My Debut Poetry Book, Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot, On Sale Now!

My debut poetry collection, Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot has been released!

You can buy the book directly from my publisher, at Amazon, and other major retailers. And you can find it at most independent bookshops (including my beloved local Taylor Books) on the shelves or online via IndieBound. Full list of where to buy my book is here. You can read more about the book below…

3D Book Cover

Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot reveals the reality of rural life with elements of the surreal. Comforts of country living are juxtaposed with poverty, domestic violence, the opioid epidemic, and environmental destruction both natural and man-made-made—including the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Derecho, the 2014 Elk River Chemical Spill/Water Crisis, and the historic 2016 WV Floods.

Foreword by CRYSTAL GOOD, author of Valley Girl, featured on TEDx, Huffington Post, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Advanced Praise:

“There is fire and ice and brilliance in this collection by V.C. McCabe.”
PETER HELLER, author of New York Times Bestseller The Dog Stars

“McCabe’s poems are timely in their depiction of Appalachia’s environmental devastation, and she writes movingly about hard times, but she also shows us beauty.”
RON RASH, author of 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times Bestseller Serena

“V.C. McCabe’s poems are bound to the land, by fire and flood, by vine and asphalt. This outstanding debut volume is the home that she has made for us”
ELIZABETH CATTE, historian and author of What You are Getting Wrong About Appalachia

“Sometimes painful, often strange, and always inviting you in… to overhear lives that straddle myth. After a while, you start to believe in the birds leaving the throat of the speaker’s sister, the carnivals and zombies and holy clouds of confetti. These poems coil and veer, are never complacent in their movement, and are never afraid to lean on the surreal.”
KEEGAN LESTER, author of This Shouldn’t Be Beautiful but it was and it’s all i had so i drew it

“V.C. McCabe’s poems have West Virginia at their heart. It’s easy to feel at home in these poems, and home can be a frightening place. This collection reminds me of early books by Irene McKinney. The poems have that power, center, and resonance. I know I will read this book again and again.”
ACE BOGGESS, author of The Prisoners and I Lost the Art of Dreaming It So


Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot is an exceptionally capable debut from an accomplished poet. Anyone who looks back at their past with a sense of longing and yearns for what was left behind, who looks around their community and wants something more for it, who has struggled in an endless loop of destruction and hope, will find beauty and solace in these pages.”
– Amanda McLeod, Amanda McLeod Writes

“V. C. McCabe’s imagery, her deft hand at conveying heartache for time’s destructive passing ensures that those who purchase this collection will jealously guard it and will be hard pressed to let it out of their sight. In short, it would be best for fans of poetry, Americana and those with a fascination for Appalachia to secure their own copy.”
– Laura DiNovis Berry, Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews

“McCabe’s writing is gritty and ebullient, with heart. The Bard perceives the world with a Vonnegut-like moroseness and black humor, combined with the apocalypse party ethos of Don DeLillo’s White Noise…”
– Jessica Drake-Thomas, This Week, I Read

“V.C. McCabe is a modern, necessary Appalachian voice in poetry…a welcome voice to rural, environmental poetry. Juxtaposing beauty with the slander humans sometimes visit against the land, McCabe is able to ultimately bring out the pathos and humanity of a land toward whom disrespect ought to lessen in light of poetic credence.”
– Michael Prihoda, After the Pause

“McCabe has a rich, inviting style of writing that has a habit of nestling up next to the reader making them feel all snug and cosy…McCabe portrays human behaviour in all it’s exquisite beauty with grace and elegance.”
– Emma Jane Mackay, Bunny’s Pause

“The poems contain plagues of fire, flooding, moving earth, and hands blistering from the water in the tap… McCabe can employ a line break to devastating effect”
-J.D. Ho, EcoTheo Review

“this book of laid-bare poetry is an important tutelage about a forgotten America where hard times are a way of life and about the people who endure. It’s a book that should be read by everyone…”
-Charlotte Hamrick, Barren Magazine Editor, Zouxzoux

“McCabe painstakingly selects exactly the right words and makes them dance for her pen, to fall into exactly the right places. Poetry lovers will want to devour this collection whole, over and over again, to savour the taste of every word. Very highly recommended!”
-Steph Warren, Bookshine & Readbows

Official Book Trailer:

Buy the Book

Published by V. C. McCabe

V.C. McCabe is an Appalachian poet and the author of Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books, 2023) and Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). She has edited for Barren Magazine, the New International Voices series (Ice Floe Press), and Frontier Poetry. Her work appears in ekphrastic exhibits and journals worldwide, including EPOCH, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner. Her website is

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