In Places & Stories, Bill Bridges turns his poet/journalist’s eye on scenes as varied as Venice, Machu Picchu, and the Time Out Bar in Van Buren, Indiana. He ranges in time, describing his search for echoes of the Yukon Gold Rush and for “lost villages and ghost towns” of the Midwest. The short stories at the end of the book also travel widely and conclude with a slightly eerie glimpse of the afterlife.


I’ve been in many bars in a long and sometimes misspent life, but the Time Out is classic, from its hand-painted name on paper pasted onto the front windows, to the fluorescent juke box, to a schedule of NASCAR races on the wall, to a green neon frog hanging from the ceiling in the back, next to the men’s room, which has no doorknob, no lock, and a sheet-metal urinal. (Leaving it later, I nearly bump into a waitress, who says, “Boo!” and then, “It’s all right, honey.”)

Others say:

“Bill Bridges is the most versatile writer I know.”
—Susanna Rich, author, The Flexible Writer

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