ABOUT THE BOOK Jacob Rakovan’s The Devil’s Radio broadcasts the elegies of so many, in a voice that lies down with them in their graves, touches their bones, and knows their stories. Cast against a backdrop of Appalachia in exile, Rakovan’s collection of poems mines the dark veins of life, love, and death.
1st Printing: Small Doggies Press 2013.
Small Doggies Press Trade Paperback Edition, October 2013
The lovely Rachel McKibbens has
tagged me in this thingamajig. I learned a long time ago to do pretty
much exactly what she tells me to if I know what's best for me so
here it is, albeit late as all get out:
is your working title of your book (or story)? I have two that I am
working on, currently. One is The Devil's Radio, which has managed to
be a finalist for the Linda Bruckheimer series in Kentucky literature, and the Gell but has, as yet, not found a home. The other
is my NEA funded project, which has the working title of Dark Hollow:
An Appalachian History in Verse, but I am sure I will change that, as
that title sounds pretentious as hell.
did the idea come from for the book? The ever-growing piles
of poems that were not in a book, that inter-related gave birth to
The Devil's Radio, which started as a culling from a much more
terrible book called The Broken Heads of Saints that is now pretty
much safely dead. The history is pretty much what it says on the can,
although calling it history is pretty generous. More of a collection
around the central theme of what it is to be an Appalachian, how
untenable it is to stay, or to go, to live with a homeland that you
can never return to, to live in exile, and to be the last culture
where they sell your teeth as a gag in a vending machine. Expect
poems about Moonbeam Mcswine, and guns, and giant, monstrous, mutated
catfish the size of volkswagen buses and absolutely true family
history of murder, baloney knives and hair grease.
genre does your book fall under? Poetry,
actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie
rendition? ...Harry Dean Stanton and Brad Dourif can play everyone except the
women...probably most of the women too.
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Hillbilly book
learnin' and witchery
your book be self-published or represented by an agency? (if
this applies - otherwise, make up another question to answer!) I
hope someone wants this damn thing already.Agents tend to avoid poetry
like it's catching, so I am assuming maybe a merciful small press
will be interested in us making a lot of no money together.
long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript My
whole damn life.
other books would you compare this story to within your genre? IreneMcKinney's work, Diane Gilliam Fisher's work, the Spoon River
Anthology, Murder ballads, Jack Tales, Grimm's and Borges, with a
healthy sprinkling of T.S. Eliot and Anne Sexton...sounds like a
godawful mess, doesn't it?
or what inspired you to write this book? Probably Thomas Merton
can be blamed. And that time my cousins fed me whiskey when I was four. All the chemicals in the river.
else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I don't know..If I haven't sold you yet, it seems unlikely that I will pull you in with some sparkling fact. I guess Jethro Bodine will probably put in an appearance, somewhere along the line.
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