Appalachian Book Series

Within Our Working Lives Series
Bottom Dog Press, Inc.
& Bird Dog Publishing

All of these books may be purchased from

Bottom Dog Press/ PO Box 425/ Huron, OH 44839
[Please include $2.00 for shipping and handling.]
Query at
See New DVD on James Wright and Kenneth Patchen at the bottom.

The Long River Home
A Novel
by Larry Smith

In this fine Appalachian novel, Larry Smith chronicles four generations of McCalls, their joys and sorrows, their sins and their nobility….Such regional fiction has always been about people: their connections with one another, their home place, their struggles to survive and to prosper. It’s all here, set, in the grand tradition of Wendell Berry and Conrad Richter, against the Ohio landscape: its hills and its rivers, its frontier beginnings and its later industrial development. We care about the place and its people. Finishing the novel, we understand ourselves and our nation with a deeper knowledge.
 -Annabel Thomas, author of Stone Man Mountain

A story of struggle and joys, of a family realizing itself.
240 pages 978-1-933964-30-0 Hard Cover $22
978-1-933964-31-7 Soft Cover $16

Rushlight: Poems

Chris Green

Chris Green's Rushlight is a powerful new book of poems. Rushlights were made from rushes growing in marshy ground by old-time working people as substitutes for candles, to push against the darkness of the night. For me, Chris’ poems light the world in a similar way. I see better in my own dark through these brilliant poems, for which I thank this very necessary writer.                 

            — Gurney Norman, Kentucky Poet Laureate and  author of Kinfolks

978-1-933964-33-1    104 pages  $15.00   



Degrees of Elevation
Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia

Edited by Charles Dodd White & Page Seay

Writers include: Rusty Barnes,  Sheldon Lee Compton, Jarrid Deaton, Richard Hague, Silas House, Chris Holbrook, Denton Loving, Mindy Beth Miller, John McManus,
Jim Nichols, Valerie Nieman, Chris Offutt, Mark Powell, Ron Rash, Alex Taylor,
Crystal Wilkinson
Working Lives Fiction Series

978-1-933964-39-3  186 pgs. $18.00

Learning How
Stories, Yarns & Tales

by Richard Hague

The fiction in this collection is as comforting as it is challenging, as familiar
as it is surprising, and, in all of the aspects that matter to the serious reader of literature, it is thoroughly satisfying." 
  -Chris Holbrook, author of Upheaval

In our Working Lives and Appalachia Writing Series

                                            978-1-933964-46-1   216 pgs.  $18

Tales Along the Appalachian Plateau

Danny Fulks

Personal essays and profiles of Appalachian life.
    "Fulks heritage is his passport to the region's sometimes impregnable secrets; he  knows Appalachia firsthand and travels unimpeded along its highways and byways."
-Christopher S. Duckworth, Ed. of Timeline

Long out of print...a few collectable copies remain.
0933087381  128 pgs.



Set in Northern Appalachia, Bryner stitches together a quilt of tales
from the people of rural and urban Appalachia.

She is a remarkable storyteller.

“In Jeanne Bryner’s Eclipse, there’s a master storyteller at work. The rich, textured world of these stories, and the strong, refreshingly frank narrative voices, bring to life the everyday kindnesses and betrayals that mark the calendars of our lives. While the characters in these stories struggle, it is a struggle blessed with hope. A hope we can all carry with us into the future.”  
 - Jim Daniels

ISBN 0-933087-78-0  150 pgs.  $12.95

Blind Horse: Poems
Jeanne Bryner
"I hear the sweet drawl of a country music lyric in Jeanne Bryner's poems, and the push and drive of a mountain fiddle too. Energetic and clear-sighted, these poems are never afraid of their difficult subjects. They make art of the struggle and terror of the lives of
working poor."
-Maggie Anderson

0-933087-57-8  100 pgs. $9.95


by Larry Smith

A novella and nine working-class stories.

Set in the steel mill areas of Lorain and Appalachian hills of Steubenville, Ohio, this book tells the essential stories of human endurance beyond economics and human survival beyond politics. It captures and reveals working-class lives in American.

"I like Beyond Rust and find it very affecting--Good, strong language, and a big heart shining  through." -Sy Safransky, ed. The Sun

"Smith's has found rich ore to mine in this place...his work has a solid core."-The Columbus Dispatch

ISBN 0-933087-39-X 160 pgs. $9.95

Edited by David Shevin and Larry Smith.
Four Complete Books of Poems:
Shaped Like a Heart by David J. Adams
In Medias Resby Timothy Russell
The Weight of Smokeby Kip Knott
Mill and Smoke Marrow by Richard Hague.
"There is a sense, from the introduction to the pictures and poems, that these are people who have been through hard, stupid times, and want to celebrate their survival with any who will listen." -Ohioana Quarterly

               ISBN 0-933087-18-7 155 pgs. $8.95


by Roy Bentley

"Roy Bentley is a fearless poet with a vision as big as the Midwest.
What a strong and soulful book is his new ANY ONE MAN." -David Baker

One of our early books...strong and true to the life.

