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Blue Skies

The poems in Blood Moon, Backyard Mountain explore the familiar, backyard geographies of the tiny: birds, June bugs, creeping Charlie, desiccated leaves, old dogs that must constantly be walked. They also map the expansive territories of the imagination and the past - the places where family and friends have died, the yearnings for love with more depth, life with more living. They are at once personal and universal, private and inviting.

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All at once, a man finds he’s packed a Subaru wagon for college, and, as his eager son pulls out the drive, he realizes most of his parenting has been done in an anxious hush. Each of the poems in Whoever Said Love stops at a quiet way station in a two-decade journey of father-and-sonhood. The collection is an offering of time and space for the words one father (maybe every father) hopes for his son to hear.

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In The Last Bridge Is Home, Rodd Whelpley gives us an intimate portrait of changing and complicated family relationships: how they bubble up, transform us, and never fully leave us. The poems dance in and out of childhood, adult, and familial fears and pains, tracing a life in a way that shows just how present memory, forgetting, and loss can be.

 – Bess Cooley,
Winner of the 2017 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize,

Co-founder and Editor of Peatsmoke

The Last Bridge is Home resonates with familial love and compassion of place. Rodd Whelpley dives into what is often unsaid but still heard, through music, through undertones of conversation. He builds for us a bridge to tandem our love and grief, what we remember and how we move forward. This collection is a testament to inevitable change, moments when “you look down, unsure the water will still be there” and find your strength. Whelpley holds out a hand and offers us an intimate lens of late 1970s Ohio, of family, and ultimately of how our relationships sustain us.

– Madeleine Corley,

Managing Editor, Barren Magazine


The poems in Catch as Kitsch Can launch from the icons of our collective and personal pop cultures - celebrities, songs, poets, and pets. With the light, reckless abandon of a teenager, each plays its necessary, dangerous game of chicken - driving headlong towards the sentimental past in all of us.

"In Catch as Kitsch Can the ordinary world of the actual and the inner world of wonder and memory waltz so deftly that we really are sitting in Mel's Diner even as we watch the show. In these poems the actual is the source of possibility, never its limitation, and of course an Iowa farm girl can pour Lake Erie in a teacup and be all the more real and present for doing so."

- Tim Hunt, author of Ticket Stubs and Liner Notes

winner of the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award

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Capital Murder Cover_.jpg

Police Captain Doug Ebersole knew the victim. Marni Lewis was an intern at the Secretary of State's office and the stepdaughter of former police chief and current state Senator, Tom Crosley.

But to solve Marni's case, Ebersole will need to resolve the twenty-year-old mysteries surrounding the death of Crosley's other daughter, Jessica. The investigation will take him to a ramshackle boys club, to the Senate floor, to a convalescent home in Ohio, and to an after-hours Goth party at a skateboard center.


Along the way, he'll uncover a pattern of corruption that reaches to the highest levels of Illinois government. And why not?


In Springfield, Illinois, everything is political - even a dead body.


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