Kentucky Waltz
by Garry Barker


Kentucky Waltz is available from your favorite local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or from the publisher.
Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356


"Thanksgiving Visitor" is a fictional accounting of the authorís birth in 1943, a story that won the M Magazine fiction award in 2000. "Cassie Faye" won the Plattner Award for fiction in 1999 from Berea Collegeís Appalachian Heritage magazine. The title story, "Kentucky Waltz," received much acclaim after being published in Appalachian Heritage. "A White Sports Coat" was in the New England journal Potato Eyes and was nominated for the O. Henry Award. Barkerís stories and poems are included in the anthologies The Uneven Ground: An Appalachian Anthology; Groundwaters: a collection of contemporary Kentucky fiction; Appalachia Inside Out; and Touching Bases: A Rhetoric of Self Discovery.

Garry Barker's Kentucky Waltz introduces readers to rural and Appalachian Kentucky with stories that read true to the natives of the region. One's suspicion that several of the stories of this collection are autobiographical is verified by Barker who says that the first story, "Thanksgiving Visitor," is based on the author's birth in 1943, while the idea for title story, "Kentucky Waltz," came from the exploits of his brother, a blackhawk helicopter pilot---a story he could not tell until his brother was no longer in uniform. 

"Kentucky Waltz is a wonderful excursion into the heart and mind of modern Appalachia," said Novelist Sharyn McCrumb, "and master story-teller Garry Barker is the perfect guide." 

So hang on to your hat as Garry Barker takes you on a tour from the South Carolina border to Swannanoa and into Kentucky, speedometer at 115 in his blue and white Cadillac. It's a ride through Appalachia you won't forget.

Barkerís short stories have appeared in regional journals and magazines since the early 1980s.  Kentucky Waltz, his fourth collection of short fiction includes newer, award-winning works and some old favorites. Barkerís previous short story collections include Fire on the Mountain (1983), Mountain Passage & Other Stories (1986, 2003), and All Night Dog (1988).

Barker has twice earned writing fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, and has received two fiction awards from the Catholic Press Association, including first place in 1984 for The Liberation of Elsie Watts. His novel, Copperhead Summer, was published in 1985. His other books include The Handcraft Revival in Southern Appalachia, 1930-1990 (1991), Mitchell Tolle: American Artist (1992), Notes From a Native Son: Essays on the Appalachian Experience (1995), Berea Hospital: The First Century (1996), and the poetry chapbook Bitter Creek Breakdown, first published in 1989 and twice revised.

For almost 20 years, he has written "Head of the Holler," a weekly rural humor newspaper column.

A longtime arts administrator in North Carolina and Kentucky, Garry Barker retired from Morehead State University in 2005 and lives in the farm community of Bald Hill in Fleming County. He is owner and publisher of the Flemingsburg Gazette, a weekly newspaper begun in 1880.