Pike Co. Public Library welcomes James A. Riley

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“These poems are at once cerebral, naturalistic, and elegiac. Blessedly free of any dogma, they are a most welcome and refreshing read.” —Chris Holbrook

“James Riley has produced an elegiac collection that also celebrates the mystery of existence, reminding us, like the poet H. D., that the mysteries remain.”—Rhonda Pettit

“There is a grave tenderness in these poems…a mixture of love and pain and grief and hilarity.”—Mary Ann Taylor-Hall

“If as readers we are willing to consider Einstein’s posit that the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one, then Broken Frequencies offers proof of this connection and more.” —Audrey Naffziger

Broken Frequencies confronts the disconnect between the present and the past in our personal lives. Each poem is a search for meaning in an otherwise random sequence of events which lean always toward the relationships which lend significance to our lives, the connections between those we love and those we have lost, and the many possible futures each moment implies. From “The Heart’s Sad Music,” there is no escaping the realization that We are surrounded by the ghosts of those we love.


JAMES ALAN RILEY is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Al Smith Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, and an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council. He edited Kentucky Voices: A Collection of Contemporary Kentucky Short Stories (PC Press, 1999). His work has appeared in The Louisville Review, Kentucky Monthly, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Heritage, The Connecticut Review, The Greensboro Review, West Branch, and a number of other literary magazines over the years. Riley received his Ph.D. in Modern British and American Literature from Ohio University in Athens and a Masters in English from the University of Arkansas. He is currently the English Program Coordinator and a Professor of English at the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Kentucky, where he has taught since 1987. James’s new poetry book titled, Broken Frequencies will be published by Shadelandhouse Modern Press.