"Snaketown is a shocking achievement. It's a vision carved in jagged, searing, native prose from the bleak landscape of the American psyche. It's the story of a crumbling community clinging to a rock, its people flawed and haunted and kin to us all. It's an experience so vivid, so terrifying, so compelling, I fear part of me will be stuck there forever. It's also a work of rare beauty. It's art and storytelling of the highest order."
—Steve Lattimore, author of Circumnavigation
"Kathleen Wakefield's imagination constructed a minefield of malady when she wrote Snaketown. Snaketown's soil has been raped by the mining industry and infected by a contagious soul sickness, which has spread to its inbred and insular community. Here is a morality tale of darkness and decline told in brilliant lyrical detail, biblically enchanting."
—Martine Bellen, author of 2X2 and The Vulnerability of Order
"There is music here, in Kathleen Waklefield's novella, Snaketown, a lyrical cadence—old ghosts playing guitars in a stirring and beautiful but killing terrain. This is a ballad of a lost child told with heartbreaking and unflinching clarity. You know Snaketown exists, and if you find yourself on the winding back road that leads you there, you may want to lock your doors and roll up your windows until the road comes off that mountain and straightens out again onto a main and comforting highway."
—Darrell Brown, producer, and songwriter
"In venomous lyricism, Kathleen Wakefield captures the sweltering emptiness at the rim of the high desert in another, woebegone time, where the rustling behind you may be angels' wings or diamondback scales. This scathing novella, Snaketown, will remain with you long after you have put it away. A searing triumph. You must read this book!"
—Rita Williams, author of If The Creek Don't Rise
Published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center
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They couldn't find Buddy's little girl, Caytas, and up over by the barn, silhouetted against the sun, Varla Sibel could see the dogs throwing something around, ripping and tearing at, and having a tug-of-war with something limp and lifeless. She started running, hiking up her skirt, her sandals slapping at the heels of her feet; she ran through the junk pile and over the rocks and cactus, spider and piss-ant holes, over snakes, and beetles curled in the shade like larvae, ran hard and breathless in the 110° temperature...