An Annual Celebration of Readers, Writers, and Books
Meagan Lucas is the author of the award-winning novel Songbirds and Stray Dogs (Main Street Rag Press, 2019) and the forthcoming collection: Here in the Dark (Shotgun Honey, 2023). Meagan has published over 30 short stories and essays in journals like: The Santa Fe Writers' Project, Still: The Journal, MonkeyBicycle, Cowboy Jamboree, BULL, Pithead Chapel, and others. She is Pushcart, Best of the Net, Derringer, and Canadian Crime Writer's Award of Excellence nominated and won the 2017 Scythe Prize for Fiction. Her novel Songbirds and Stray Dogs was chosen to represent North Carolina in the Library of Congress 2022 Route 1 Reads program. Meagan teaches in the Professional Writing Program at Robert Morris University. She is the Editor in Chief of Reckoning Review. Born and raised on a small island in Northern Ontario, she now lives in the montains of Western North Carolina.
Learn more at meagalucas.com.
Songbirds and Stray Dogs
Jolene has been abandoned by her addict mother on the steps of her spinster aunt’s door at eight years old. She’s spent the last thirteen years living in the shadow of the pain her mother caused and trying to prove herself worthy of her aunt’s stingy love. Unintentionally she becomes pregnant. When the father refuses her and her aunt kicks her out, Jolene tries to outrun her shame by heading to the mountains. Homeless, penniless, alone, and chased by demons from her past, she makes friends who help and hinder. She is forced to confront exactly who she is, what she wants, and what she is willing to do to get it.
Geography and a sense of place are central to Songbirds and Stray Dogs. It is a Southern story, born of sweet tea and the Bible Belt, chow-chow and cornbread, shotguns and porch rocking. But it is also a universal story of escaping the burden of your past and finding yourself at home in a strange land.