Poetry. Near the end of the 18th century, out on the far western frontier of Kentucky and
Tennessee, the first serial killers in the history of the new American nation conducted a bloody reign of terror. Micajah and Wiley Harpe may have been brothers, or perhaps cousins, but they were unquestionably and particularly brutal murderers. Now the tale of their exploits in all of its gruesomely accurate detail—not for the squeamish!—has been recounted in brilliant narrative poetry by Dan Howell, or rather by Howell's imaginary 19th century chronicler, Jeremiah Humm. Howell's achievement here is thus twofold, rendering the all too true story of these late 18th century monsters as it might have been recounted in the language and style of a 19th century author writing many decades later. The result is a poetic tour de force.
Dan Howell's kin came to Kentucky in 1784, before it became a state, settling in what was then Fayette County, Virginia. His collection of poems, Lost Country (Massachusetts), was the runner-up for the Norma Farber First Book Award of the Poetry Society of America, and short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. Other awards include a Writing Fellowship (Poetry) at the Fine ArtsWork Center in Provincetown, the Tom McAfee Discovery Award (Missouri Review), and a citation for Notable Essay in Best American Essays 1993. A chapbook of poems, Whatever Light Used to Be (Workhorse) was published in 2018. Currently he lives and teaches in Lexington, Kentucky, back in his hometown after decades elsewhere.Author City: LEXINGTON, KY USA