Deliver Thy Pigs (Malarkey Books, April 2022)
Praise for Deliver Thy Pigs
“To read Deliver Thy Pigs is to witness a miracle on the page. Satiric and heartfelt, epic and intimate—we now have an answer to the question: “what would happen if Upton Sinclair and Joy Williams teamed up to write The Great Midwestern Novel?” This brilliantly funny novel attempts (and succeeds) at journeying into the bruised, searching heart of the good old American factory town and, as a result, the American dream. Through the eccentric denizens of Prairie Ridge, Illinois, a mirror is held up to our lives, our strange modern ways—the way we consume, the way we grieve, the way we search for meaning, the way we find beauty where we can.” — DAVID BYRON QUEEN, FOUNDER/PUBLISHER OF WORD WEST PRESS
“A timely and addictive antidote for our times, witty and sensory. A jaunt through grief and revenge I will not forget.” —WILLIAM BURTCH, CO-AUTHOR OF W.G.
“Deliver Thy Pigs features a dynamic ensemble of folks in Prairie Ridge, Illinois, who all live in the same stink of the town’s slaughterhouse. Joey Hedger plumbs the heart of each memorable character in this community, meat packer and manager alike. Based on its demographics, Illinois is called the state most representative of the country as a whole—the most American state. Here, Hedger has written the most American novel—with grief, squealing pigs, exploited workers, and small acts of resistance. The American dream is dead, but maybe we can do something about the smell.” — ZACHARY KOCANDA
It’s been a year since defiant vandal Marco Polo Woodridge lost his father in a gruesome factory accident at J. Lowell’s Meat Factory, the noxious Midwestern pork giant that employs the majority of Prairie Ridge, Illinois’s residents. Despite the smell of death in the air—both from the lingering memory of Charles Woodridge and the thousands of pigs slaughtered daily at J. Lowell’s—the people of Prairie Ridge live in a state of regretful acceptance of the company’s hold on the community. That is, until Marco Polo teams up with Susan and Margaret Banks, the mother-daughter duo committed to restoring Illinois’s native tree population and sticking it to the man all the while.
Deliver Thy Pigs follows Marco Polo as he navigates an unwavering desire for revenge, his responsibility to the town, and his distaste for the self-pitying and overwhelmed J. Lowell’s manager, Dave Hughes. As Marco Polo, Susan, and Margaret exercise escalating acts of protest against the factory, the novel explores themes of community, loss, revenge, and connection to nature. With grit, humor, and Midwestern charm, Pigs examines what happens when you bite the hand that feeds, and what happens when that hand is the very one destroying you.
In the Line of a Hurricane, We Wait (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2019)
Facing the imminent threat of a hurricane, six Florida residents ignore the call to evacuate and anchor themselves against the torrents of wind and rain at home. They expect the storm to batter their property—but they don't expect the ways its currents rearrange their lives. Pocketed together, a once-grandmother learns once again what it means to care for teenagers, a sister realizes her worst fear when her younger brother goes missing in the night, and an immigrant challenges the sea. On the other side of town, a sailor faces his empty home, wounded criminal at his side—a criminal wondering just how long she can outrun her mistakes. In the course of a day, this crew must reconcile what the storm has unburied—and, ultimately, the future paths it leaves in its wake.
"God Doing Electrical Work," Variant Literature (Issue 8)
"Above the In-Between," McCoy's Monthly (Volume 2, Issue 1)
"Boarding for Tampa, Florida," Complete Sentence
"Paper Teeth" & "Blurry Exit Signs," Posit Journal (Issue 27)
"Someone Like You," Ab Terra Flash Fiction (Issue 3)
"Taking Root," Flyway Journal of Writing & Environment
“Rounds of Kevin Bacon,” Ghost City Review
“How the Shore Rushes In,” EcoTheo Review
“Sexy George Washington,” Maudlin House
“An Armadillo Named Saint Peter,” Emerson Review (Volume 48)
“The Loop,” Breakwater Review (Issue 22)
“The Labyrinthine Land,” saltfront (Issue 6)
“A To B,” Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders (Issue 22)
“Ash Millard and the Museum of Art and History,” Bitterzoet Magazine
“Loquat Sunset,” Leaves of Loquat (Volume 5) and first-prize winner at the 2019 Florida Loquat Literary Festival
“The Germ,” Freshwater Literary Journal
“River Logging,” Jelly Bucket (Issue 7)
“Clouds Like Ships in the Morning Sky,” The Albion Review
“What Does Your Town Smell Like,” Malarkey Books
“The Mystery of Mashed Potatoes and Joe Jr. in While You Were Sleeping,” Daily Drunk Magazine
“Atlantic Whistle,” Places to Stand in Florida (located near Jupiter Beach, Florida)
“Beyond This Shore,” Living Waters Review