Stephen Roger Powers

Stephen Roger Powers (Poetry) | Atlanta, GA

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Stephen Roger Powers started writing poetry almost twenty years ago to pass time in the middle of the night when he was too energized to sleep after coming off the stage in comedy clubs around the Midwest. He is the author of The Follower’s Tale and Hello, Stephen, both published by Salmon Poetry. Other work has appeared in 32 Poems, Shenandoah, The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: Georgia, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems. He hasn’t done stand-up in a long time, but every once in a while he finds avenues for the performer he was born to be. He was an extra in Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, and he can be seen if you know just where to look.


Hello, Stephen (Salmon Poetry. 2014). Poetry.
The Follower’s Tale (Salmon Poetry. 2009). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“The poetry of Stephen Roger Powers has remarkable qualities of provocation and social investigation; its ambivalence is usually comic. Powers combines insight and delight in Americana with a fervent and ancient sense of worship.”
—James Liddy, author of The Doctor’s House and Gold Set Dancing

“Like nothing else in Tennessee or anywhere else, Stephen Roger Powers’ The Follower’s Tale explores the lovestorms, hardships and delights long yarned and yodeled in country songs, but this whirlwind of a collection at once ironizes, subverts and deepens the miseries and joys of yearning without ever taking its eyes off the miraculous Dolly Parton. As the narrator observes, fantasizes and even channels the Pigeon Forge nightingale, he discovers that her down-to-earth royal kitsch provides the key to life’s most elusive mysteries. By the time Powers has worked his magic, even the slovenly wilderness will want to wig up and warble a chorus of ‘Jolene.'”
—R. T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah

Dear Stephen,
I was so touched that I still have tears, and a few dropped on your poems.
I will always love you,
—Dolly Parton

“Hello, Stephen is full of hot Georgia nights, wonderment in India, and tattoos–both real and emotional–that have been stitched onto skin. These pages illuminate the imperfections of our fragile bodies and remind us that we’re always swollen with love, loss, and lust. Here is a poet who is funny and wise, often at the same time. Through his clear-eyed honesty, we roller-coaster deep into the hidden chambers of the human heart. And best of all? His language burns with the same joy and heat of a firework sizzling up from Dollywood.”
—Patrick Hicks, author of The Commandant of Lubizec and This London

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