A! Magazine for the Arts

Linda Parsons

Linda Parsons

Regional poetry celebration to be held

March 1, 2017

A celebration of regional poetry is held at the Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia, March 26 at 3 p.m.

Linda Parsons is joined by regional poets from The Appalachian Center for Poets and Writers in Abingdon.

Knoxville poet Parsons' fourth volume of poetry, "This Shaky Earth," straddles time, family divisions and legacies, and the regions of her native Tennessee. Her poems offer readers a world in which growth and renewal, love and remembrance, bring past and present together.

Parsons is the former editor of Now & Then Magazine and an editor at the University of Tennessee. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Shenandoah, in Ted Kooser's syndicated column American Life in Poetry, and in numerous anthologies.

Her adaptation, "Macbeth Is the New Black," co-written with Jayne Morgan, was produced at Maryville College and Western Carolina University. Her play "Under the Esso Moon" was read as part of the 2016 Tennessee Stage Company's New Play Festival and will receive a staged reading in 2017.

Rees Shearer, Daryl Ann Beeghley, Warren Harris, Henry McCarthy and Deborah Meacham join her.

The Friends of the Library sponsor the event. Book sales and signing following the reading. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.wcpl.net.

My Grandmother's Housecoat

No one else's arms could fill these sleeves, no other shoulders, broad as a mule driver's shouting gee and haw all day to the factory buttonholer, the workhorse of her body circling home to this tufted chenille. Housecoat, she would say, not robe, word of the middle class whose dim surface her life barely rippled. Coral rosettes swirled down the front belied her scuffle to light the flame at five, doors shut to unheated rooms, her chug to the bus stop. I've clocked my time, hunched at a desk in violet fluorescence- but I've not spun the sameness of men's shirts in a hurricane of lint and bobbins, making production under a foreman's squint. I've not bowed to the unraveling of missed stitches, stuck gearbox and pulley, docked pay. In my closet, years after her death, robe shapeshifts to housecoat hung loose before the whistle blast, before she slips inside. Sometimes I sink into its rag batting, dwarfed by cuffs and waist. I drape myself in its tired embrace, used Kleenex still balled in the pocket.

(By Linda Parsons, printed with permission)