poetry collections...

Tom C. Hunley’s Page

In addition to being the director of Steel Toe Books, Tom is also a prolific writer and Professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. You can find out more about his professorial existence by viewing his vita on his new university page.


Tom's Most Recent Books

Forthcoming in 2018:

Here Lies (Stephen F. Austin State University Press), a collection of forty-nine poems, consisting mainly of self-epitaphs.


The State that Springfield is In (Split Lip Press), a full-length poetry collection with poems written in the voices of The Simpsons characters.


Plunk (Wayne State College Press), a full-length poetry collection; Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Dr. Alexandria Peary) (Southern Illinois University Press).


Scotch Tape World (Accents Publishing) a chapbook.


The Poetry Gymnasium (McFarland) a textbook which gives student tested examples of writing assignments; Annoyed Grunt (Imaginary Friends Press) is a chapbook.


Other Books

Greatest Hits (Pudding House 2010): contact Tom to order a copy for $8.

Octopus (Logan House Press 2008) won the Holland Prize. It was reviewed by Michael Meyerhofer in Rattle, in the Texas Review, in the Bowling Green Daily News, and in The Broken Plate. You can read another online review of Octopus by Sherry Chandler in a blog posting.

Teaching Poetry Writing: A Five-Canon Approach (Multilingual Matters LTD 2007) is part of the New Writing Viewpoints series. It received a number of favorable reviews including in: College English and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Record. It was also reviewed in smaller forums as follows: (Re:)Arranging Poetry Writing Classes by Michael Theune, Bits of Wisdom from Heather Hoffman, and Reading for Writers by B.P. Bucak.

My Life As a Minor Character (Pecan Grove Press 2005) won a national chapbook prize.

The Tongue (Wind Publications 2004)

Still, There’s a Glimmer (WordTech Editions 2004)

Newspring (Linear Arts Books 1998)

Losing My Luggage (Poetry Around Press 1994)


Tom's Poems in Journals

Tom also has numerous poems published in journals. To date, approximately 300 have been published in journals such as TriQuarterly, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Poetry East, New York Quarterly, The Writer, and Connecticut Review. Here is a small sampling of Tom's poems that you can find online:

Diode Poetry Journal

Verse Daily


The Fiddleback


Asheville Poetry Review

Gumball Poetry


Interviews and Features

Tom has been interviewed about his poetry and press by

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer on WRFL (University of Kentucky Radio Station)

Kay Day of The Writer

Robert Lee Brewer of Writers Digest

Jeff Newberry in Story South wrote a feature based upon an interview with Tom.


Book Reviews by Tom

Tom is Poemeleon's book review editor and has penned reviews on books such as

Making it Up by Allen Ginsberg and Kenneth Koch

Manthology edited by Craig Crist-Evans, Kate Fetherstone, and Roger Weingarten.

He has also reviewed other poets in reviews such as "Three Emerging Poets Walk Into a Bar…" and "Four Fantastic Debut Collections."


Podcasts of Tom's Poems

You can hear podcasts of Garrison Keillor reading Tom's poems on The Writer’s Almanac and audio of Tom's February 26, 2011 poetry reading at Seattle’s Bookworm Exchange. You can also hear his October 30, 2010 Meacham reading, scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Personal Info

Tom has been married to the same lovely lady, Ralaina, since 1996. They have three handsome sons that all look like mini versions of Tom, and one daughter, who, luckily for her, does not look anything like Tom. Tom's other loves, besides his family and poetry, are his guitars, bass guitars, and basement "chill station".


Contact Tom

If you are interested in contacting Tom to request that he give a poetry reading, interview with your forum, or to solicit his work, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Some Other Dudes (And One Lady) Named Tom Hunley

Tom Hunleys come in all stripes and include: an ex-slave, a track and field athlete, a fisherman, an accused but acquitted individual, a towing company owner, and a civil war drummer boy who turned out to be female. Do you know another interesting Tom Hunley?

October 30, 2017

We are pleased to announce Steel Toe Books' most recent release, Street Calligraphy by Jim Daniels. Steel Toe Books acquired this title for publication in 2016.

Jim Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English at Caregie Mellon University, where he has been teaching creative writing since 1981. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry as well as numerous short stories and screenplays and the editor of multiple anthologies of poetry. His work has been featured in The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Poetry 180 with Billy Collins, and the American Life in Poetry series.

Street Calligraphy is, as poet Afaa M. Weaver says, "an honest and well-honed collection that will bring light to the lives it celebrates, our own." Aimee Nezhukumatathil calls these poems "moving and unflinching poems--brutal and brave." Daniels, a Detroit native, explores the city of the American Midwest, its concrete, factories, and graffiti: nostalgic, but not sentimental. "We never saw stars/above Detroit," he writes, "so why even look up?"

Street Calligraphy, will be available for purchase November 1, 2017, through Steel Toe Books (place an order here) and Amazon. For more information about Street Calligraphy or other Steel Toe releases, please view our titles here.

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