ISBN 0-933087-23-3 96 pgs.(paper) $8.95/ -24-1 (cloth) $18.95



Poem "The Buckeye" by Rita Dove
22 Essays and Photos of Ohio Life

Edited by John Moor and Larry Smith, Introduction by Scott Russell Sanders;

Includes Bob Greene, Constance Pierce, Danny Fulks, Robert Fox, Amy Sparks, Robert Flanagan, Diane Fencl, David Citino, Joe Napora, Charlene Fix, Stephen J. Ostrander, Doug Swift, Claude C. Smith, William Allen, Brian Richards, Larry Smith, Laura Smith,   Kevin Walzer, Les Roberts/ Photos: Becky Linhardt, Stephen Ostrander, Robert Fox, Dennis Horan

"Read IN BUCKEYE COUNTRY, and the lines may lead you to a center deeper than paper, deeper than words, a firm center where you can make a stand." -Scott Russell Sanders

ISBN 0-933087-13-4 240 pgs. $9.95

W R I T I N G   W O R K
Writers on Working-Class Writing
Edited by David Shevin, Larry Smith, & Janet Zandy

                 Bruce Springsteen Interview with Will Percy
Essays by Arhtur L. Clements...Paul Christensen...Thomas Rain Crowe...Bob Fox
Curt Johnson...Karen Kovacik...Joe Mackall…Edwina Pendarvis...Wayne Rapp…Heidi Shayla
...Helen Ruggieri …Scott Russell Sanders …David Shevin...Larry Smith

Jean R. Trounstine...Janet Zandy
"We seek to lay the foundation for a working-class criticism here.
As editors we were moved by the way these writers and writings present
what is best in our human way of building knowledge."   -Introduction

    ISBN 0-933087-52-7 224 pgs. $10.95

Collected Poems

Maj Ragain

Major Ragain lives along the Cuyahoga River in Kent, Ohio, and teaches at Kent State University. Maj also organized the open readings at Brady's Cafe in Kent. His "Fresh Oil, Loose Gravel" collection appeared last year from Cleveland's Burning Press and was nominated for an "Award of Excellence" by the Poets League of Greater Cleveland. "There is a Beat feel here in the best sense of being 'beatific' and close to the ground of saying what counts--direct and sweet, but full of pain and love as well."
-The Heartlands Today.

 Ragain is an excellent performer of his work. His writing is tough and clear, 
full of vivid people breathing in darkness and light.
 84 pages...ISBN 0-933087-45-4 $9.95

Milltown Natural:
Essays and Stories from a Life

by Richard Hague

21 Essays and Stories of the Ohio Valley Land and People

"Memory can't redeem a blighted place or recover a lost time, but Richard Hague's passionate recollection of the Upper Ohio and his rowdy river town -- with its mills and mines and choir lofts and pool halls -- comes mighty close. His vision is redemptive because he sees through the darkness in nature and the folly in people to an underlying beauty, sees through the divisions of  class and race and geography to an underlying unity, & he tells his tales with gusto."    -Scott Russell Sanders, author of WRITING FROM THE CENTER 

Nominated for a National Book Award     184 pgs.  ISBN 0-933087-44-6 $19.95 (cloth);  paperback $10.95


       POEMS  by Richard Hague
Like those lives alluded to in the title,   Alive in Hard Country will survive.”       
                         — Maggie Anderson

“This is the book we have been waiting for. Richard Hague’s poems of hard country—be that country his native Appalachia or the subterranean landscape of a life—at last collected into one volume. Each poem is its own map, precise and necessary; together they form an atlas, directions back to the “center of a strange universe,” to the heart of Hague’s poetic vision.”    — Pauletta Hansel
Winner of Appalachian Writers Association Poetry Book of the Year
ISBN 0-933087-83-7  $12.00 Working Lives Series

Edited by Larry Smith, with an introduction by Laura Smith
Contains three books of fiction by these award winning writers:

Martin's World by Philiip F. O'Connor
A Well of Living Water by Annabel Thomas
Moonless Place by Jack Matthews

"I thoroughly enjoy this entire book. The price is right too. I hopeBottom Dog Press will continue to publish such fiction clearly written more for love than for ease of publication."   -Marshall Bruce Gentry, Small Press Magazine
ISBN0-933087-27-6  194 pgs.

