The John Tyler Community College library has recently acquired newly published works by our very own faculty.

From Assistant Professor Jeff Landon we have Emily Avenue and Truck Dance.

And from Lecturer Angela Vogel we have Fort Gorgeous.


Emily Avenue: a flash novel When Doug Figgens accidently causes a fatal accident he becomes a fugitive and spends the next year wandering around southern Virginia. Told from alternating points of view between Doug and his older brother, Sam, the story reveals the experience of both the leaving and the staying behind. Doug must fend for himself and Sam must endure being shunned by his friends. Written with grace and sensitivity I was rooting for Doug to come out okay despite his offense and for Sam to overcome the stigma of his brother’s crime. Filled with local detail (Mick or Mack grocery, Mill Mountain Zoo) this coming-of-age story is sweet, sad and sometimes funny.

Truck Dance: a collection of short fiction Also set in Virginia, Truck Dance features the same attention to detail as Emily Avenue. Full of engaging, quirky characters the short stories are jammed with missed love, missed opportunities and missed friendships. In “Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub” the narrator reminisces about his friendships and his marriage ending with a memory of taking his baby daughter to the ocean: “She looked stunned and delighted at the same time. Her hair stood straight up like she was trying to give the wind something to dry its hands on.” Filled with reflections like that and at just 52 pages you can easily devour this in one sitting.

Fort Gorgeous When I don’t have much time to read I turn to poetry. A poetic image or a phrase can satisfy my need to be transported and I can spend hours happily turning a line of poetry in my head. Fort Gorgeous supplies both the images and the phrases. After a trip to the Outer Banks my new favorite poem in this wonderful collection is “Lost Colony:”  “She christens Virginia on a Dare, he’s the White guy gone for reinforcements. . .” With references to everything from Wuthering Heights to internet phishing there is something for all.

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