Mode of Program Participation

Performances and Arts

Participation Type


Session Title

Appalachian Dreams and Nightmares: A Reading by Four Women

Session Abstract or Summary

Four well-established poets from or with significant ties to the Appalachian region will read from recent work, sharing poetry that responds to and even argues with a world that too often suppresses the observations of women writers who are articulate about their experiences as individuals, citizens, and as members of a complex culture. If the moral use of literature, as Italo Calvino wrote, is “to give voice to the voiceless,” how does poetry resonate with and respond to the collective social, environmental, and intellectual challenges of living in or being from a part of America that the other parts of the country seem too often to forget, stereotype, or blatantly mock? How does poetry shape its specific manner of witness and give voice to the voiceless, whether human or fauna and flora? Can poetry be a tool for local educators and other activists to use in reaching and teaching other women and girls to take possession of their own voices? The reading will be followed by a Q and A.

Presentation #1 Title

Reading from Recent Work

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

Each poet will read from recent work.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Melanie Almeder's first book of poems won the Editor's Prize at Tupelo Press. Her individual poems have been published in a range of journals and her art writings have appeared in exhibitions in Ireland, Denmark, and New York City, among others.

Presentation #2 Title

Reading from Recent Work

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #2

Adrian Blevins is the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, two chapbooks, and, with Karen McElmurray, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, a collection of essays by new and emerging Appalachian writers. New poems have recently been published in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Copper Nickel, and other magazines.

Presentation #3 Title

Reading from Recent Work

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

Cathryn Hankla was born in Richlands, VA and is the author of over a dozen books of poetry and fiction including Galaxies (2017), Great Bear (2016), Afterimages, Negative History, Texas School Book Depository: prose poems, Poems for the Pardoned, Last Exposures: a sequence of poems, A Blue Moon in Poorwater, and Fortune Teller Miracle Fish: stories. Professor of English and a past director of the Jackson Center for Creative Writing, she serves as Chairperson of the English Department at Hollins University and Poetry Editor of The Hollins Critic.

Presentation #4 Title

Reading from Recent Work

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #4

Mary Crockett Hill is author of A Theory of Everything, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the Autumn House Prize, and the Bluestem Poetry winner, If You Return Home with Food. In her other life as "Mary Crockett," she is coauthor of the novel Dream Boy and other works for children and young adults

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Reading from Recent Work

Each poet will read from recent work.