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Michael Chitwood

Michael Chitwood is the author of four books of poetry. The most recent, Gospel Road Going, won the Roanoke-Chowan Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian. A new book is slated for publication by LSU Press.



Autumn 2002 | Poetry

How many times did I hold them up for him and watch how easily something that had lived comes apart? In each hand I clutched an unlucky foot and splayed them, belly-side to him, and he'd pinch the fur at the crotch and with the knifepoint separate th [...]

Sunday Supper

Something the preacher said about tradition, "the corpse buried facing east," has them comparing the High Street cemetery to our county plot. We know our kin's bodies won't waken, but Uncle Ray says "if they stood up they'd face the rising sun," and [...]

Photographs From the Mountain Empire

They collect in the shade of pin-oaks, Sunday, after lunch, coats off, sleeves rolled and chairs, brought into the yard, tipped back. The ones who can name them all are dead or gone in memory and the time hasn't come when you smile at unknown devices [...]


Autumn 2002 | Poetry

I'm digging a drainage ditch beside my house. Tomorrow I will feel the length of it in my shoulders and back. I will enjoy thinking "heft" and "mattock," those flinty Ts a pleasure in the silent language of thinking when the ditch is complete. Root [...]