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The Follower's Tale

The Follower's Tale

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Dear Stephen,
I was so touched that I still have tears,
and a few dropped on your poems.
I will always love you,
Dolly Parton

"Like nothing else in Tennessee or anywhere else, Stephen Roger Powers' The Follower's Tale explores the lovestorms, hardships and delights long yarned and yodeled in country songs, but this whirlwind of a collection at once ironizes, subverts and deepens the miseries and joys of yearning without ever taking its eyes off the miraculous Dolly Parton. As the narrator observes, fantasizes and even channels the Pigeon Forge nightingale, he discovers that her down-to-earth royal kitsch provides the key to life’s most elusive mysteries. By the time Powers has worked his magic, even the slovenly wilderness will want to wig up and warble a chorus of 'Jolene'."
R.T. Smith

"Zecchinos, rickshaws, Gitanes, the Dollywood Express, gunshots, crack, Lorine Niedecker, and the Chasing Rainbows Museum are all woven together in these large-languaged, visioned, spiritual, sensual poems. These poems are smart, energetic, and surprising. They look at America and beyond to universal desires & appetites, all through the microcosm of Dollywood & its rhinestone founder."
Susan Firer

"Dolly Parton once said that what she wants to do as a performer is make them laugh a little, make them cry a little, scare the hell out of them and go home. Stephen Roger Powers has taken this to heart and written a book of poems that gives us America through the lens of one of our greatest unnatural resources. Read it and weep, and laugh and cover your eyes. This is Dollywood."
Dorianne Laux

"The poetry of Stephen Roger Powers has remarkable qualities of provocation and social investigation; its ambivalence is usually comic. Powers combines insight and delight in Americana with a fervent and ancient sense of worship."
James Liddy

Stephen Roger Powers was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in the cornfields of nearby Sun Prairie. While working on his PhD in English he wrote a stand-up act about his hearing impairment and performed for several years in comedy clubs and casinos around the American Midwest. Today he splits his time between Milwaukee and Georgia, where he teaches at Gordon College and enjoys the beaches of Tybee Island. The Follower's Tale is his first book.