- This Issue
We are immensely proud to have Lee Maynard of Wayne County, West Virginia, as our featured author for this issue. He is a very talented writer who now lives in New Mexico but takes every opportunity to return to his native West Virginia to lead writing workshops and share his expertise.
Two of Lee Maynard's favorite poets, Kirk Judd and Chuck Kinder, appear here, as do three more West Virginia natives, Jeff Mann, Lucien Darjeun Meadows, and Bob Henry Baber, who is the Mountain Party's candidate for West Virginia Governor and the only candidate running who opposes mountaintop removal coal mining. We are proud again to include poetry by Wendell Berry, his first appearance here since President Barack Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal. R. T. Smith and Linda Parsons Marion have also previously appeared on these pages, but this marks the first appearance of Samantha Lynn Cole, a talented young poet who, for the last time in four years has a credit line in this magazine for the editorial work she did on it before she graduated from Berea College this year. We also include in this issue a poem by our former editor, Sidney Saylor Farr, who died last May. Our editorial is a heartfelt memorial to her. She became editor of Appalachian Heritage after the retirement of our founder, Al Stewart, and recently has enriched each issue with her regular recipes and recollections pieces.
Sadness also accompanies the beautiful art work of this issue—Paul Brett Johnson's depiction of his native Eastern Kentucky coalfields. His life was cut short by a stroke earlier this summer, so we print his art as a tribute to a lifetime of outstanding contributions including the many beloved regional children's books he illustrated and wrote. Our photographic portfolio is comprised of photos by the late William C. Blizzard, the son of Bill Blizzard, a hero of the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, a confrontation between union coal miners and West Virginia coal operators. These photos are supplied by Wess Harris, who also provides an article that argues that the union miners actually won the Battle of Blair Mountain.
"Esau in the Coal Fields" by Michael Kline recognizes the hard work that Joy and Chuck Lynn have done to restore the historic Whipple Colliery Company Store in Oak Hill, West Virginia, and to make it [End Page 12] available to the public for tours. In the course of investigating how the store functioned, allegations emerged that beyond the economic, physical, and political exploitation of the coal camp residents, sexual exploitation had occurred as well.
Our strong book review section continues our emphasis on West Virginia coal with Theresa Burriss's review of When Miners March written by William C. Blizzard and edited by Wess Harris. This issue had to have a review of Burning Bright by Ron Rash after it won the coveted Frank O'Connor Award as the best short story collection in the English Language for the year. Viki Dasher Rouse is a great choice to prepare that review, as is Warren J. Carson to review Charles Dodd White's Lambs of Men.
We are proud to give our readers a preview of an important new book about the Eastern Band of the Cherokees, an excerpt from Up from These Hills by Leonard Carson Lambert as told to his son, Michael Lambert, forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press. Another important article in this issue illuminates arguably the most outstanding literary college graduating class our region has produced—Lincoln Memorial University's class of 1929—which included Jesse Stuart, James Still, and Don West. Current lmu faculty member, Elizabeth Lamont, provides us with a fascinating look at the impact of author/professor Harry Harrison Kroll on that class. She illuminates not only those three authors, but creative writing pedagogy in the process. [End Page 13]