David Baxter was a regular contributor to No Depression magazine during its last daysin print, and his short story "The Last Noel" was included in the inaugural MOTIF anthology. He lives in Bowling Green, KY, where he teaches elementary school students who are gifted in science and mathematics.
Jeffery Beam's Invocation, a limited edition hand-made chapbook (Country Valley Press) has just been released. He and Richard Owens (Damn the Caesars) edited a Jonathan Williams feature for Jacket magazine in late 2009 – which they hope will evolve into a book. The Beautiful Tendons: Uncollected Queer Poems 1969 – 2007 (White Crane Wisdom Series), On Hounded Ground: Home and the Creative Life, an essay with poems (Bookgirl Press, Japan), and A Hornet's Nest, a quote book of Jonathan Williams - (editor, The Jargon Society) were published in 2008. His many award-winning works include Visions of Dame Kind (The Jargon Society), An Elizabethan Bestiary: Retold (Horse and Buggy), The Fountain (NC Wesleyan College Press), and the online book, Gospel Earth (Longhouse). His spoken word CD with multimedia, What We Have Lost: New and Selected Poems 1977-2001, was a 2003 Audio Publishers Award finalist. An expanded Gospel Earth (Skysill Press, England) will be published in early 2010. The song cycle, Life of the Bee, with composer Lee Hoiby, continues to be performed on the international stage. The Carnegie Hall premiere with Beam reading and the songs performed can be heard on Albany Record's New Growth. On December 1, 2008 (World AIDS Day) in Boston, MA, composer / counter-tenor Steven Serpa premiered a cantata Heaven's Birds: Lament and Song based on three of Beam's poems from The Beautiful Tendons. Beam continues to work on The Life of the Bee, an opera libretto based on the Demeter/Perspehone myth, and a commonplace book on poetry and the spirit entitled They Say. The Broken Flower: Poems seeks a publisher. Beam is poetry editor of the print and online literary journal Oyster Boy Review and a botanical librarian in the Biology-Chemistry Library at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. www.unc.edu/~jeffbeam/index.html.
Alan Brasher teaches English at East Georgia College, works with Emanuel Arts Council, and plays music whenever the opportunity presents itself. The Central Alabama woods he grew up in haunt his mind as well as his poems.
Brooke Calton is originally from Hooper's Creek in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains. She now lives on a farm in central North Carolina with her husband and son. Calton has written one novel, A Living Thirst, and is currently at work on a second.
Casey Clabough serves as English Department Chair at Lynchburg College and as literature editor for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Encyclopedia Virginia. He is the author of several book-length scholarly studies as well as the creative nonfiction book The Warrior's Path: Reflections Along an Ancient Route.
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is assistant professor of English at Cornell University. She is the author of the poetry collection Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and coauthor, with Elizabeth Alexander, of the chapbook Poems in Conversation and a Conversation.
W. Cameron Dennis has been an exhibiting photographer for over twenty years. He is the recipient of a 1993 Photography Fellowship from the Southern Arts Federation and a 2000 North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship. He also received a project grant from the North Carolina Arts council in 1993. Cameron earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Clemson University in 1990 he also studied art and photography at Parsons School of Design and Appalachian State University. He has exhibited extensively, earning many awards in both regional and national juried competitions. His work has been published in the NC Literary Review, The Sun magazine and The Photo Review. He has work in several private and public collections including the University of NC Chapel Hill, School of Law.
Robert B. Cumming is owner and publisher of Iris Press, located in Oak Ridge, TN. He is also a poet and essayist.
Dr. Victor M. Depta has published nine books of poetry, three novels, two volumes of comedic plays, a collection of essays on poetry and mysticism, and over two-hundred poems in magazines and journals. He has a Ph.D. in American literature from Ohio University, an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in English from Marshall University.
Holly Farris, twice nominated for a Puschcart Prize, published her first collection of short stories in 2007. Lockjaw, from Gival Press, was named Appalachian Book of the Year in 2008, and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
Thomas F. Fehr was born just outside New York City, where a friend once said that he was a city boy with a country heart. Tom is now a husband and dad living in Bristol, Tennessee and often rides his bicycle to work at East Tennessee State University. Though he has grey in his beard, Tom wants to be a farmer when he grows up.
