Graveyard of the Gods

A Novel

Although the extra cash helps keep him solvent, hog farmer Gene Barnes isn’t proud of his role in disposing of the occasional body for an old Marine buddy mixed up with who knows what. Gene definitely doesn’t want to know and has been warned not to ask. That is, until he recognizes one of the bodies he’s about to feed to the hogs. Now he’s got plenty of questions and none of ’em have good answers. When Gene sets off to find the truth, he travels a landscape of loss: loss of family, loss of the American small town, and loss of his own moral compass. From his farm in Carmi, Illinois, to Metropolis, the home of Superman, he travels through a Graveyard of the Gods only to discover revenge, and redemption comes at a high price.

In his debut novel, poet, playwright, and River Styx editor Richard Newman tells a humdinger of a tale that begins in the cornfields along the silty banks of the Wabash River and brushes with ghosts of his family’s past, the nursing home where his deranged mother lives, Ohio River pirates near Cave-in-Rock, and the destruction of the small-town American and the Midwestern family farm through corporate greed before a final showdown in Garden of the Gods park of the Shawnee National Forest.

Richard Newman of St. Louis, MO

Richard Newman is the author of the poetry collections All the Wasted Beauty of the World (Able Muse Press, 2014), Domestic Fugues (Steel Toe Books, 2009), and Borrowed Towns (Word Press, 2005). His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, Midwestern Gothic, New Letters, StoryQuarterlyThe Sun, and many other periodicals and anthologies, and have been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. His poem “Bellefontaine Cemetery” won First Place in The Ledge 2010 Poetry Awards Competition. His plays have been performed in San Diego’s North Park Playwright Festival and the Spectrum festival in St. Louis. A recipient of a 2014 Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellowship, Newman teaches at Washington University, and for the last twenty years has served as editor of River Styx, and co-director of the River Styx Reading Series.

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  • Graveyard of the Gods is the debut novel of celebrated poet and long-time editor of the River Styx literary journal.
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