Hybrid | Poet Quartet: Ann Fisher-Wirth, Peggy Hammond, Susan O’Dell Underwood, Linda Parsons

Image contains the headshots of Ann Fisher-Wirth, Peggy Hammond, Susan O’Dell Underwood, and Linda Parsons and the covers of their books: Paradise is Jagged, The Fifth House Tilts, Splinter, and Valediction.

Join us for our monthly poetry reading series coordinated by Mildred Barya. This month, we welcome Ann Fisher-Wirth, Peggy Hammond, Susan O’Dell Underwood, and Linda Parsons. 

This is a hybrid event with limited in-store seating and the option to attend online. The event is free but registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. 

Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event. 

Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form.

All featured books will be available for purchase at the event. This event also includes a book signing.

If you would like a signed book but can't attend in person, you may order a signed copy online below. 

If you would like to have your book personalized, please order online or call the store at least two hours before the start of the event. When ordering online, use the comments field to provide a name for personalization, e.g. “To Paul.” NOTE: We do our best to get books personalized when requested but personalization is not guaranteed.

If you decide to attend and to purchase books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop's. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

Ann Fisher-Wirth’s eighth book of poems is a poetry/photography collaboration with Wilfried Raussert, Into the Chalice of Your Thoughts (University of Guadalajara Press, forthcoming). Her seventh book is Paradise Is Jagged (Terrapin Books, 2023). Her sixth is The Bones of Winter Birds. With Laura-Gray Street, she coedited The Ecopoetry Anthology and is currently coediting The Ecopoetry Anthology: Volume II. A senior fellow of the Black Earth Institute, she has had Fulbrights to Switzerland and Sweden, and residencies at Djerassi, Hedgebrook, and elsewhere. She’s the recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Literature and Poetry from the Mississippi Arts Commission. For more, visit https://annfisherwirth.com

 “In this extraordinary collection, Ann Fisher-Wirth looks levelly at mortality, grief, and memory, and reckons with what it is to be urgently alive, bringing her incisive nuance to subjects ranging from the loss of a beloved sister to Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary to our imperiled natural world to the comforts of marital love. In “Wooden Comb,” Fisher-Wirth writes, “I cannot reconcile how the world is sweet, how the world is burning.” Paradise Is Jagged is too wise a book to promise impossible reconciliation. Instead it offers a benediction of sorts: Walk with me through this difficult and tender place, it says. Willingly, gratefully, we do." –Catherine Pierce 


Peggy Hammond is a writer and retired educator. Her recent poems are published or forthcoming in Roanoke Review, The Spotlong Review, Ghost City Review, Salvation South, The Shore, and elsewhere. She is a Best of the Net nominee, an Eric Hoffer Poetry Award nominee, and the author of The Fifth House Tilts (Kelsay Books, 2022).  She is also a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and her full-length play A Little Bit of Destiny was produced by OdysseyStage Theatre in Durham, NC. For more, visit https://peggyhammondpoetry.com/

“With lush, inventive metaphors, Peggy Hammond’s poems in The Fifth House Tilts tell a story of marital betrayal and healing mapped to the actual, phenomenal earth in all its forms: the speaker’s garden, the turning seasons, the roots and branches of trees, cities from Paris to Bruges, the graveside of an unknown person where the speaker imagines herself the honored widow, embraced by others. She flows as though water to the dawning reality that she is alone—Of being beloved,/I must not be covetous—and that she will survive. Through tightly woven images and persistent truth-telling, the speaker arrives back at herself: I have ceased suffering/the singe of your desires./I am granite./I will not crumble. This is a book not only of survival, but of the very mechanics of hope and despair and perseverance, and one to which I will come back again.” –Erica Bodwell


Susan O'Dell Underwood taught and directed the creative writing program at Carson-Newman University before her retirement in 2023. She’s the author of two chapbooks of poetry, two full-length collections—The Book of Awe (Iris, 2018), Splinter (Madville, 2023), and a novel, Genesis Road (2022) also by Madville Publishing. Her poems, essays, and fiction are published or forthcoming in a variety of journals and anthologies, including A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Oxford American, Alaska Quarterly Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Ecotone. For more, visit http://www.susanodellunderwood.com

“Everybody lived closer to the ground then," says Susan O'Dell Underwood at the beginning of Splinter, her rich evocation of Appalachia-the land, the people, the animals-and the changes that occur as its sons and daughters leave to find different lives, but who cannot forget that fireflies were once lightning bugs and cicadas were jarflies. Beauty and darkness are woven throughout these pages, and they will leave you with a moving portrait of a place forever changed.” –Barbara Hamby


Linda Parsons is the poetry editor for Madville Publishing and the copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. She is published in such journals as The Georgia ReviewIowa ReviewPrairie SchoonerTerrain, Baltimore ReviewShenandoah, and elsewhere. Her sixth collection, Valediction, contains poems and prose. Five of her plays have been produced by Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

“Linda Parsons has written a book we sorely need—lyric meditations composed with an impeccable ear, explorations of family love and loss, flowering and decline, sunderings and difficult reunion. Combining sure-handed verse with prose poems of drastic intensity, Valediction reminds us the world is a cutting garden worthy of relentless tending and care. These hard-won poems are the harvest of a talent in high season.” —Bobby C. Rogers

Event address: 
virtual or in person option
Paradise Is Jagged By Ann Fisher-Wirth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947896604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Terrapin Books - February 1st, 2023

The Fifth House Tilts By Peggy Hammond Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639801459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kelsay Books - July 29th, 2022

Splinter: poems By Susan O'Dell Underwood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956440294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Madville Publishing - June 1st, 2023

Valediction: Poems and Prose By Linda Parsons Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956440614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Madville Publishing LLC - June 1st, 2023

The Animals of My Earth School By Mildred Kiconco Barya Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947896635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Terrapin Books - April 10th, 2023

SKU: x672389