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Publisher & Editor  /  Sheldon Lee Compton

Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer, novelist, prose poet, and memoirist from Pike County, Eastern Kentucky.

He is the author of four short story collections - The Same Terrible Storm (Foxhead Books, 2012), Where Alligators Sleep (Foxhead Books, 2014), Absolute Invention (Secret History Books, 2019) and Sway (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2020). Compton is also the author of three novels - Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016), Dysphoria: An Appalachian Gothic (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2019), and Alice (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2023).

His poetry chapbook Podunk Lore was part of the Lantern Lit series (Dog On a Chain Press, 2018) and his first full-length poetry collection, Runaways, was published in 2021 by Alien Buddha Press.

In 2021 Cowboy Jamboree Press published The Collected Stories of Sheldon Lee Compton and followed that in 2022, on the anniversary of author Breece D'J Pancake's tragic death on April 8, 1979, Compton's hybrid memoir The Orchard Is Full of Sound, which the publisher describes as a book that "reflects on his [Compton's] own life, his struggles with poverty and divorce and violence and addiction and fatherhood and an early heart attack and trying to make it as a writer in rural Kentucky, all the while trying to trace the life and tragic ending of one of his literary heroes, Breece D'J Pancake."

In 2012, he was a finalist for both the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award and the Still Fiction Award. His writing has been nominated for the Chaffin Award for Excellence in Appalachian Writing, the Pushcart Prize, and longlisted for Wigleaf's Top 50.  He was cited twice for Best Small Fictions, in 2015 and 2016, before having his short story "Aversion" included in Best Small Fictions 2019 and his short story "The Good Life" included in Best Small Fictions 2022.

Compton has been founder, past publisher and editor of five literary journals - Cellar Door Magazine, Wrong Tree Review, A-Minor, Revolution John, and The Airgonaut.

Since 2020 he has taught in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Concordia University, St. Paul.

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