Thomas Alan Holmes



In the backhoe's shadow, one takes a brief rest in the midst of responsibilities and needs, considering what comes next. In his debut poetry collection, In the Backhoe's Shadow, Thomas Alan Holmes offers a measured evaluation of a lost past, balancing the consequences of generational shift with expanded understanding of family, love, and place. At turns pastoral, lyrical, contemplative, descriptive, and, sometimes, playful, the collection explores how to sustain after years of separation the virtues of the stream, the pasture, and the hive.


Thomas Alan Holmes spent many years on the staff and masthead of The Black Warrior Review while completing his graduate degrees at the University of Alabama. He is co-editor of Walking the Line: Country Music Lyricists and American Culture (with Roxanne Harde, Lexington Books, 2013), Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston (with Jesse Graves and Ernest Lee, University of Tennessee Press, 2015), and The Fire That Breaks: Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies (with Daniel Westover, Clemson University Press, 2020). His research and creative work have appeared in such journals as Louisiana Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Connecticut Review, Appalachian Heritage, Blue Mesa Review, Still: The Journal, and Appalachian Journal.