Larry Pike: Even in the Slums of Providence

Finishing Line Press announces the upcoming publication of a new full-length poetry collection, Even in the Slums of Providence, by Glasgow poet Larry Pike.

The book, Pike’s first, is scheduled for release on October 22.

Even in the Slums of Providence explores love, family, work, aging, and faith. Maurice Manning, professor of English at Transylvania University and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his book The Common Man, says Pike’s collection provides “a satisfying survey of human triumph, frailty, and uncertainty. The voice behind these poems is honest and generous, and filled with what can only be called gratitude.”

Hart County native and author of three collections of poetry Davis McCombs agrees. “I like [the poems’] sly humor, their companionable tone and unfailing generosity.” Now director of the creative writing and translation program at the University of Arkansas, McCombs notes, “Pike finds poetry where it hides, often in plain sight: in hospital rooms, on teleconference calls, at wedding receptions, in sock drawers and airport terminals, and on and on.”

There’s much to appreciate about Pike’s collection, says former North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti. “What I return to over and over is the deeply contemplative tenor of these nuanced, always direct poems,” Bathanti says.

Pike’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and several anthologies. Even in the Slums of Providence includes the 2003 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Award winner and the 2017 George Scarbrough Prize poem. His play Beating the Varsity was the “Kentucky Voices” production at Horse Cave (Ky.) Theatre in 2000. A graduate of Mars Hill College and Purdue University, he is a retired human resources manager. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Glasgow.

The art for the cover of the book is an oil-on-canvas painting, entitled “Here I Am,” by Glasgow artist Shelby Bale, Pike said.

Finishing Line Press is an award-winning small press publisher based in Georgetown, Ky. Copies of Even in the Slums of Providence may be reserved in advance of publication directly from the publisher at

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