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



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



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Author of the novel Like Light, Like Music (West Virginia University Press 2020), Lana K. W. Austin’s poems and short stories have recently been featured in Mid-American Review, Sou’wester, Columbia Journal, The Pinch, Appalachian Heritage, etc. Winner of the 2019 Alabama State Poetry Society Book of the Year Award, a 2019 Hackney Poetry Award & the 2018 Words & Music Poetry Award, Austin has been a finalist and semi-finalist in multiple other competitions, including the James Wright Poetry Award, the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, the Zone 3 Book Award, the American Short Fiction Award, the Still: The Journal Fiction Award, and the Machigonne Fiction Award. Born and raised in rural Kentucky, Austin studied creative writing at both Hollins University and the University of Mary Washington and has an MFA from George Mason University. Her full-length poetry collection, Blood Harmony, is from Iris Press (2018) and her chapbook, In Search of the Wild Dulcimer, is from Finishing Line Press (2016). Austin currently resides in Alabama, where she teaches writing in the English department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is also a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. 


Upcoming Events

  • Kentucky Book Festival: Lana K. W. Austin Book Signing
    Joseph-Beth Booksellers
    Nov 06, 2021, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Cir B, Lexington, KY 40503, USA
    Thrilled to share my new novel, Like Light, Like Music (WVU Press) at the wonderful Kentucky Book Festival at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, November 6th from 1-5 PM
  • SPARK Writing Festival at UAB w/ Lana Austin & Tina Mozelle Braziel
    Jan 10, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST
    Music meets writing Sunday January 10th at 7pm in conversation with Lana K.W. Austin and Tina Mozelle Braziel at the SPARK Writing Festival through the University of Alabama Birmingham.
  • Poet's Corner
    Scarritt Bennett Center
    Jun 25, 2020, 7:00 PM
    Scarritt Bennett Center, 1027 18th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212, USA
    Excited to read poems in Nashville!
  • New Orleans' Words & Music Literary Festival: Reading Poetry at the Peauxdunque Review Premiere Party
    520 Capdeville St
    Nov 21, 2019, 8:00 PM
    520 Capdeville St, 520 Capdeville St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
    Grateful to read poetry & celebrate the fabulous literary journal, The Peauxdunque Review. Last year they, in conjunction w/ the Words & Music Literary Festival, awarded me the Words & Music Poetry prize. I love this literary journal, this literary festival, and New Orleans!
  • Fall for the Book Poetry Night Out Reading w/ Brenda Shaughnessy & Brian Brodeur
    Epicure Cafe
    Oct 11, 2019, 6:00 PM
    Epicure Cafe, 11104 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
    Thrilled & Grateful & Humbled to read with Brenda Shaughnessy & Brian Brodeur! Friday, October 11th at 6 p.m. at Epicure Cafe ( 11104 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA ) for our Poetry Night Out with Brenda Shaughnessy and Brian Brodeur.
  • Poetry in the Boro
    Murfreesboro Little Theatre
    Aug 11, 2019, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Murfreesboro Little Theatre, 702 Ewing Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37130, USA
    Excited & grateful to be a featured reader at Poetry in the Boro!
  • !!!!!!!
    207 Morningwalk Ln SW
    Jun 28, 2019, 5:00 PM
    207 Morningwalk Ln SW, 207 Morningwalk Ln SW, Huntsville, AL 35824, USA
  • Out Loud HSV
    Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
    Jun 23, 2019, 6:00 PM
    Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, 2211 Seminole Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
    Sooo psyched to be a featured poet at the marvelous Out Loud HSV
  • Union Ave Books Reading in Knoxville, TN
    517 Union Ave
    May 05, 2019, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    517 Union Ave, 517 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA
    Beyond excited to read with magnificent Linda Parsons & Amy Wright at the wonderful Union Ave Books in Knoxville, TN! Overjoyed to join with these Iris Press phenoms! GO IRIS PRESS!
  • Bird & Book Bookstore Reading
    The Bird and The Book
    May 04, 2019, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
    The Bird and The Book, 1509 E Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN 37804, USA
    I'll be reading from Blood Harmony with some wonderful Iris Press folks!
  • WordStream on the WDVX Stage w/ Linda Parsons in Knoxville, TN
    301 S Gay St
    May 03, 2019, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    301 S Gay St, 301 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA
    WordStream: The Weekly Writer's Voice takes places every Friday, 12-1, on the WDVX stage in the Knoxville Visitors Center. The show features poets, novelists, play excerpts, and more with hosts Linda Parsons and Stellasue Lee.
  • HUDUBAM Bookstore: A Performing Playwright's (& Poetry, too!) Workshop & Reading
    113 Franklin St
    Apr 06, 2019, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    113 Franklin St, 113 Franklin St, Clarksville, TN 37040, USA
    This is the re-scheduled event from before where I will be leading a free creative writing workshop that includes playwriting, poetry, acting, etc. as well as a reading at the end. A full description is included when we listed the event previously.
  • Iris Press & Tar River Poetry Combo AWP Off-Site Poetry Reading
    Mar 28, 2019, 5:00 PM
    Portland, Portland, OR, USA
    I will be reading at the Iris Press & Tar River Poetry combined off-site event during AWP Portland. This incorporates both Iris Press & Tar River Poetry literary journal (and TRP is celebrating a big multi-decade milestone!), so please come on out and be joyful with us!
  • ASA Conference at UNC Asheville (Panel/Reading w/ Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Journal)
    University of North Carolina Asheville
    Mar 15, 2019, 12:00 PM
    University of North Carolina Asheville, 1 University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804, USA
    I'll be on a panel & participating in a reading with Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Journal at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference at UNC Asheville March 14--17, 2019 ****THE EXACT DAY AND TIME OF THIS PANEL/READING IS TBD, SO PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE FOR UPDATES. THANK YOU!
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville Official Blood Harmony Book Launch & Poetry Reading with Lana K. W. Austin
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Feb 28, 2019, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
    The University of Alabama in Huntsville Official Blood Harmony Book Launch & Poetry Reading with Lana K. W. Austin in Conjunction With the English Department
  • Words & Music Writing Competition Reading
    Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette F
    Nov 17, 2018, 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
    Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette F, 817 Common St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
    I'll be reading my winning poem, "Interviewing Li Lu", at the Words and Music Literary Festival in New Orleans, LA
  • Hudubam: A Performing Playwright's (& Poetry, too!) Workshop & Reading
    Humble Universe Disturbers Used Books &
    Nov 03, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Humble Universe Disturbers Used Books & , 110 Franklin St, Clarksville, TN 37040, USA
    What does playwriting have in common with poetry and fiction? Come find out when you learn to create a brand new character's monologue and get helpful tips on how to perform it, too! (Your performance at the end of the workshop is optional!) This is tailored to fit multiple experience levels.
  • The Southern Festival of Books October 12th-14th, 2018
    The Nashville Public Library
    Oct 12, 2018, 12:00 PM
    The Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219, USA
    Panel/Reading w/ fellow poets Virginia Gilbert and Harry Moore. I'll update here when I know my exact day/time during the 3-day event: Friday, October 12, 2018: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 13, 2018: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 14, 2018: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.


For any media or booking inquiries, please contact LKWA Inquiry:

Telephone: 256-303-5852     Email:

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