Tennessee author Denton Loving

Emerging poet Denton Loving will be reading from his first collection of poems titled Crimes Against Birds on Tuesday, April 5, at 12 p.m. in the UC Theater.

Denton Loving, American poet Photo from Google Images

Denton Loving, American poet
Photo from Google Images

The editor of Seeking Its Own Level: an anthology of writings about water, Loving works at Lincoln Memorial University where he co-directs the annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival and serves as executive editor of drafthorse: the literary journal of work and no work. He is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College and his fiction, poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in journals such as River Styx, Flyleaf, [PANK], Fiction Southeast, and many others.

Set among the beautiful mountain terrain, apple orchards, and cattle pastures of southern Appalachia, Loving chronicles the rhythms of the waking world and the dreamscape of the bucolic region in his collection Crimes Against Birds. Most of Loving’s poems revolve around the timeworn rhythms of every day life in southern Appalachia: work, tending cattle, harvesting orchards, even driving the windy, narrow back roads on the way to an office job. From these everyday tasks, Loving’s poems often lead into darker levels of observation and reflection. Loving writes for every moment of his speaker’s life including the speaker’s dreams, which have a life of their own, and by engaging in these abrupt shifts and turns of the dreaming mind, his poems often provide a sort of shadow to waking life.

In an interview with Rappahannock Review, Loving explains that his writing has been more influenced by place than any other factor.

Crimes Against Birds by Denton Loving Photo from Google Images

Crimes Against Birds by Denton Loving
Photo from Google Images

“I live in the heart of Central Appalachia, near the Cumberland Gap, where Daniel Boone opened a trail that made it possible for hundreds of thousands of our ancestors to settle the West.  Specifically, I live on a family farm … And then, there’s this other, natural world that I can barely experience more than as a witness, and that includes a dozen or more species of birds that are almost always present, a family of red foxes that lives in the woods behind my house, and deer that play and chase each other around the apple trees in our orchard.  For me, writing has always been about being aware of my surroundings and paying as close attention as possible.”

Hopefully Loving’s writing about nature and the Appalachian Mountains will bring readers from all different fields of study on WCU’s campus. His poems not only appeal to the English department, but also the Parks and Recreation, Environmental Studies and Hospitality and Tourism departments as well.