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Belle Point Press

The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go

The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go

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The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go, by William Woolfitt

Appalachian poet William Woolfitt's latest collection, The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go, brings together elegy and awe. Part environmental documentary, part folk songbook, each poem manifests places riddled with mystery, moving from climate change and rural resilience to more personal vignettes of individuals carving out homes in West Virginia and Tennessee. Despite the ongoing presence or threat of disaster, Woolfitt's voice clings to beauty while seeking what can still be salvaged and preserved.

William Woolfitt grew up in Farmington, West Virginia. He is the author of four poetry collections, two story collections, and an essay collection. Ring of Earth (stories) was published by Madville Publishing in 2023; Eyes Moving Through the Dark (essays) is forthcoming from Orison Books. He attended Fairmont State University, Hollins University, and Penn State University, and lives in Southeast Tennessee.


Praise for The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go:

"The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go by Will Woolfitt is a bittersweet hymn for the author’s West Virginian upbringing and the undeniable legacies of a mining town–where 'the fires in the mountains will not stop burning.' These poems are both elegiac and reverent, grounding in their histories and stunning in their imagery. The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go reminds me why poetry can do what no other art form can–both testimony and revelation, it binds us to the past even as it enables us to envision new futures. As Woolfitt writes of Appalachia–'Here, the mouths I feed, / the fuels I go through like water, / the smoldering earth where they’ll bury me.' In this world 'where the living / cry to their buried ones, and a bent woman reads from her holy
book / by candlelight,' these poems exist as a geography of home and a cartography of
Appalachian roots–'meadows laced with unseen / cavities—an understory of tunnels.'”

—Joan Kwon Glass, author of Night Swim

"Here is a people’s history of Appalachia mired in coal slurry and sawdust, thick with the stink of industrial toxins. But do not despair; The Night the Rain Had Nowhere to Go is not a death knell but more like a church bell ringing clear across a valley and calling us home. Will Woolfitt’s poetic practice uses not dread but song and singing to bring a vital music to these 'stories choked by grief.' Here is a people’s history of Appalachia whose melodies are brutally honest, unforgettable, and reminiscent of 'what it’s like to be alive to wonder and dread.'”

—Marianne Worthington, author of The Girl Singer

“Woolfitt’s slow-burning lyrics haunt and illuminate, telling of waters sickened with coal mine run-off, tree limbs rattling like dry bones, smoldering earth. These poems testify about the devastation wrought by greed and privilege while also daring to imagine a new story, where the refinery captain has thrown his watch away and where weeds transform into flowers under a little boy’s gaze. Deftly balancing tenderness and truth, these poems are an admirable addition to Woolfitt’s already impressive collection of work.”

—Leah Silvieus, author of Arabilis


    • Publication date: June 18, 2024
    • ISBN: 978-1-960215-18-5
    • Trim size: 6 x 9 in
    • 76 pages

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