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Author of the Debut Novel Like Light, Like Music from West Virginia University Press (August 1, 2020) & of the Full-Length Poetry Collection Blood Harmony (2018) from Iris Press.

Like Light, Like Music (August 1, 2020)



Blood Harmony 

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Like Light, Like Music


Like Light, Like Music Blurbs

Austin has written a highly original and captivating novel filled with the mountain music and lore she loves so much—haints, broonies, banshees, shades, and revenants share the stage with all the memorable real characters of Red River, Kentucky. Contemporary issues merge with a developing romance in this spellbinding story, truly a ballad itself.”

“Like Light, Like Music captures the way the past haunts us and shapes our reality. With the help of their ancestors, the resilient McLean women are determined to prove the innocence of one of their own. The pulse of this lyrical novel beats: Believe women. Believe women. Believe women.”

“This is a novel about the light of vision, and music in the blood. Emmeretta has the ‘mountain gift’ of synesthesia, and she sees with her ears as well as with memory and imagination. But Like Light, Like Music is also a mystery story about uncovering secrets of the past, of family bonds and family ghosts. It is about the pain at the heart of country music, and joy in the place the music comes from. It is a story of the complexity of family ties and romances, and of the way confronting painful truths can make us free. It is a ballad of a novel, both timely and timeless.”

Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls and Guests on Earth

Savannah Sipple, author of WWJD and Other Poems

Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek and Chasing the North Star

In The Press


Author of the novel Like Light, Like Music (West Virginia University Press 2020), Lana K. W. Austin--winner of the 2019 Alabama State Poetry Society Book of the Year Award for her poetry collection, Blood Harmony (Iris Press 2018)--has also won a 2019 Hackney Poetry Award, the 2018 Words & Music Poetry Award & the 2018 Still: The Journal’s Judge’s Choice Fiction Award, picked by guest judge Wiley Cash. A Pushcart nominee, Austin has been a finalist & semi-finalist in many other competitions, including the James Wright Poetry Award, the American Short Fiction Story Award, the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, the Zone 3 Book Award, and the Machigonne Fiction Award. Austin’s writing is in or soon-to-be in Mid-American Review, Columbia Journal, Sou’wester, The Pinch, Verse Daily, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Colorado Review, Asheville Poetry Review, StorySouth, Madville Publishing’s Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Anthology, Texas Review Press’ The Southern Poetry Anthology: Alabama, and the Appalachian Women Speak Anthology, etc. Born and raised in Kentucky, her MFA is from GMU and she teaches creative writing and composition and rhetoric at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Austin is also a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.

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