Frankie Finley is an active member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, and the editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. Three years ago, she bought a house in Lexington, Kentucky, and it's the longest she's ever lived in one place. Frankie works as a writer and enjoys kayaking, traveling, and spending time with her partner and daughter.
Kate Hauk was an English major, yet only in the last 15 years has her education in the early ‘70s at the Universities of Colorado, Ohio Wesleyan, and seminary begun to "take," like a delayed vaccine, and become something she truly savors. The poetry she’s memorized over the years has blossomed in her work as a writer, speaker, artist and spiritual counselor (i.e., someone who listens to others on purpose). Ordained in 1979 as a Congregational minister, Kate has worked in a variety of multi-faith settings, most recently as a hospice chaplain and with those facing addiction recovery, grief and loss.
Using creative writing, music, and silence, Kate keeps discovering the
power of poetic imagery to draw us into that “field,” where we can meet, and
where restoration is possible.
“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
( Jalaluddin Rumi)
Leah Miranda Hughes is a Southern poet who began studying etymology and diction after reading Whitman.
Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry emigrated in1994 from Moscow to the United States. She lives and works in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia. She holds an M.A. in English from Radford University and is currently in the M.F.A program at Hollins University. Her fiction seeks to chart and dramatize the often difficult, often beautiful lives of ordinary Russian people from the Soviet era, through the time of perestroika, to the current period of the so-called New Russia. In the past five years her stories have appeared in Timber Creek Review, Pangolin Papers, Gulf Stream, North Dakota Quarterly, Arts & Letters, The Del Sol Review, Words of Wisdom, Rattapallax, Feminist Studies, Nimrod, and Phoebe: Gender and Cultural Critiques and are forthcoming in Talking River Review, Apostrophe, and The Southern Review.
Ken Hassell graduated with an MFA degree in photography from the University of Wisconsin and subsequently taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Drexel University and Delaware County Community College. Currently, he is a tenured Associate Professor and chair of the Art Department at Elon University, a liberal arts college located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. He developed and heads a thriving photography program and founded the digital art program.
Jane Hicks is a teacher, poet, and fiber artist from upper East Tennessee. Her first book, Blood and Bone Remember won the Poetry Book of the Year 2006 Award from the Appalachian Writers Association. She is presently at work on a novel.
Jennifer Horne grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has lived in Alabama since 1986. The author of a poetry chapbook, Miss Betty’s School of Dance (1997) and the forthcoming collection of poems Bottle Tree (2010), she is also the editor of Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets (2003) and co-editor, with Wendy Reed, of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (2006). Descended from families who moved from Alabama and Tennessee to Arkansas, she grew up on Appalachian folk songs and wisdom and is still trying to learn all the verses to “Old Joe Clark” while wondering whether a rabbit really did run over her grave.
Ron Houchin was raised in Huntington, WV, and educated at Marshall University. He is the author of Among Wordless Things, the Appalachian Book of the Year in poetry, Birds in the Tops of Winter Trees, and Death and the River. Houchin lives in Burlington, Ohio.
Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa lives in Ireland. His poetry has been published in a number of online and print journals including the African American Review, and The Echoing Years: an Anthology of Poetry from Canada and Ireland. He is a Yeats' Pierce Loughran Scholar. He writes: “Appalachia amazes. I find the natural way of life of the people very unique, very humane. Nature still in his wild elegance. Meditating on this a while, I put it in verse:
for Rob Merritt
While memories renew
with music that tallies old-time tunes
While tourist ink their pen
to write of the way of life
and of the friendliness of neighbour
While marvels are conjure up
from this mountains
that challenge the Twelve Ben
I want you to tell everyone
through trumpets played with the fragrance of roses
here contrasts the affairs of our modern life.
Kate Larken hails from Western Kentucky and is a widely respected singer-songwriter who also writes, acts, and is the publisher of Motes Books. Larken’s music can be found on her solo album Muddy Water, as well as with the band, Public Outcry, a group dedicated to fighting mountaintop removal coal-mining. She lives in Louisville.
Allison Linder is a native of Southwest Virginia. She has worked as a children’s librarian, waitress, art teacher and preschool director—just to name a few jobs. Currently, she is a librarian and adjunct English teacher at Virginia Intermont College. At night, she works in retail. Her work in nonfiction has been published in the Sun and Marquee magazines.
