Author of novels WAYLAND, HIDING EZRA & poetry collection THE MAD FARMER'S WIFE

Rita Quillen’s novel Hiding Ezra is forthcoming in 2014 from Little Creek Books; it was a finalist in the 2005 DANA Awards competition, and a chapter of the novel is included in the new scholarly study of Appalachian dialect just published by the University of Kentucky Press entitled Talking Appalachian.

One of six finalists for the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Virginia, her poetry received a Pushcart nomination as well as a Best of the Net nomination in 2012. Her most recent collection Her Secret Dream, new and selected poems, is from Wind Press in Kentucky and was named the Outstanding Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association in 2008.  Previous works are poetry collections October Dusk and Counting The Sums, as well as a book of essays Looking for Native Ground: Contemporary Appalachian Poetry.

 She lives and farms on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, Virginia.


COMING SOON!! - the sequel to HIDING EZRA. FOLLOW THE CHARACTERS you loved a decade later as the Great Depression bears down on them…




In Wayland Rita Quillen writes of a Depression-era Appalachian community with immense vividness and immense empathy, but like the best novelists, her characters transcend their geographical locale to evoke concerns that touch upon the lives of all people. Whether as poet or as novelist, Quillen is a writer to be revered. —-RON RASH, author of SERENA





In the pages of WAYLAND, Rita Quillen takes the reader deep into the characters, history and landscape of her native hills.  Quillen is a storyteller of prodigious gifts, one of Appalachian literature’s truly authentic voices.—— Amy Greene, author of BLOODROOT




A stranger comes to town---and the world is never the same. WAYLAND tells the story of an ideal family’s entrapment in thrall that slowly turns to horror because of one man’s wickedness and another man’s blindness. These characters and places are richly drawn and the tension keeps building until the end. As Quillen writes, “When you are Mars and Venus, you spin on, hurdling through stardust and blackness, suspended by the dark energy that binds everything together.”  We are bound here, too, by this dark energy and good story.——Jim Minick, author of FIRE IS YOUR WATER


'I stare at this white page and try to form the words right to name what I’m feeling to be

able to explain myself to myself, as crazy as that sounds,' says a character late in Rita Quillen's gorgeous new novel Wayland. In language as poetic as it is fierce, anchored in the Appalachian Mountains of the 1930s, Wayland explains a lost world to us, recreating it, revivifying it--crazy as that sounds. This is a beautiful and moving novel and deserves a wide readership." —-Mark Powell, author of FIREBIRD and SMALL TREASONS




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