We will be hosting a virtual conversation with Julia Koets and Scott Gould on April 13th at 7PM! Julia Koets is the author of Pine (Winner of the 2019 Michael Waters Poetry Prize). Scott Gould is the award-winning author of Hub City Press title Strangers to Temptation, and the more recent memoir, Things That Crash, Things That Fly. Join us for a conversation and question-and-answer session with these two authors!
Pine maps a secret relationship between two women in the South, where certain kinds of desire—queer desire, in particular—have historically been hidden and feared. Creating new landscapes of identity by reimagining form, modifying villanelles, sonnets, elegies, thank-you notes, and dictionary entries, Pine’s imagistic and metaphorical associations between the body and the natural world form a queer ecology of longing and loss.
“The poems in Pine are poems I was afraid to write when I wrote my first collection. Growing up queer in the South, I was afraid to write about queer desire, and I didn’t feel like I could write these poems until I was in my late twenties and early thirties. I wrote this book because I was no longer afraid of going home.”--Julia Koets
“In Pine, Julia Koets has created a new queer catalog, a field guide for those of us who couldn’t claim a vocabulary in the closets of our youth, much less rely on any kind of compass. In doing so, this moving collection redeploys, with remarkable candor, the language used against us—sometimes out of our own mouths—and brings memory close enough to reconsider with the intelligence and finesse time affords. Pine reminds me that a queer root is as much about desire as it is about survival, and Koets is a worthy guide in both pursuits.”--Meg Day
“Julia Koets shows us in the sinews of her images how growing up in a small town in the South, while abiding by one’s queer heart, requires an imaginative and oft-unsung resourcefulness. These poems stunningly herald the girls ‘who lie down in fields, their bicycles / on their sides, too, like horses / asleep in the sun.’ In this formally inventive collection, you’ll also find an interdisciplinary study of Eros, a string of mostly well-behaved thank-you notes, and a whole antlery of villanelles. Pine is a necessary and erotic record of deviations and a fearless collection.”--Jenny Johnson
“Julia Koets writes villanelles like nobody else. Here’s Heraclitus, Ann Cvetkovich, and Sally Ride. Here’s an invented form, in ‘Vernal Equinox,’ that’s something like a villanelle caught a ride with a sonnet. Here’s a queer Southern love story in the field and by the ocean. I love this book. It’s stunning.”--Jillian Weise
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As a husband and wife make plans for an Italian vacation with friends—to visit her family’s Tuscan village—she makes an unexpected, last-minute addition to the itinerary: she plans to leave him upon their return to the States. And her bombshell includes a strange caveat. He isn’t allowed to breathe a word of it to their traveling companions. So begins Things That Crash, Things That Fly, the groundbreaking new memoir from award-winning writer Scott Gould.
Gould navigates that awkward vacation with his soon-to-be estranged wife in Serra, Italy, then sets out on another, longer journey—a winding route through heartbreak and anger, confusion and futility, despair and discovery. When Gould wangles (under dubious circumstances) a fellowship to research the death of William Guilfoil, a young WWII fighter pilot who crashed and died in the hills near Serra, he instead sets his sights on clarity and closure in his ex-wife’s ancestral home. As he grinds through an uncharted future, his story and Guilfoil’s become intertwined, and Gould gathers the fragments of a fractured heart. With a brutal honesty tempered with surprising humor, he tells us how he begins to stitch them back together.
Things That Crash, Things That Fly is about many things: lost love, daughters and fathers, evaporating marriage, Italian sandals, friendship, bad knees, acrobatic birds, secrecy, oddly placed piercings…but most of all, Gould’s inventive memoir is about how it’s truly possible to rise and soar, even after you’ve struck the ground.
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Julia Koets is the author of The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays (2019, Red Hen Press), Hold Like Owls (2012, The University of South Carolina Press), and Pine (forthcoming from Southern Indiana Review Press, Fall 2020). Julia is the winner of the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award judged by Mark Doty and the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize judged by National Book Award Winner Nikky Finney. Julia's essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Indiana Review, Nimrod, The Los Angeles Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Portland Review. She earned her M.F.A. in poetry at the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She's an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida.
Scott Gould was born, raised, and still lives in South Carolina. His first book, Strangers to Temptation—a linked story collection the Atlanta Journal Constitution called “a compulsive read” and Foreward Reviews dubbed “funny, often poignant, and not easily forgotten”—was published by Hub City Press in 2017. Whereabouts, his debut novel published by Koehler Books, is available in October, 2020. Gould’s memoir, Things That Crash, Things That Fly (Vine Leaves Press), will be published in March of 2021, and his next novel, The Hammerhead Chronicles, will be published by the University of North Georgia Press in June of 2021. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Kenyon Review, New Stories from the South, Black Warrior Review, Carolina Quarterly, Pithead Chapel, Garden & Gun, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse and The Bitter Southerner, among others. He is a two-time winner of the S.C. Arts Commission's Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose and the S.C. Academy of Authors Fiction Fellowship. He lives in Sans Souci, South Carolina with a cat and a dog, and teaches creative writing at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities. He is still pulling for the Braves.