Denton Loving is the 2007 recipient of the Gurney Norman Prize for Writing. His work has been published in Kudzu, Birmingham Arts Journal and in numerous anthologies. His story A Sorrow of Mothers won the 2008 Alabama Writers Conclave Fiction Prize. He serves as Director of Prospect Research at Lincoln Memorial University and lives in Speedwell, Tennessee.
Sylvia Lynch is an East Tennessee native whose short fiction has appeared in Kudzu magazine, The Louisville Review and a number of anthologies. She was the winner of the 2008 Gurney Norman Prize for Fiction. She is a high school principal and is currently working on her first novel.
Sue Massek plays banjo for the Reel World String Band and is a prolific songwriter. Originally from Kansas, Massek now lives in Washington County, Kentucky and works for the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Donna McClanahan grew up on the banks of the Kentucky River in Estill County and still lives within a stone’s throw. She writes fiction, non-fiction and the occasional poem and has been published in all three genres. She is a founding member of the Gap House Writers who meet in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.
T.W. (Terry) McNemar is a humor, short story and novel writer from Stonewood, WV. His work reflects the humanity, humor, and conscience of everyday life, often in a strong Appalachian style. His work has been featured in The Johns Hopkins University’s Scribble Press; Gerald R. Ratliff’s Drama Textbook, Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays; Mountain Echoes; and Traditions, the literary journal of Fairmont State University. In July of 2007, Booklocker Publishing released Ragdoll Angel, the story of a kidnapping in a small mountain village in 1952. He currently serves as president of West Virginia Writers, Inc.
Lisa Parker is a poet,musician and photographer living in Centreville, Virginia, born and raised in Fauquier County, VA. Parker received her MFA in Creative Writing from Penn State in 1998 and has published in numerous literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as Southern Review, Louisville Review, Flint Hills Review, and Bedford/St. Martin's The Bedford Introduction To Literature.
Tim Peeler of Hickory, NC, has published five books of poetry and three of local and regional history. Checking Out, a poetic narrative about a small-town independent motel is forthcoming from Hub City Press.
Doug Pope currently resides in Western North Carolina. He is working on his first novel.
Betzi Richardson grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia, and regularly visits her large extended family in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and yet has been living in LA long enough to have a sense of deep roots in both East and West. She has a Masters in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from Loyola Marymount University LA, was named “Poet of the Year, 2007-2008” in that program, and was inducted into the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. She has taught poetry workshops at Beyond Baroqueand at Santa Monica College. She has been published in The Antioch Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Poet Magazine, Artlife, The Truth about the Fact, and other journals. Her first chapbook, This Desert Inclination, was published this year by a local small press, Conflux Press.
A graduate of Hollins University, Mara Eve Robbins lives and writes in Floyd County, Virginia. She is poetry editor of Floyd County Moonshine: Local Color Literature (firstname.lastname@example.org). A founding member of The Floyd Writer’s Circle and an avowed spoken word enthusiast, she organizes and promotes readings and workshops in Floyd County. Her poetry has appeared in Cargoes, The Album, Katuah, and the We’moon Journal, and she has work forthcoming in Concrete and New York Quarterly.
Stephen Morrow Roberts grew up in the eastern foothills on the Southern Appalachians in Winston-Salem, NC, the home of RJR tobacco. He received his MA in English and Creative Writing at Hollins University outside Roanoke, Va, by the Appalachian Trail. Still hiking the AT, he continued live and work in Charlottesville, Va. before going coastal and moving to Wilmington, NC. He is the author of a full-length collection of poems, A Space inside a Space, St. Andrews College Press, 1999.
Kelli Rush is a senior communications specialist working in employee health and retirement benefits in Winston-Salem. She has a master’s degree in European history and is raising two boys. Her poems appeared recently in Wicked Alice.
George Scarbrough was born in a small sharecropper's clapboard shack in Polk County, Tennessee in 1915. Unusually gifted in reading and writing, due partly to the influence of his literate mother, he attended The University of Tennessee, University of the South, and Lincoln Memorial University, from which he holds both a B.A. and an Honorary Doctorate. He is the author of five books of poetry and one novel. He died in December 2008, firmly recognized as one of the most unique and accomplished poets from the southern mountains.