Come! Come! Where? Where?


By James Seay

184 pp., 5.5 x 8.5

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7814-6
    Published: February 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7813-9
    Published: February 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7815-3
    Published: February 2024

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit
James Seay's essays reflect a poet's eye for detail and a seeker's wrestling with life's big questions and experiences: what it means to be a parent, losing a child, confronting mental illness, observing and living through the collision of cultures, finding the universal in the particularity of every day. We share moments with Seay that stay with us, dipping in and out of his life and our own collective experience, as he reflects on childhood memories of his grandmother wringing chicken necks for Sunday dinner, reads his way through Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha, processes 9/11, watches The Sopranos, and ponders the American obsession with guns. These essays transport readers—from the South to the Southwest, from the former Soviet Union to France, and beyond—while exploring disparate topics, often using literature as a means of understanding culture and place.

Seay offers few easy answers for the big questions he explores. But walking with him on his journeys will open eyes to the possibilities, tenderness, and mysteries that surround us, hidden among everyday things.

About the Author

James Seay's work has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, the New Yorker, and Oxford American, among others. He has received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

For more information about James Seay, visit the Author Page.


"With the touch of a poet and the depth of an offshore fisherman (both of which he is), James Seay ranges from wrangling with hard men and heavy equipment to feeling for his butter-churning mom and a baby cowbird. The little cowbird is ignored, except by Seay, but this book shouldn't be."—Roy Blount Jr., author of Alphabet Juice

"From single-wides to severed digits and the naming of dogs, Come! Come! gently explores the beautiful, the profound, and the sad, illuminating the rich and varied human spectacle with wisdom and kindness. "—Sally Mann, photographer and author of Hold Still

"I have long revered James Seay as a poet, and this collection confirms he is also a superb essayist. As in his poetry, Seay's language is never ostentatious but honed to an intense clarity that makes the elegiac focus of these essays all the more heartbreaking. Come! Come! Where? Where? resonates long after the last page is turned." —Ron Rash, author of Serena

"In these detailed, nuanced essays, Seay brings attention to understudied subjects, including rural places in the South and the nature of work. A real contribution to literature about working people."—Toni Jensen, author of Carry