For the next few days, local writer Josh Hatcher will be offering his book, American Poetry: Poems For a Wounded Nation for free on Amazon’s Kindle Books. In the first day of the giveaway, the book garnered a top slot in the “American Poetry” category for free Kindle books, and is climbing in several other categories.
“Really, that ranking in the free categories helps to boost the overall ranking of the book. The higher the book is ranked, the more likely new people are to discover it,” says Hatcher, who self-published the book in April.
American Poetry was inspired by a desire to help heal the political divide. “Many poems are about love, about family, about faith, but there is a thread that runs through it, calling out our nation for going against the idea of e. pluribus unim,” says Hatcher, “I think that despite our differences, we can find the kind of common ground we need to make this country work.”
In the final poem, “Greatness,” Hatcher writes of his hope for America,
That the weight and responsibility of leadership would reign in the hearts of those who lead.
That two sides become one side with many facets.
That aisles be replaced with coffeetables.
That we can balance progress and tradition.
That common sense would reign.
That decisions made in marble halls and velvet chairs would be made with the farmer and the factory worker and the barber and the butcher and the baker and their husbands and wives and children in mind.
Hatcher has been published before. In 2003, he co-authored the book “Cheap Ways To…” which was published by Relevant Books. The book was carried in Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores nationwide. In 2016, Hatcher self-published Manlihood: The 12 Pillars of Masculinity, which is in the process of being re-released. He also published a book of inspirational quotes for men entitled Wisdom for Men: 500 Chunks of Manly Knowledge, and another book of poetry entitled Sweat, Sawdust, and the Millpond.
Hatcher also runs the website and podcast Manlihood.com, where he focuses on personal development for men. “A lot of my poetry actually is written in a way to be accessible to men. Somewhere along the way, we lost the traditions of the bards and poets, and men have disregarded poetry, when it was once a masculine tradition.”
In his poem “Validation,” Hatcher speaks to men, though he says, the sentiment is universal.
No man is an island. No man is a rock.
I understand you want the whole to acknowledge you. To recognize you. To give you honor, even in the slightest.
But no man can give you
What must come from you.
“I’m really excited about American Poetry for a plethora of reasons. It’s re-ignited my passion for poetry. Since working on it, I’ve written more poems than I had in twenty years,” says Hatcher.
The free book giveaway of American Poetry on Amazon will run until Friday, July 13. Hatcher hopes that the book will be read and enjoyed by many. “I don’t write poetry to get rich or famous. That usually only happens to dead poets,” he chuckles, “but if I can use my poems to inspire or brighten the lives of a few readers, than my job is done.”
American Poetry was released in conjunction with another book of poetry, To Turn the Pen: Begin Again Every Time written by his daughter, Michaelah Hatcher, which is also available on Amazon.