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Announcing: If Lost by Clint Bowman

Andrew McIver

Mar 25, 2024

Clint Bowman's exhilarated full-length poetry debut arrives fall 2024

Hi friends of Loblolly Press! Andrew here — founder and editor! I couldn’t tell you how grateful I am for your support of this vital work of forefronting emerging writers in the South, and with that in mind, I have a huge announcement to share — I couldn’t be more excited to be publishing Clint Bowman’s debut collection of poetry, If Lost, through Loblolly Press (@loblolly_press) this coming fall. I met Clint (@clint_bowman on Instagram) at one of the Dark City Poet’s Society’s (@darkcitypoetssociety) critique meetings when I first moved to Asheville in 2022, before I had even founded Loblolly. I continued to follow Clint’s success in Black Mountain and the surrounding area, and when the time came around to find Loblolly’s next manuscript, I knew exactly who I wanted to publish.

Some things really do feel meant to be, and after meeting with Clint to discuss his manuscript, and after working through some of the details, we set to work on bringing his incredible collection out and into the world. To start, let me tell you a bit more about If Lost:

Inspired by the mountains, forests, animals, and people of Appalachia, If Lost is Clint Bowman's exhilarating debut about how these elements collide and struggle to co-exist in an ever-changing landscape. Bowman's poems are a guide through this beautiful, brutal, and often misunderstood world where threats to the region come from all sides. Invasive species strangle the trees around corrupt churches and failing convenience stores, while truckers cry in parking lots and deer contemplate death along the highway. In If Lost, Bowman demonstrates how everyone and everything is lost in some way, but that it's possible to find a way out.

And for those of you just being introduced to him, Clint Bowman is a native of Davidson County, North Carolina. His debut chapbook, Pretty Sh!t, was published in May 2023 by Bottlecap Press. Clint is the co-founder and facilitator of the Dark City Poets Society (DCPS) in Black Mountain, NC, where he currently lives with his family. When Clint isn't volunteering his time to the DCPS, he works as a recreation coordinator— leading hikes, river cleanups, trail workdays, and other other outdoor programs.

Now, as for what I personally have to say about If Lost, here goes

Clint’s poetry strikes deep to the core of what it means to be from a place and to live in it completely. As a poet, I feel a kinship in his treatment of the natural world and the complexity of our troubled relationships with it. As a reader, I am floored by the feeling that perhaps Clint and I, growing up mere hours from one another, have somehow laid eyes on the same ghosts that haunt the rural South. If Lost is not Clint’s way of telling us that we have lost our way, though we may have, or that there is even a way out of the mess we’re in — it’s his humble witness to this world, and an incredible endeavor, as he puts it better than I can, “[to] try [his] best to loosen the rope around this world’s neck.”

If Lost belongs on your bookshelf and your support means everything as we launch this project this fall (👀 final release date TBD). In the meantime, stick around — we’ll guide you all the way to how you can get your hands on it and better yet, how we’ll gather in person to share this experience with others.

Talk soon,

Andrew M.

Founder and managing editor

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