Publication Date:  July 1, 2018
Paperback, 42 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-49-6
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Jeff Worley is the author of six books and
three chapbooks of poetry as well as an anthology
from University Press of Kentucky titled
Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky
. His first book, The Only Time There Is,
won the Mid-List Press first-book competition.
His second,
Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern,
was named co-winner of the Society of Midland
Authors Literary Competition and was named as
the 2006 Kentucky Book of the Year in Poetry.
Worley has received numerous other awards for
his writing, including three Al Smith Fellowships
from the Kentucky Arts Council and a National
Endowment Creative Writing Fellowship. He
and his wife, Linda, divide their time between
Lexington and their cabin at Cave Run Lake.
Award-winning poet Jeff Worley returns with a chapbook of short poems, several
previously published but all brought together here for the first time. The result is a
distillation of his ever-present wit and scattered bits of wisdom accumulated over
seventy years, a spirit as pure and clear and bracing as any backwoods liquor.

In some poems he fondly recalls his parents, into whose lives he landed “like a sack /
of old socks on their shoulders”, and his Kansas boyhood. In others he laments the
indignities of age, such as the loss of memory, the appearance of mysterious spots, or
the waitress who tells him his eyes are beautiful, only to add “
Ya know, you remind
me of my grandfather
.” Ouch!

In between we are treated to Worley's thoughts and observations on a number of
topics, a reminder that some of the best poems are indeed “Lucky Talk”, the title
borrowed from William Stafford who described poems as “pieces of talk, savored
and sustained.”  Here that talk ranges over cats and snowflakes, deer and quilting
bees, UFOs and turtle shells, a declaration of faith and the “cosmic observation” that

       The stars increase their twinkling
       the more I increase my drinkling.

In the end, these poems are a feat not unlike that of Eunice Winkless and her 1905
ride on the back of a diving horse,

       ...determined to take
       the whole whooping crowd with
       her, make them never forget...

Prepare to do some whooping, as Worley rides these words. You won't forget them.
Lucky Talk
26 Short Poems by