Here’s a roundup of new and recently published books by local authors. Since April is also National Poetry Month, you’ll notice several new volumes of verse, as well.

Hanging the Peachtree Bandit by Tom Hughes (The History Press) On December 15, 1921, during the height of the Christmas shopping season, one of the most daring robberies of a jewelry store sent shock waves down Peachtree Street, resulting in the manhunt, and arrest, of eighteen year-old Frank DuPre, a young man accused of killing two men simply to steal a ring for a young woman he had known for but one week. The book follows DuPre’s legal battle to avoid the gallows, pitting the city of Atlanta against itself in what would become the first significant challenge to capital punishment in Georgia.

Book of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young (Random House) Young’s poems about the death of his father are juxtaposed with those about the birth of his son. In a recent Fresh Air interview, Young told Terry Gross that those two events have been transformative for his life and work: “It was a way of just writing about what had happened and also the way that the cycle of life informed my life, from death to birth to… a kind of rebirth that I felt afterward.”

East Atlanta by Henry Bryant and Katina VanCronkhite (Arcadia Publishing) These two East Atlanta residents weave together the history of the eclectic neighborhood, from the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War to its renaissance as a thriving community of residents, shops and restaurants.

Prisoners, Lovers and Spies by Kristie Macrakis (Yale University Press) The Atlanta author focuses on invisible writing, uncovered through stories about scoundrels and heroes. Macrakis is professor of history, technology, and society at Georgia Tech.

Only Ride: Poems by Megan Volpert (Sibling Rivalry Press) Volpert’s new collection of minimalist prose poems tackles suburban malaise including sharp – and funny – details on how to avoid becoming one’s parents, how to manage a body addled by disease, and how to keep having the best possible time in life.

On Occasion: Four Poets, One Year by Karen Head, Blake Leland, JC Reilly and Robert E. Wood (Poetry Atlanta Press) Four poets, friends and colleagues gave themselves an extraordinary, year-long writing assignment. This stunning collection, which take place over the change in seasons, holidays, vacations and other life-altering event is the thrilling results of their collaboration.

Swift Hour: Poems by Megan Sexton (Mercer University Press) A search for shadows and light ties this collection together as Sexton explores the grieving mothers of the Disappeared of Argentina, the censorship of Anna Akmatova, to Ghandi’s ashes being scattered into the Ganges.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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