Chapin-based boutique publishing company, Muddy Ford Press, announces a new series of books, The Laureate Series, with the publication of Theologies of Terrain by Tim Conroy, edited by Columbia poet laureate, Ed Madden. There will be a launch party for the book on Tuesday, October 10th at 6 pm at Immaculate Consumption at 933 Main Street in Columbia, behind the SC State House, at which Conroy will read from the publication. The event is free and open to the public.
“The purpose of The Laureate Series is to celebrate the tradition of poetry that is born to South Carolinians and to promote and honor the relationship between mentor and protégé, advocate and postulant, poet and poet,” says publisher Dr. Robert Jolley. Poets laureate in South Carolina are invited to work independently with a poet of their choice who has not yet had a book of poetry published. Muddy Ford Press will publish the new author’s book and provide her or him with a number of copies of the book, as well as arrange for readings and promotion of the book.
Muddy Ford Press approached Madden, who is the publishing house’s poetry editor, about the new series earlier this year and he agreed to work with Conroy on this publication. The poets worked most of the year on Theologies of Terrain. “Working with Tim on this project was a joy,” Madden says. “His poems were lovely already, but it was such a pleasure to take this journey with him, thinking about how the poems might work together as a book. This is a beautiful collection, and these are poems we need — the perfect inaugural book for the laureate series.”
Conroy is a former special education teacher, school administrator, and vice president of the South Carolina Autism Society. His poetry and short fiction have been published in literary journals, magazines, and compilations, including Fall Lines, Auntie Bellum, and Marked by the Water. A founding board member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, established in his brother’s honor, Conroy lives and writes in Columbia, South Carolina. “Ed is a poet of incredible instinct, knowledge, skill, generosity and vision,” Conroy says. “He gives the poet the gift of immersion into their work. I was fortunate beyond belief to have him as my mentor and editor.”