Participation Type


Session Title

“The Search for Kinship in AppalachA’ville: Readings from Volumes X and XI of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, with Karen Spears Zacharias and Friends”

Session Abstract or Summary

The Anthology of Appalachian Writers is published February of each year and celebrates the work of those writers who have received the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award as well as writers whose work presents common interests and issues. The Wiley Cash Volume X and the Karen Spears Zacharias Volume XI contain a host of award winning writers, several of whom will be reading from the two volumes. They include Weatherford Award winners and poet laureates. Karen Spears Zacharias will begin by reading from her essay “The Search for Kinship,” followed by poets Ashley Wilkins, Scott Honeycutt, Rita Sims Quillen, Kari Gunter Seymour, Jayne Moore Waldrop, and fiction writer Neva Bryan closing with “Charming the Worm.” The poetry and prose in this reading captures the essence of Appalachia today and the spirit of AppalachA’ville.

Presentation #1 Title

Karen Spears Zacharias Reading “The Search for Kinship”

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

Zacharias will read her essay published in volume 11 of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Karen Spears Zacharias is a Weatherford Award winner and author of a range of books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her most important fiction collection is the Christian Bend Trilogy: Mother of Rain, Burdy, and Christian Bend. Zacharias is an award-winning writer, journalist, and activist.

Presentation #2 Title

Ashley Wilkins Reading “No One Told Me” and “X.III.XVI”

Presentation #2 Abstract or Summary

Wilkins will read two poems from volume 10.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #2

Ashley Wilkins is a graduate from Shepherd University and a teacher and writer in Hardy County, West Virginia, in the Lost River Valley, where she teaches eighth grade English in Petersburg, WV.

Presentation #3 Title

Scott Honeycutt Reading “Gatlinburg Couple, Aged 82, Hikes Down Mountain to Escape Wildfires”

Presentation #3 Abstract or Summary

Honeycutt will read his poem from volume 10 of the anthology.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

Scott R. Honeycutt is an assistant professor of English at East Tennessee State University. Honeycutt is a writer and photographer.

Presentation #4 Title

Rita Sims Quillen Reading “The Gospel of Junior,” “Why I Hate Honey Locusts,” “Why I Play Music,” and “Laughing Ghazal”

Presentation #4 Abstract or Summary

Quillen will read four poems from volume 10.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #4

Rita Sims Quillen’s new collection The Mad Farmer’s Wife was published in 2016 by Texas Review Press. She was finalist for the Weatherford Award in Appalachian Literature. Her novel Hiding Ezra, released by Little Creek Books was a finalist for the 2005 Dana Award. A chapter from the novel was included in Talking Appalachian (UK Press, 2014). Her most recent poetry chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press, is titled Something Solid to Anchor To. Quillen was a semi-finalist for the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Virginia, and received Pushcart nominations in 2012 and 2015. She has served as Writer-in-Residence at Radford University, Roanoke College, Cumberland University, and Bluefield College, among others.

Presentation #5 Title

Keri Gunter-Seymour Reading “As the Twig Is Bent So Shall the Tree Grow” and “If My Mama Had Fallen for Jim Jones”

Presentation #5 Abstract or Summary

Gunter-Seymour will read two poems from volume 10.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #5

Keri Gunter-Seymour is a pushcart nominee, her chapbook Serving was chosen runner up in the 2016 Yellow Chair Review Annual Chapbook Contest and is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her poems can be found in Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Still and on her website at She is the 2017 winner of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ BlackBerry Peach Performance Poetry Award, and she is the Athens, OH Poet Laureate. Gunter Seymour teaches in the School of Journalism at Ohio University.

Presentation #6 Title

Jayne Moore Waldrop Reading “Retracing My Steps,” “Expat Elegy,” and “Drowned Town”

Presentation #6 Abstract or Summary

Waldrop will read three poems from volume 10.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #6

Jayne Moore Waldrop is a Kentucky writer, attorney, and former book columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Murray State University in 2014. Her work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Limestone Journal, New Madrid Journal, Kudzu, Deep South Magazine, and Still. Her story “Mint Springs” was selected as Judge’s Choice in the 2016 Still Journal Fiction Contest, judged by Amy Greene.

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Karen Spears Zacharias Reading “The Search for Kinship”

Zacharias will read her essay published in volume 11 of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers