Winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize.
"When you're lucky enough to get your hands on a book of poems this alive, everything you say about it feels like an understatement. Yes, Appalachians Run Amok is utterly original, wild yet tight, feisty, vibrant, combustible. Yes, it's bursting with keen-eyed tenderness and unshushable attitude. Yes, the poems' startling emotional intelligence blends with myriad other intelligences (e.g. maternal, earthy, topical, humane, etc.) to create this voice, "all hot and giddy." A proud daughter of Appalachia, Blevins gifts us with vivid glimpses of where she came of age. Reading her beautiful, linguistically limber, cascading descriptions is like shooting the rapids with an expert river rider at the helm." --Amy Gerstler
In Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray collect essays from today s finest established and emerging writers with roots in Appalachia. Together, these essays take the theme of silencing in Appalachian culture, whether the details of that theme revolve around faith, class, work, or family legacies. In essays that take wide-ranging forms making this an ideal volume for creative nonfiction classes contributors write about families left behind, hard-earned educations, selves transformed, identities chosen, and risks taken. They consider the courage required for the inheritances they carry. Toughness and generosity alike characterize works by Dorothy Allison, bell hooks, Silas House, and others. These writers travel far away from the boundaries of a traditional Appalachia, and then circle back always to the mountains that made each of them the distinctive thinking and feeling people they ultimately became. The essays in Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean are an individual and collective act of courage. Contributors: Dorothy Allison, Rob Amberg, Pinckney Benedict, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Sheldon Lee Compton, Michael Croley, Richard Currey, Joyce Dyer, Sarah Einstein, Connie May Fowler, RJ Gibson, Mary Crockett Hill, bell hooks, Silas House, Jason Howard, David Huddle, Tennessee Jones, Lisa Lewis, Jeff Mann, Chris Offutt, Ann Pancake, Jayne Anne Phillips, Melissa Range, Carter Sickels, Aaron Smith, Jane Springer, Ida Stewart, Jacinda Townsend, Jessie van Eerden, Julia Watts, Charles Dodd White, and Crystal Wilkinson.
Getting acquainted with local flora and fauna is the perfect way to begin to understand the wonder of nature. The natural environment of Southern Appalachia, with habitats that span the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau, is one of the most biodiverse on earth. A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia--a hybrid literary and natural history anthology--showcases sixty of the many species indigenous to the region.
Ecologically, culturally, and artistically, Southern Appalachia is rich in paradox and stereotype-defying complexity. Its species range from the iconic and inveterate--such as the speckled trout, pileated woodpecker, copperhead, and black bear--to the elusive and endangered--such as the American chestnut, Carolina gorge moss, chucky madtom, and lampshade spider. The anthology brings together art and science to help the reader experience this immense ecological wealth.
Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers such as Ellen Bryant Voigt, Wendell Berry, Janisse Ray, Sean Hill, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Deborah A. Miranda, Ron Rash, and Mary Oliver. Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The guide is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.
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