Category Archives: Lee Maynard

“Shenandoah River Songfest May, 2012” a poem by Lee Maynard



They came for the music

They were not a collection of strangers

They were not strangers at all,

A small gathering made known to each other

Returning again and again

Over the years

Returning through their love for each other

And by their yearning for the music

And that made them family

Day laborers


Amateur cooks better than any professionals




People who knew how to frame a house

People who knew how to command armies

And did

Soldiers then

Soldiers now

And still others of unknown skill and wisdom

There was no common age

No common dress

No common way of life

No common way of thinking

There was only their common want for the music

And the uncommon current of their laughter

They sat in shade and sun and heat and rain,

Not caring about what was happening in any world

Of their knowing

Except this one



By the river in the sun

For one bright weekend they sat beneath giant trees

Made large by the flow from a crystal river

Made emerald by the sun

They sat on lush grass

Beside babies sleeping on blankets

Cushioned by the beating heart of Earth,

Knowing that all babies, somewhere, sometime,

Should sleep next to the soft pulse of Mother

The rain

Gentle, caressing

And then more insistent,

Drumming softly and rhythmically on the canopies,

The sound an underlying applause beneath the music   Sent from some higher place to please and compliment The musicians

There was no wind, the rain coming straight and true

To the people and the music

As the music came straight and true

The music

The music was clean, clear and cleansing

It stirred the souls of any within hearing

There were no lights, no costumes, no flashes of emptiness    Having nothing to do with music

This was pure music, picked from mystic strings,

Tumbling down into the people as from some garden

Of pure joy

Sung by voices unheard in concert halls

Sung by voices unchanged by any artificial hand of man

The players ended their playing and then sat with the audience

The musicians were the listeners

The listeners were the musicians

There were no opening acts

No stars following

All were stars

All shone

The music began midday,

Ending when sheer exhaustion called a halt

And people dozed against each other's shoulders

But one day was not enough.

Some came early, the night before

More coming each year

Gathering around an open fire

The music coming as it would

The talk filling the open spaces

The last day came and went

And still a tiny group lingered,

The family smaller, now,

Sitting almost quietly in the warmth

Of another bright morning

Unwilling to let it go

Unwilling to let it end

The music

By the river






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Uncle Terry’s Gift Ideas from WV Authors List 2015

Nigh on a decade ago, Terry McNemar, our former president who recently passed away, began an annual gift guide for books by West Virginia authors.  The last time we ran one on this blog, however, was 2011.  With his passing this year, we felt it was time to re-institute this annual tradition in his honor.  And as such, it's only fitting that Terry's books are #1 and #2 on the list.

So while you’re doing your holiday shopping, don’t forget to support these WV Writer, Inc. authors. And don’t forget to stop at your local bookstores: Tamarack, Taylor Books in Charleston, Empire Books & News in Huntington, the Open Book in Lewisburg, Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown, Vandalia Press, Main Line Books in Elkins, …to name just a few.  Those are great places where you might find these books!

If you are a member of West Virginia Writers and your book is not listed here, please send it in immediately and we will get you added to the list.  Send those to  You may also send links to your own website.  We'll be happy to post them as well.


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WVW Podcast: Lee Maynard Recorded Live Reading

Our 6th WVW Podcast Bonus Show is now online. It features a recorded live reading from Lee Maynard's appearance at the WV Book Festival, in October. Mr. Maynard reads the first chapter of his new novel-in-memoir-form The Pale Light of Sunset: Scattershots and Hallucinations in an Imagined Life, published by West Virginia University Press.

Be sure to also check out Episodes 21 and 22 for parts 1 and 2 of our podcast of the conversation between Lee and Cat Pleska.

Get the Lee Maynard Recorded Live Reading HERE.

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Podcast Episode 21: A conversation with Lee Maynard

Episode 21 of the WVW Podcast is now available, featuring a conversation between WV Writers 1st Vice President Cat Pleska and Lee Maynard, author of the book Crum, its followup Screaming with the Cannibals and the new novel-in-memoir-form The Pale Light of Sunset: Scattershots and Hallucinations in an Imagined Life, published by West Virginia University Press.

As those of you who've attended Lee's workshops at previous WV Writers Summer Conferences well know, he's an extremely talented writer who specializes in gut-level writing. This week's part of the conversation explores some of that as well as his writing discipline, his philosophy on truth in memoir vs. storytelling and his feelings about West Virginia.

Hear it for yourself at our PODCAST PAGE.

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