Kevin Watson isfounding editor of Press 53. His short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies. His short story "Sunny Side Up" won first prize in the 2002 OutRider Press/TallGrass Writers' Guild short fiction contest and appeared in the 2002 anthology Take Two--They're Small. His short story "Some Kind’a Romantic" was awarded the 2002 Katherine B. Rondthaler Award for Prose. Kevin served as Managing Editor of the Silver Rose Anthology: Award-Winning Short Stories 2001, by Silver Rose Press. Prior to moving to Winston-Salem, NC, in 1997, Kevin spent ten years in Nashville, TN, as a songwriter, writing primarily for Crosswinds Music and Maypop Music, the publishing house for the band Alabama. He has shared the stage with Garth Brooks, Bill Monroe, Holly Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter and others. While in Nashville, Kevin served as a spokesperson and workshop coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Kevin is a graduate of Salem College, the oldest all-women's college in the US (est. 1772) where he became a proud Salem Sister and earned his BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He served on the board of the Salem College Center for Women Writers from 2001-07.
"To say I loved these stories is an understatement... A wordsmith of Watson's caliber does not come along too often. I laughed, cried, and was literally stunned to silence more than once... There isn't one weak story in this book. Watson's writing brings the location, each scenario, and every character to vibrant life."
— Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review
"If you loved visiting Sherwood Anderson's classic small town of Winesburg, Ohio, then you're gonna love Kevin Watson's Morgan Grove, Missouri."
— Julie Failla Earhart, Armchair Interviews.com
This debut collection of linked stories by Press 53 editor/publisher Kevin Watson is a love letter—or better yet, a love song, to small town America as portrayed in the fictional town of Morgan Grove, Missouri. A former songwriter himself, Watson stays true to his Nashville roots by taking on the plight of the common man. But while he gently examines the simple lives of the “nice people” who inhabit this virtual Ozarkian paradise, with its burnt orange sugar maples that lure people to come “and make some of them stay,” Watson doesn’t wax nostalgic just for the sake of reminiscence. (Though he does admit “in my mind [Morgan Grove] is very real; it’s a compilation of my parents’ hometown of East Prairie, Missouri, and many of the Ozark towns I visited on weekends during my high school days.” And there is something wistful about the book, some underlying yearning for a place that doesn’t exist.) Instead, he chooses as the subjects of his stories characters and situations so familiar and seemingly run-of-the-mill that the challenge becomes apparent: What’s to be said for “a nice town with nice people”?
You Can't Meet Jesus Wearing Sneakers and other stories from Morgan Grove