Hard Toward Home is alive with cross-grained people caught between their pasts and futures and striving to outlast the harm they've done each other and themselves. Albin possesses all the storyteller's gifts of eye and ear and mind and goes them one better by virtue of his heart. These stories are deep and wise and quietly gorgeous.
   —Janet Peery, author of The River Beyond the World



Axe, Fire, Mule, a collection of poetry,  unfolds in five movements, the first four sections exploring the internal conflicts of various speakers—farmers, teachers, pawn brokers, barbers, others—whose ambivalence toward hardscrabble life in the Ozarks is a defining trait.