Potted Meat
by Steven Dunn

Finalist, Colorado Book Award.
Co-winner, Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.
A Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Novel. 134 pages. Paperback. 2016.
Read excerpts in Columbia Journal | Granta

Potted Meat, a novel set in a decaying town in southern West Virginia, follows a young boy into adolescence as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction, and racial tensions. Using fragments as a narrative mode to highlight the terror of ellipses, Potted Meat explores the fear, power, and vulnerability of storytelling, and in doing so, investigates the peculiar tensions of the body: How we seek to escape or remain embodied during repeated trauma.

Potted Meat
by Steven Dunn

Finalist, Colorado Book Award.
Co-winner, Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.
A Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Novel. 134 pages. Paperback. 2016.
Read excerpts in Columbia Journal | Granta

Potted Meat, a novel set in a decaying town in southern West Virginia, follows a young boy into adolescence as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction, and racial tensions. Using fragments as a narrative mode to highlight the terror of ellipses, Potted Meat explores the fear, power, and vulnerability of storytelling, and in doing so, investigates the peculiar tensions of the body: How we seek to escape or remain embodied during repeated trauma.

101 pages of miniature texts that keep tapping the nails in, over and over, while speaking as clearly and directly as you could ask…. Zero indulgence, all formative. Bone Thugs, underage drinking, alienation, death, love, Bob Ross, dreams of blood: This thin thing is flooded with power (Blake Butler, VICE); Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is full of wonder and silence and beauty and strangeness and ugliness and sadness and truth and hope. I am so happy it is in the world. This book needs to be read (Laird Hunt); A remarkable piece of work. Rarely does one encounter a book so evocative of place and so bracing in its ability to transform the quotidian into revelation. It is a beautiful whole in its sharp fragments, and its author’s focus and attention enlarged my world moment by moment, scene by scene (Kevin Powers); Potted Meat is an extraordinary book. Here is an emerging voice that calls us to attention. I have no doubt that Steven Dunn’s writing is here, like a visceral intervention across the surface of language, simultaneously cutting to its depths, to change the world. My first attempt at offering words in this context was to write: thank you. And that is how I feel about Steven Dunn’s writing; I feel grateful: to be alive during the time in which he writes books (Selah Saterstrom).

101 pages of miniature texts that keep tapping the nails in, over and over, while speaking as clearly and directly as you could ask…. Zero indulgence, all formative. Bone Thugs, underage drinking, alienation, death, love, Bob Ross, dreams of blood: This thin thing is flooded with power (Blake Butler, VICE); Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is full of wonder and silence and beauty and strangeness and ugliness and sadness and truth and hope. I am so happy it is in the world. This book needs to be read (Laird Hunt); A remarkable piece of work. Rarely does one encounter a book so evocative of place and so bracing in its ability to transform the quotidian into revelation. It is a beautiful whole in its sharp fragments, and its author’s focus and attention enlarged my world moment by moment, scene by scene (Kevin Powers); Potted Meat is an extraordinary book. Here is an emerging voice that calls us to attention. I have no doubt that Steven Dunn’s writing is here, like a visceral intervention across the surface of language, simultaneously cutting to its depths, to change the world. My first attempt at offering words in this context was to write: thank you. And that is how I feel about Steven Dunn’s writing; I feel grateful: to be alive during the time in which he writes books (Selah Saterstrom).

About the Author

Shortlisted for Granta magazine’s “Best of Young American Novelists,” Steven Dunn is the author of two books from Tarpaulin Sky Press: water & power (2018) and Potted Meat, which was a co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards and a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Steven was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of Denver. He is currently an MFA candidate at Goddard College. Read more at our author page for Steven Dunn.

Steven Dunn

Shortlisted for Granta magazine’s “Best of Young American Novelists,” Steven Dunn is the author of two books from Tarpaulin Sky Press: water & power (2018) and Potted Meat, which was a co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards and a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Steven was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of Denver. He is currently an MFA candidate at Goddard College. Read more at our author page for Steven Dunn.