history, hilarity, the strewn blooms of rhyme.' Settle in, my friends. You are in for a treat." --D.A. Powell

Portrait of My Ex With Giant Burrito

“The long-waylaid fairy godmother of sycophants and sad men, bossy girls and scrappy children has come at last around the mountain of disinherited All-American dreams. We didn’t know to hope she’d be hilarious. Or, that Sappho and Amy Schumer, James Tate and Whoopi Goldberg would be riding her white horses pouring yolky shots of sunrise G’Sell is daring us to take.”
—Amy Wright

The Lost Ode

Literary scholar and amateur sleuth Julia has stumbled on a family secret . . . a secret steeped in the history of Kentucky’s thoroughbred country and linked to the descendants of poet John Keats and his brother George. When the owner of Brookfield Stud, Gray Burke, is arrested for homicide on his thoroughbred breeding farm, Julia is left to solve the murder and prove his innocence while following the trail to the Keats’s lost fortune. Solving the murder may lead to love and treasure, but has Julia back the wrong horse in believing Gray Burke’s innocence? This is a great book for horse lovers, literary and history lovers, and general as well as cozy mystery lovers. A little murder, a little love, and a lost fortune . . . what could be better?

Newcomer

Poetry. Part historical fiction and part nature poem, NEWCOMER takes place in a wartime landscape estranged by nostalgia and American story-telling. A soldier passes through a landscape that is mutable, both familiar and foreign, while memories of home come in waves, receding and reappearing in images of crisp grass and in the sounds of wind. Military epic mixes with pastoral romance, and neither are resolved. Instead, NEWCOMER's investigation of entropic minutia suggests a very contemporary (perhaps post-traumatic) confusion of temporality, and by this turns our thoughts toward a phenomenology of historical imagination.

World of Mortal Light

In her new book, World of Mortal Light, Virginia Slachman suggests that the art of poetry is “a thing made of paint and mind.” Indeed, in long, musical lines she vividly paints the “real world,” which is, she tells us, “a world of concept, still.” We find in “The Origin of the Work of Art,” for example, Heidegger, Van Gogh, and the poet’s dog Lily, a “little brown being in the dirt.”  Slachman moves with remarkable skill from one to another—philosopher, artist, animal—in a richly textured poetry that invites us, also, to contemplate “how the world worlds.”
                                                      --Allison Funk

Euphoria Takes One for the Team

Chapbook published in 2013 by Dancing Girl Press

Many Brave Hearts: A Memoir

Many Brave Hearts is an unblinking, eloquent, deeply felt account of how war can shatter emotional lives and undermine our deepest bonds. Virginia Slachman has documented for us the story, not only of her family and its slow disintegration over the years, but a narrative powerfully representative of a collective American experience. In highly accomplished, skillful prose the book offers readers a fascinating double-narrative that enhances and illuminates both. Father and daughter speak not so much to each other as to their common experience and grief. It is a beautiful and devastating testament and it is redeemed, in the only way possible, with ultimate understanding and love.

The Shape of a Man

Musician/poet/agent provocateur Chris King discovers some acutely painful sharp angles that contribute to The Shape of a Man. These are poems full of beer, bad guys, car rides, near-talismanic ears of corn, and a laundromat where the speaker’s determined to see his dirty laundry through, all the way to dry—to “pay for / heat, finish something, for once.”

-David Clewell, second Missouri poet laureate

Inside Such Darkness

If some books try to imitate the world and others merely listen to it, Virginia Slachman's second collection actively confronts what she calls "the August-heat, rolled-down-windows, drive-by bitch of a life."  Inside Such Darkness is an ardent collection of prayers, arguments, and pointed questions.  Slachman's approach is bold and unrelenting, her rhythms vibrant with the energy of thought.  "It takes work to see," she tells us, and her fierce engagement with the reality of loss and the limited consolations we are offered gives these poems a brilliance that cuts through the dark.
                                                             --Don Bogen

Heidegger’s Temple

Heidegger’s Temple offers layers of metaphor, exquisitely composed, that beckon us to ponder new ideas and complex states of feeling as sensuous discoveries, freshly illumined philosophic landscapes where order doesn’t depend on the centrality of the human. Slachman is not content with art as allusion merely; instead she imaginatively inhabits a given sensibility, making that way of seeing palpable. The artist most deeply alive in this collection is Rainer Maria Rilke; his tragic sense of death as life’s most basic process fits well with Slachman’s edgier voice and her vigilant resistance to unearned harmonies.
                                                             --Beth Ash