I’m so pleased my interview in the Winter 2017 issue of Appalachian Heritage puts me in the same company as former Kentucky poet laureate, George Ella Lyon; my former student, Tasha Cotter; and so many other established and emerging writers. Thanks to editor, Jason Howard, for making me part of this outstanding journal.
“Hensley’s language in painting Appalachian communities is haunting and beautiful, and each story. . .falls into place as a chain in the unforgettable ring that is Landfall: A Ring of Stories.” -Allyson Hoffman
I’m over the moon with Allyson Hoffman’s review of Landfall at NewPages.com. The quote above sums it up nicely, but if you care to read the review in its entirety, you can do so by clicking here. Thank you, Allyson. Thank you, NewPages!
Latest review of Landfall
I recently received some happy news from my M.F.A. Alma mater, Arizona State University. The December 2016 issue of ASU Alumni Magazine includes a review of my collection, Landfall: A Ring of Stories, in its Shelf Improvement section.
To read the full text, click here.
And, of course, Go Sun Devils!
Sneak Previews and Pre-Orders
My novel-in-stories is available ahead of schedule! Friends are already receiving their pre-sale copies of Landfall: A Ring of Stories. This is the book that Michelle Herman selected as the winner of the 2015 Ohio State University Press Non/fiction Prize and Rilla Askew selected as the winner of the 2006 Everett Southwest Literary Award. (Many, many years in the making, it was conceived as my MFA thesis back at Arizona State University.)
Landfall chronicles three generations of several families in Conrad’s Fork, a fictional Appalachian town. I’m lining up lots of readings and book club visits starting this summer, including some via Skype. Email me if you’re interested.
You can order Landfall: A Ring of Stories as a paperback or e-book through Ohio State University Press or through dozens of other online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
On the Trail of a Novel
I just finished an amazing residency at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap where I worked on my novel-in-progress, The Recklessness of Water. Nothing like greeting fall in the mountains of North Georgia. The first few days were rainy and cool. I loved waking to the sound of the rain on the roof of my studio. As always, it took me a day or two to withdraw from my busy life and sink into all that creative quiet. To cope, I constructed an elaborate, colorful outline on the wall of my studio and worked on short, lyric, intercalary chapters.
Halfway through the residency, I took part in the Hambidge Great ARTdoors festival. My family came down for the event. The kids loved watching the ten-foot wolf puppet move through the crowd. They got to paint Raku pottery and “help” create an amazing community sculpture from borrowed ladders. While it was hard to say goodbye, I was eager to get back to work.
When the sun came out, the leaves began to fall, and I found a lovely rhythm. In the morning, I led yoga classes on the screened porch of Lucinda’s rock house or hiked the waterfall trail. I wrote all afternoon. My desk was in front of a large window, so whenever I looked up from my laptop, there was the golden flurry from the ash and maple trees. One evening, when I drove out of the holler to phone my kids, a double rainbow spread across the farm pastures.
I finished eight intercalary chapters and three regular-length chapters—meaning I have only one and a half to go! I also began mapping possible creative collaborations with two amazing artists, print maker, Catherine Clements and painter Isabela Munci. Even the tire blow-out I experienced on the way home just outside of Sylvia, North Carolina, couldn’t dampen my experience. Now, if I can just keep that momentum going!
Check out more Hambidge pics on my Facebook author page: Julie Hensley
I’m really pleased with the cover art for my poetry collection, Viable, coming in December 2015 from Five Oaks Press. Kudos to my editor, Lynn Houston, for her beautiful design work. Pre-sales coming soon!