Milldust and Roses:

Memoirs  by Larry Smith

"Milldust and Roses is a beautiful tapestry, the substance of which describes an Ohio Valley working-class family from the mid-century onward. Larry Smith is an accomplished poet, teacher, and biographer. But these memoirs are not about his life as a poet, but about the metamorphosis of self and family life in the urban Midwest as he has experienced it. The book is formatted like a family album with wonderful prose snapshots illustrating the town, his growing family, his wife and himself .”— Holly Beye
“It is Smith’s simple directness, human scale, and respect for reality that makes Milldust and Roses such a sweet, kind, modest, touching, and unassuming book....It is his simple pride in being ‘common’ that most touches me about this book and most informs its sweet modesty.”  — David  Budbill
(The Writer's Voice/Ridgeway Press; reprinted through Bottom Dog Press.)
ISBN 1-56439-114-0    152 pgs.   $12.00

Depression Days

On an Appalachian Farm

Poems by Robert L. Tener

 “Robert Tener’s early years on a farm in southern Ohio and his later years of teaching, travel, and deep-hearted living turned him into a poet whose best work is muscular and tender and bursting with life.Tener builds poems the same way he once built a house for his family--with his own two hands, one brick and one board at a time.”  -Steven DaGama

1-933964-03-0   Paperback 80 pages   $14.00
Ray McNiece's


On the Road Poems by one of America's leading Performance Poets

"Rare is a rare poet who fully understands the honest heart & soul of contemporary
American poetry. Ray's the real deal." -M.L. Liebler

   "Like James Wright's work, these poems show a narrative style, acute attention to Nature
and an emotional affinity with those whose luck has run out."  -Amy Sparks

ISBN 0-933087-51-9 112 pgs. $9.95

Lake Effect: Poems

Laura Treacy Bentley
“Everywhere I look these days no poetry is being written. There is a lot of pretend poetry, but nothing really this fine. With this book it makes it very easy for me to say: Laura Bentley, I dub thee poet supreme.” 
- Ray Bradbury
Laura’s love of the people and landscapes of West Virginia, western Maryland, and Ireland is evident in her work. From earth to sky, this collection merges a lake effect of meditations that creates its own weather. 
ISBN 1-933964-05-7   108 pgs. $14.00

Poems by Jim Daniels/ Photographs by Charlee Brodsky

Winner Working Class Studies Association Tillie Olsen Award
"This engaging duet between photo and poem reflects a natural interplay between the documentary and lyrical that is a solo, signature quality in Jim Daniels' work." - Stuart Dybek
"Jim Daniels’ poems in conversation with Charlee Brodsky’s photographs make for a remarkable collective work. By themselves the photographs give the commonplace encounters make uncommon by framing and cropping: truncated faces, split bodies, ladies in house dresses, and most stunning, feet—personality at the very bottom of human figures. This is a street that goes nowhere in particular, not a thoroughfare but a place to see and be seen, an invention that just might keep this world from sliding into utter inconsequence."  - Alan Trachtenberg
96 pages, photos in duotones
ISBN 0-933087-93-4 hardcover Signed...$20
ISBN 0-933087-94-2 paper...$12.95

human landscapes: three books of poems
Homeland by Daniel Smith
"These poems are deeply felt, carefully made...I like them very much and find them among the most authentic in depicting the life of a farm."   -Lucien Stryk

Joy Ride by Edwina Pendarvis
"The things that matter in our lives--caring and family, loving and falling out, childhood and age, time and separation--furnish these poems with the structural and sentient force of a concrete identity." -Bob Snyder

Acid Creek by Philip St. Clair
"Philip St. Clair has a true nostalgia: strong, clean, and unsentimental. The events in Acid Creek have been recorded by an 'eye that hath kept watch o'er man's mortality'" -Joe Survant
ISBN 0-933087-42-X $10.95 184 pgs. (3 books bound as 1)

Working Hard for the Money
America's Working Poor in
Stories, Poems, Photos

Edited by Mary E. Weems and Larry Smith

A book that matters, a witness by, for, and about America’s working poor
by a whole host of fine writers.

“In coming to this book on America’s working poor, Bottom Dog Press opens its eyes and heart to a real world of struggle and quiet strength. These are writings that witness and participate. The lives may be those of the writers or projections of the lives of others they know, but in all cases they are personal and involved in the world they describe. The character of the life they describe is authentic and valued by the writer.”– Larry Smith

ISBN 0-933087-77-2    206 pages, $12.95

Content Links:
 Appalachian Working-Class Fiction

Some Chief Appalachian Poets

Now Available on DVD


JAMES WRIGHT'S OHIO (30 min. VHS, color) Co-Directed and Co-Produced by Tom Koba and Larry Smith; supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Humanities Council. This portrait of the Ohio poet's life was filmed entirely in Ohio and presents 6 of his poems read by the poet and set against his Ohio Valley youth--a fine introduction to this important American poet. Video and Discussion Guide $20

KENNETH PATCHEN: AN ART OF ENGAGEMENT (30 min. VHS, color) Co-Directed and Co-Produced by Tom Koba and Larry Smith; supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Humanities Council, and Trumbull Art Gallery. Kenneth's Patchen's provocative art and writing are presented against the stark background of his Ohio youth in the Mahoning Valley area. Using the poet's voice and docu-drama, 6 of his poems are presented in a context to win new audiences to his work. Video and Discussion Guide $20.00.

See Also:
Appalachian Poets List

Appalachian Working-Class Fiction
Appalachian Films and Television
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