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Appalachian Writer Matthew Parsons to Share Poems and Music

Appalachian Writer Matthew Parsons to Share Poems and Music

Matthew Parsons, an Appalachian writer and singer-songwriter, will give a poetry reading at your Library on Saturday, March 16.

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Hannah Kiger

Your Library is excited to host a poetry reading with Matthew Parsons, an eastern Kentucky-based writer and musician, on Saturday, March 16 at 3 p.m. in the Library’s Jones Meeting Center.

Parsons will read selections from his debut collection of poetry, Mountain Roosters, and play original songs. Mountain Roosters was published by Pine Row Press in January 2024, and will be for sale at the event.

The poet, singer-songwriter and farmer has spent his life in Appalachia. He grew up in southern West Virginia and east Tennessee, and now lives with his wife and kids in the farming community of Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Parsons’ new book delves into themes of masculinity, societal expectations and cultural identity in modern rural Appalachia. He explores these topics through the lens of his own evolving relationships with men who have been influential in his life, including his father and stepfather.

Best-selling author and Kentucky’s poet laureate Silas House has praised Mountain Roosters, writing, “There is so much music within the pages of this debut collection…The book also contains wordplay, wit, history, and deep insights into Appalachian culture.”

House continues, “It is rare for such a young writer to possess so much wisdom but it shows up throughout the pages of Mountain Roosters, announcing a bright new voice who is celebrating and critiquing his place and his people in complex, beautiful ways.”

Parsons’ poetry has been featured in print and online journals such as Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Rattle and Still: the Journal. He is also a professional musician and songwriter who has toured domestically and internationally with The Price Sisters, The Local Honeys, and Whistle & Fish.

You can find out more about Parsons on Facebook and Instagram, and listen to selections of his music and poetry here.

Call Adult Services Librarian Jonathan Burchett at (423) 434-4356 for more details about Parsons’ poetry reading.

Check out our calendar of events for adults to find more upcoming author talks and other engaging programs. Follow Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram to receive updates about Library programs, collections, and services.

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