Category Archives: Deaths Garden Revisited

Talking about Cemeteries

It’s that time again, when everyone’s fancies turn to cemeteries. I’ve been out there, talking up the joys of visiting graveyards.

Horror Addicts focused the last hour of their October podcast on Death’s Garden Revisited. Horror hostess Emerian Rich (also a contributor to the book) interviewed me, then contributors E.M. Markoff, Francesca Maria, and Brian Thomas read tastes of their essays. If you’re trying to get in the mood for the season, check it out.

The National Funeral Directors Association interviewed me about 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Death’s Garden Revisited for their podcast, Remembering a Life.

The Washington Post asked me for some context for recipes appearing on headstones: They’re To Die For.

199 Cemeteries inspired another Washington Post journalist to begin exploring cemeteries. Along the way, she talked to a lot of taphophiles I’ve met via twitter. You have to love her headline: Why We Love a Good Cemetery.

In and around all of that, I’ve been getting the copies of Death’s Garden Revisited in the mail to the contributors and the Kickstarter backers. If you’d like a copy of your own (and who wouldn’t? It’s gorgeous!), you can click on the book cover above and be taken to Blurb.com. It’s available in hardcover and oversized paperback now. The ebook version should be coming soon.

Death’s Garden Revisited is available now!

I’m so excited to announce that my next cemetery book is available now.

Death’s Garden Revisited collects 40 powerful personal essays that explore 60 cemeteries — accompanied by 80 full-color photographs — to illustrate why people visit cemeteries. Spanning the globe from Iceland to Argentina and from Portland to Prague, Death’s Garden Revisited explores the complex web of relationships between the living and those who have passed before.

Genealogists and geocachers, travelers and tour guides, anthropologists, historians, pagan priestesses, and ghost hunters all venture into cemeteries in these essays. Along the way, they discover that cemeteries don’t only provide a rewarding end to a pilgrimage, they can be the perfect location for a first date or a wedding, the highlight of a family vacation, a cure for depression, and the best possible place to grasp history. Not to mention that cemetery-grown fruit is the sweetest.

You can see a preview below:

You can order your copy of the book in paperback or in hardcover directly from Blurb. The ebook is coming soon.

Contributors and Kickstarter backers: The books arrived earlier than expected. I’m getting those into the mail as soon as I can!

Death’s Garden Revisited

I’ve just now finished the final proofing for my next book, Death’s Garden Revisited: Personal Relationships with Cemeteries. Today we’ll order a paperback proof to check the quality of the photos one last time, then I can order the books and start fulfilling the Kickstarter pledges. The book will be available to everyone else in October.

It’s such an exciting time. The genesis of this book began in 1994, when my friend Blair gave me a box of photos he’d taken in cemeteries. Automatism Press published the first book inspired by them in 1996 and ever since, I have wanted to do a sequel. This book exceeds all my expectations.

I cannot wait for everyone to see how beautiful this new book is. I knew the text was going to be powerful, emotionally affecting, and life-affirming, but Automatism Press had never done a full-color book before. The photos truly are all I had hoped.

If you are interested in preordering a copy, you can drop me a note via my bookshop and I will let you know when the books are available.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the photos from the book! My phone isn’t really doing them justice, but you can get the idea.

Old Stirling Cemetery, photographed by Ann Bollen.

Unnamed graveyard, photographed by Greg Roensch.

St. Stephen’s Cemetery, photographed by Emerian Rich.

The Kickstarter’s Last Day

It’s finally here! Today is the final day of Kickstarter campaign for the cemetery book I’m editing, Death’s Garden Revisited.

At this point, 100 people have backed the project, ensuring that the black & white photos will be upgraded to color, I’ll be able to commission a couple of essays to fill out the book, and there will be more cemetery photos than I originally planned. This book is going to be so beautiful!

Backers are giving me the ability to finish the sequel to my cemetery memoir, Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. Everyone who donated — from the $5 level on up — will receive a copy of the new ebook. I am really excited to find out what they think of it.

The best reward — at least in my mind — is that every backer will be thanked inside Death’s Garden Revisited. I’m thrilled to be able to acknowledge their faith in me.

In case you haven’t seen it, this is the video in which I talk about the book:

Sometimes the video embeds get stripped out of the email versions, so you can watch it at this link: https://youtu.be/gxg-Hjh8-bo

This project has been a dream of mine for 25 years. I’m so excited that it’s going to become a reality this year.

Death’s Garden contributor: Chris LaMay-West

Chris LaMay-West believes in the power of rock music, poetry, and cats. His work has appeared in numerous venues. A California native, Chris resides in Vermont, where he writes, works for a college, and lives with his wife, two cats, a dog, several chickens, and an unbelievable number of bunnies. You can learn more at https://chrislamaywest.com/.

Chris and I met many years ago at an open mic I hosted for Morbid Curiosity magazine. He wrote for the magazine several times, read at my events, and was really fun to get to know.

His story for Death’s Garden Revisited is about visiting Pension Mountain Cemetery in Berryville, Arkansas, where he has family buried and his grandfather served as caretaker.

What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

Look for the oldest headstones and struggle to make out the faded legends.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

There are some amazing cemeteries in Boston: dates going back to the 1600s and people who you previously thought only existed in textbooks.

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

Yeats and Kerouac are high on my list.

If you have any choice, what would your epitaph be?

He tried to leave it better than he found it.

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

“Long Black Veil” comes to mind. You will, of course, not go wrong with the Cash version, but I’d like to also suggest the cover by The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash as well.

Loren again:

I had a lot of fun putting together a playlist of cemetery songs recommended by the Death’s Garden Revisited contributors. You can listen to it here.

I would also love it if you’d check out Death’s Garden Revisited, which is available for preorder on Kickstarter for a few more days. This beautiful book will be full of 40 amazing essays about why visiting cemeteries is important. Check it out — and please consider ordering a copy for yourself: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lorenrhoads/deaths-garden-revisited-relationships-with-cemeteries