PRESENTERS & Sessions
Verna Mae Slone Keynote Address
Amy Clark is the author and co-editor of Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community (U. Press of KY) and Success in Hill Country (Napoleon Hill Foundation.) Selected publications where her writing on Appalachia has appeared includes the New York Times, Oxford American, Salon.com, NPR, Harvard U. Press, Appalachian Review, and Appalachian Journal; her work has also been recognized by The Best American Essays. She is founding director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Appalachian Writing Project at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and sits on the editorial board for University of Virginia Press, where she is editorial consultant for their new imprint, Rivanna, which will feature books about Appalachia. She is host of Southern Salon: A Podcast About Culture and Communication, and host/producer of the forthcoming podcast Talking Appalachian (July, 2023.) Her research and teaching focus includes Appalachian dialects, as well as the ways that marginalized communities have contributed to Appalachia’s story.
A Lee County, Virginia native, Amy is also a quilter and silversmith, and creates jewelry for Ivy Attic Co. with her daughter. She lives with her family in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.
Jeremy Paden is the author of three chapbooks of poems and one chapbook of translated poems. He has also translated two full-length collections of poems from Spanish to English: Carlos Aldazábal’s A Stone to the Chest and Alí Calderón’s The Correspondences. In 2020, he collaborated with the illustrator Anne Hermosilla and his co-translator Oswaldo Estrada to publish Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del ocelote, a bilingual, illustrated poem about the Central American migrant caravans. His most current books are world as sacred burning heart (3: A Taos Press, 2021) and Self-Portrait as an Iguana (Valparaíso USA, 2021). Self-portrait is a bilingual collection of poems written in Spanish and translated to English, which co-won the first Poeta en Nueva York Prize, by Valparaíso USA Press.
Tiffany Pyette is a published poet, multidisciplinary artist, activist, and facilitator from Appalachian KY. She believes in storytelling as our greatest asset to connect and communicate. Her work asserts that arts and culture are some of our most valuable tools of resistance and of healing.
She is currently touring a mixed media visual art showcase about disability justice, liberation, and tradition as comfort called Good Medicine. Her poetry and artwork can be found in publications such as Digging Through The Fat, The Uncommon Grackle, and Beyond Words. She has published a community poetry project zine, Safety in the Mountains: Voices from Appalachia, that was co-written with her community members. Her visual artwork has also been featured in the KY state capitol whilst in the Native Reflections exhibit.
Click a session title below to view a short description of the presentation.
CONCURRENT SESSION 1
This presentation explores the historical experiences of displaced residents in the Peck’s Addition, a historically-Appalachian neighborhood in Hamilton, Ohio, subjected to redlining in the late twentieth century. Peck’s Addition is the focus of an oral history project at Miami University, which in 1968 established its regional campus in the neighborhood.
Two emerging poets from Miami University’s MFA program who have yet to publish full collections will give an early view of fresh work from burgeoning voices in the literary community which addresses the erasure of queer experiences of folx of Appalachian descent.
This discussion will explore the development of folk music over the years via the interaction between technological innovation in the recording industry and social media and storytelling, community, and other traditional Appalachian music metrics.
CONCURRENT SESSION 2
The less discussed “understory” of James Still’s River of Earth exemplifies the classic attributes of the American novel of manners, in the vein of James, Wharton, and Howells. Such novels elide dramatics or heroics in favor of illustrating a microcosmic society’s unique habits, social relations, class distinctions, and sense of “belonging.”
Welcome to an illuminating session that delves into the world of middle-grade fiction and its vital role in shaping young minds. We’ll uncover the significance of this genre and explore why aspiring Appalachian writers should be drawn to its transformative potential.
We would like to host a discussion in which we share our story of taking a flash fiction short story and transforming it into an immersive audio-drama experience from co-writing a script, to hiring voice actors, and marketing such a project.
CONCURRENT SESSION 3
This presentation will explore the music of banjoist Buster Carter, guitarist Preston Young, and fiddler Posey Rorer. The recordings of this trio influenced artists in bluegrass, folk, and other genres of music beyond Appalachia.
CONCURRENT SESSION 4
288 years before the date of this conference, on December 15, 1765, a brigantine called the Baltimore sailed into the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. It was a “ghost ship,” empty save for one woman identified as Susannah Buckler. Unravel the Atlantic’s greatest cold-case with her 8th-great-granddaughter, writer McKenna Revel.
An exploration of what constitutes Appalachian identity, centered on George Ella Lyon’s poem, “Where I’m From”.
While the practice of yoga comes from the world’s tallest mountain chain, we can connect with our own hills’ critters through embodying them on the yoga mat. Connect deeply to place and explore Appalachian wildlife through this workshop on mindful movement.
CONCURRENT SESSION 5
Dissolving borders between growing food and creating art. Farming itself is an art-form, and we must cultivate writing and art-making just as we would tend a garden. Our hands in the soil to make food informs the senses with tactile input, which carries into the acts of writing and art-making.
Join us as we discuss the unique perspectives within the book ” From the Frontlines of the Appalachian Addiction Crisis”. This book delves into the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic in Appalachia, offering unique perspectives and hopeful possible solutions.
Any gathering of creative artists conjures ideas and images. We’ll use this energy to create. The prompts in this generative session will work for poetry and nonfiction.
CONCURRENT SESSION 6
Explore the future you envision for Appalachia and for yourself using the framework of George Ella Lyon’s renowned poem, Where I’m From.
A conversation that will inspire those of us striving to live into an artistic community that prioritizes solidarity over comfort, belonging over exclusion with strategies to create an Appalachia defined by move inclusive boundaries, liberatory practices for all people, and one bound by a single geography of the heart.
After a brief historical overview of the general parallels between the Hindman School’s Appalachian Writers’ Workshop and Radford University’s Highland Summer Conference, participants in this discussion-based session will explore through archival pictures and words key elements (cultural and geographic) that unify the two events as uniquely Appalachian.
CONCURRENT SESSION 7
This session will include a reading from The Magic Table, a story about a family’s immigration into rural Appalachia, and a discussion about community building, all while enjoying a culinary and cultural fusion of curry and cornbread.
Author of multiple books of poetry related to the opioid crisis, addiction, incarceration, and recovery, Ace Boggess will read from his work and lead a discussion about writing through personal struggles.
Appalachian poets Pauletta Hansel and Sara Moore Wagner come together to celebrate and interrogate Appalachian girlhood. They present their poems in a conversation that spans generations and speaks through the gaps of what it means to be a woman growing up in this exploited and misunderstood region.