Porter Square Books is glad to welcome Glenn Taylor, author of The Songs of Betty Baach, in conversation with Darius Atefat- Peckham. This event will take place on Thursday, March 30 at 7pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140).
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Some called her the Everywhen Woman. She claimed to be 321 years of age. In 2038, after the big storm and the great flood and the bad times, Betty Baach wrote these words down and sometimes spoke them aloud, at her homeplace on Freon Hill. She referred to them as songs. All stories are songs, she’d always say.
Set in West Virginia, The Songs of Betty Baach is a magical guide to resisting despair and a compendium of wisdom and rhythms by which to fortify oneself. The lives of the Baaches of Keystone and the Knoxes of Mosestown twist and connect in a tale of survival and retribution that crosses three centuries—moving from Betty’s girlhood in colonial America to a future warped by environmental collapse and political unrest. Refusing the erasure of the lives of women, Indigenous peoples, and Black people who have always called this region home, this eloquent and distinctive novel is a necessary remedy for the continued distortion of a land and its inhabitants.
Glenn Taylor is the author of the novels A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, The Marrowbone Marble Company, and The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. His work has appeared in the Oxford American, the Guardian, Gulf Coast, Electric Literature, and Huizache, among other outlets. Born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, Taylor now resides in Morgantown, where he is associate professor of English at West Virginia University.
Darius Atefat-Peckham is an Iranian-American poet and essayist. He is the author of How Many Love Poems, (Seven Kitchens Press, 2021) and editor of Susan Atefat-Peckham’s posthumous collection Deep Are These Distances Between Us (CavanKerry Press, 2023). His work has recently appeared in Poetry Magazine, Poem-a-Day, Shenandoah, Rattle, The Journal, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. Atefat-Peckham grew up in Huntington, West Virginia and currently studies English and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard.
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