Stories overheard at the local “Wayburne Pig Cafe,” these poems capture a rural community’s own voice, peppered with gossip and arguments right off Main Street. Moving slightly away from the “pig poems” which have engaged so many readers, News from Down to the Cafe finds Lee more lyrical, gentle, and reflective than in previous works, yet once again his characters are heartbreaking, hilarious, and unfailingly entertaining.
“Lee joins the ranks of Frost and Hayden Carruth as poets whose treatment of rural life in lines cast in genuine vernacular goes far beyond what we often mean by ‘regional poetry’.” —The Year in Poetry, 1999
“[News from Down to the Cafe] brings us more of Lee’s unpretentious, open and generous take on his countryfolk and country.” —Publishers Weekly
“News from Down to the Cafe… demonstrates [Lee’s] strong ear and his genius for narrative.” —Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook