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Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers

edited by Joyce Dyer

Publication Year: 2013

Winner of the 1997 Appalachian Studies Award Appalachian Writers Association 1999 Book of the Year Winner of the Susan Koppleman Award of the Popular Culture Association for Best Edited Collection in Women's Studies Joyce Dyer is director of writing and associate professor of English at Hiram College, Ohio."

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky


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p. c-c


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pp. i-ii


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p. iii-iii


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p. iv-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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pp. 1-15

This is a volume of celebration. Of general celebration of the literary renaissance that is taking place in the hills of Appalachia among its sons and daughters. And of special celebration of the writing women of the Southern Highlands who are making such a profound and prolific contribution to American letters....

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Flowering Ivy

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pp. 16-20

Sheila Kay Adams (b. 1953) comes from a small mountain community in western North Carolina. For seven generations her family has maintained the tradition of passing down the English, Scottish, and Irish ballads that came over with her ancestors in the late 1700s. Adams learned the ballads from her relatives, primarily from her great-aunt,. Dellie Chandler Norton. She is an accomplished balladeer, storyteller, and...

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Border States

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pp. 21-30

Lisa Alther was born in 1944 in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she went to public schools. She graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in English in 1966. After attending the publishing procedures course at Radcliffe College and working for Atheneum Publishers in New York, she moved to Hinesburg, Vermont, where she raised her...

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The Mountains Dark and Close around Me

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pp. 31-50

Maggie Anderson was born in New York City in 1948 and moved to West Virginia when she was thirteen years old. Her family is from Preston County. She is the author of four books of poetry including Years That Answer (1980), Cold Comfort (1986), and A Space Filled with Moving (1992). She is also the editor of Hill Daughter: New and Selected Poems (1991)

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pp. 40-51

Marilou Awiakta (b. 1936), whose family has lived in Southern Appalachia for more than seven generations, grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Raised on America's atomic frontier, she has pioneered the unique fusion of three traditions: Cherokee, Appalachian, and the high-tech world. Currently a resident of Memphis, Awiakta received...

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Root Hog, or Die

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pp. 52-60

Born in 1953 in Blackey, Kentucky, where she currently lives with her husband and son, Artie Ann Bates is both a medical doctor and a writer. Her children's book, Ragsale (1995), tells the story of a favorite Saturday event from her own childhood-ragsalin'. Bates has published essays and poems in journals such as...

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pp. 61-70

Kathryn Stripling Byer (b. 1944) is currently poet-in-residence at Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She was born in southwest Georgia and raised on a farm surrounded by cornfields and numerous cousins. Byer was fascinated by the mountains from an early age, always deeply influenced by her paternal...

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Good Questions

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pp. 71-79

Jo Carson (b. 1946) is a well-known writer and performer from Johnson City, Tennessee, who explores a wide range ofliterary genres, including poems, essays, plays, short stories, children's work, reviews, advertising, and speeches. She is the author of numerous award-winning plays:...

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Paradise in Price Hollow

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pp. 80-86

Lou VP. Crabtree was born in 1913 in the hills of Appalachia, where she has spent most of her life. She now lives in Abingdon, Virginia. Crabtree graduated from Radford University and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Faegin School of Drama. She taught for thirty-five years, served as regional auditioner for the...

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All This, and Honeysuckles Too

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pp. 87-97

Born in 1949 in Gainesville, Georgia, with a "caul," according to her great-aunt, doris diosa davenport sees with the aesthetic/politicized eyes of a working-class, lesbian-feminist, Affrilachian (Southern Appalachian African American) visionary. She is a performance poet, educator, and writer with a B.A. in English from Paine College in...

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Mutant in Bandana

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pp. 98-104

Hilda Downer (b. 1956) spent her earlier years in Bandana, North Carolina. Currently, she lives outside of Boone, North Carolina, with her husband, Shelburne Wilson, who is a physician and Galloway Beltie cattle breeder, and her two sons, Branch and Meade. She works as a psychiatric nurse and part-time English instructor at Appalachian...

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"The Past Is Never Dead. It's Not Even Past"

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pp. 105-110

Born in 1920 in Asheville, North Carolina, Wilma Dykeman now lives in both North Carolina and Tennessee. In seventeen books of fiction, history, biography, social commentary, and essays, Dykeman explores the world of nature and conditions that limit human potential. Her first novel,...

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Women Born to Be Strong

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pp. 111-119

Editor of Appalachian Heritage and assistant to the Special Collections librarian at Hutchins Library at Berea College, Sidney Saylor Farr (b. 1932) is a poet, short story writer, and essayist. Farr is the author of five books that represent a wide and rich range of genres. Two of her books,...

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Salt-Water Geechee Mounds

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pp. 120-127

Nikky Finney was born in 1957 in Conway, South Carolina, at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. She was raised in several different towns across the state. Choosing to remain in her beloved southland, she attended Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. Her first book of poems,...

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No Scapin the Booger Man

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pp. 128-131

Denise Giardina was born in 1951 in Bluefield, West Virginia, and grew up in a coal camp. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and Virginia Theological Seminary. Her first novel,...

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400 Mulvaney Street

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pp. 132-139

Born in 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Nikki Giovanni has recently published an illustrated "love poem" entitled Knoxville, Tennessee (1994), for her grandmother Louvenia Watson. Giovanni was graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and is professor of English at Virginia Tech. Her most recent publications include...

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Uncle Orphy

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pp. 140-145

Gail Godwin (b. 1937) is a native North Carolinian on both her mother's and her father's side and was raised in Asheville. She claims Alabama as well, because her mother was visiting Krahenbuhl cousins in Birmingham when Gail was born. She is the author of nine novels and two collections of stories....

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The Standing People

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pp. 146-152

Ellesa Clay High was born in 1948 and raised on the suburban edge of Louisville, Kentucky, but has lived her adult life in Appalachia. She received her Ph.D. from Ohio University in 1981 and has since taught creative writing, Appalachian literature, and American Indian literature in the English Department at West Virginia University....

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Writing in the Smokehouse

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pp. 153-166

Lisa Koger was born in 1953 in Elyria, Ohio, and raised in Gilmer Counry, West Virginia. A former newspaper reporter, she received a BSW from West Virginia Universiry, a master's degree in journalism from the Universiry of Tennessee, and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the Universiry of Iowa. She is the recipient...

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pp. 167-174

Born in 1949 and raised in Harlan, Kentucky, George Ella Lyon was educated at Centre College, the University of Arkansas, and Indiana University, where she studied with poet Ruth Stone. She began submitting book manuscripts in 1972; her first book, Mountain, was published in 1983. Since then Lyon has published a second...

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Keepers of the Legends

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pp. 175-186

Best known for her Appalachian novels and short fiction, Sharyn McCrumb (b. 1948) has a deep connection to the Appalachian South. Her great-grandfathers were circuit preachers in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. Her grandfather was an eyewitness to the hanging of an elephant for murder in Erwin, Tennessee, back in 1916. Family...

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Letter from a Poet in West Virginia

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pp. 187-191

A transplanted Appalachian from Arkansas, Llewellyn McKernan (b. 1941) lives on a rural route in West Virginia and teaches part-time at Marshall University. She received a B.A. in English from Hendrix College, an M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas, and an M.A. in creative writing from Brown University. She is a poet and...

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A Natural History

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pp. 192-199

Born in 1939 in Albemarle, North Carolina, still her residence on major holidays and in summers, Heather Ross Miller spends the academic year in Lexington, Virginia, where she is professor of English at Washington and Lee University. She received both a B.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Between...

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Leaving Pre-Appalachia

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pp. 200-208

Elaine Fowler Palencia (b. 1946) grew up in Morehead, Kentucky, and Cookeville, Tennessee, but now lives in Champaign, Illinois. Her stories have appeared in Crescent Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Iowa Woman, and other magazines, and several have been anthologized. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Palencia is perhaps best...

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Premature Burial

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pp. 209-217

Jayne Anne Phillips (b. 1952) is the author of two novels, Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984), and of two widely anthologized collections of stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Bunting Institute Fellowship, the Sue...

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Counting the Sums

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pp. 218-224

Born in 1954 in Hiltons, Virginia, the fifth generation to be born in that place, Rita Sims Quillen is the oldest of four children. When she was thirteen, she almost got the part of Mick in the film version of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. She married her high school sweetheart at nineteen, graduated from a local community college at the age of...

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The Song about the Story-The Story

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pp. 225-232

From Viper, Kentucky, near the mouth of Little Elkhorn Branch, Jean Ritchie (b. 1922) is the youngest of fourteen children. Her father, Balis Ritchie, a descendant of Scottish farmers, taught her how to play the dulcimer in 1927. Ritchie moved to Port Washington, New York, in 1955, where she still resides, although she spends many...

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Westward from Bald Mountain

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pp. 233-242

Bettie Sellers (b. 1926) is a resident of Young Harris, Georgia, and was Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry for 1979,1982, and 1989. She holds an M.A. from the University of Georgia and an honorary doctor of literature degree from La Grange College, her undergraduate alma mater. Sellers was the Goolsby Professor of English...

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The Search for the Beulah Quintet

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pp. 243-246

The founder of the PEN-Faulkner Award, Mary Lee Settle (b. 1918) grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, and attended Sweet Briar College. She enlisted in World War II as an aircraft woman in the RAF, an experience she recounts in All the Brave Promises (1966). Mter the war, she returned to New York Ciry, working briefly as an assistant...

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pp. 247-252

Anne Shelby (b. 1948) is a native of eastern Kentucky and now lives on a farm in Clay County, Kentucky. Shelby, who has a B.A. and an M.A. in English, has published five books for children: We Keep a Store (1990), Potluck (1991), What to Do about Pollution (1993), Homeplace (1995), and The Someday House (1996)....

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Big Stone Gap

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pp. 253-260

Betsy Sholl (b. 1945) grew up on the New Jersey shore. She was educated at Bucknell University, the University of Rochester, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and Vermont College. She lived in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, from 1976 to 1983, writing and working as a freelance teacher. While in Virginia she was associated with Christ...

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Appalachian Loaves and Fishes

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pp. 261-271

Resident of Cleveland, South Carolina, and poet laureate of the state, Bennie Lee Sinclair (b. 1939) is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Furman University and the ninthgeneration descendant of settlers of the state's mountainous "Dark Corner." Her first volume, Little Chicago Suite (1971), was introduced by Mark Strand and very quickly...

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Inside Discoveries

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pp. 272-286

Barbara Smith (b. 1929) was raised in Wisconsin but "came home" to West Virginia in 1960. She served for over twenty years as chair of the Division of Humanities and for over thirty years as professor of literarure and writing at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. Smith has published over two hundred poems, short stories,...

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Terrain of the Heart

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pp. 277-281

Lee Smith was born in 1944 in Grundy, Virginia, and is currently professor of English at North Carolina State University. She is the author of numerous works of fiction, including...

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JANE STUART: This House and This World

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pp. 282-288

Resident of Greenup, Kentucky, Jane Stuart (b. 1942) graduated with a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Italian from Indiana University. Within the past few years several of her translations from Eugenio Montale's La Buftra e Altro have been published in Oasis, Tampa Review, and Mother Tongues. She is the author of...

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An Inquiry into Who My Grandmother Really Was

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pp. 289-297

Born in 1946 in Clarksburg, the county seat of Harrison County, West Virginia, and now living in Sourh Orange, New Jersey, Meredith Sue Willis was recently honored for her significant contribution to letters at the Fourteenth Annual Literary Festival sponsored by Emory & Henry College. Her maternal grandfather, Carl Meredith, a...


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pp. 298-303

E-ISBN-13: 9780813143392
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813120591

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013