Cathryn Hankla

poetry, prose & painting

Cathryn Hankla


Michigan State University Press & the usual suspects; also for kindle and nook.








LAST EXPOSURES: The terrain of this poetic sequence begins with an exhibit in a San Francisco gallery and ends somewhere beyond the coast of Spain. From grief over the death of a parent to a landscape of larger losses and gains, these poems range and yet retain cohesion through the strategy of tercets.

My Appalachian novel, A BLUE MOON IN POORWATER, is set during 1968, a pivotal year of national disillusionment coupled with the excitement of the moon race. David Parks loses a co-worker in an underground explosion and embarks on a search for justice, caught between the union and the coal company. His daughter Dorie pieces together her family story, and what she reveals encompasses not only her father's conflict but also her older brother's downward spiral. Like Dorie, I grew up in far Southwest Virginia. Her fictional territory is the landscape of my childhood. (To order this or other books not pictured here, please see my expanded site. Click on "Lichen & Leaf" painting below.)

A finalist for the 3rd Annual Library of Virginia Prize in Poetry, TEXAS SCHOOL BOOK DEPOSITORY: prose poems, (LSU 2000), takes its title from the gunman's nest in the assassination of JFK. Many of the poems are informed by my travels to the Czech Republic and France and address cross cultural ironies and contradictions.


"Absolute Zero Galaxy" Painting by Cathryn Hankla


Moira begins to hear messages from deep space and distant time that will change her life forever. Randy Seigle, an obsessive caver, is drawn below in search of a cavern. The story reaches backward in time to tribal creation myths--and forward to the discovery of a new energy source for a dying planet, OURS.