Exclusive Clip: Coal Women

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Environmental activist and grandmother Lorelei Scarbro understands how important coal is. Her son-in-law is a miner. Though she despises the flagrant abuses of the coal industry, she knows that thousands…

Homesick: A Poem

Collapsed copper mine and struggling landscape in Tennessee's Copper Basin. Photo by Brian Stansberry.

Coal isn’t Appalachia’s only extraction problem. Copper mining decimated Tennessee’s Copper Basin more than a hundred years ago. Trees were burnt for smelting, and sulfur released from the ore poured back…

On “Hillbilly Elegy”

Photo courtesy of Roger May.

The bestseller “Hillbilly Elegy” left out a lot of hillbillies. Big thanks to the Chicago Tribune for giving me a chance to sing their praises with the below essay. * I…

Stop the Presses

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Did you know you can pick up handmade, Appalachian art for as little as four dollars? Under the mantle Appalachia Press, John Reburn creates affordable and quirky art pieces on his old…

How To Eat Salt Rising Bread

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Pearl Haines was making soap with her daughter, a kettle of hog’s fat boiling in the yard and autumn leaves swirling behind them, when Jenny Bardwell stopped to say hello. She remembers…

Most Appalachian Novel Ever?

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Fifteen-year-old Dawn Jewell isn’t a bad girl, but she sure steals a lot of vehicles. It starts with a four-wheeler, which she rides away from chess pie, Mountain Dew, and…

The Real John-Boy Walton: 1923-2016

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Before Earnest Hemingway, John Updike, or Breece Pancake, I read books written by Earl Hamner, Jr. His most notable titles, Spencer’s Mountain and The Homecoming, centered around one Appalachian family. Named the Spencers in print,…

Pedigree Dogs: A Poem

J. Photo by Bruce on Flickr.

Our friend Casey LaFrance is back with a poem about an abuser and the scars she left. A native of the North Georgia mountains. Casey teaches political science and public administration in Illinois, where he has…

The Hills are Alive

Writer Anna Lea Jancewicz and her grandmother in the mining town of McAdoo, Pennsylvania, 1979.

There is another Appalachia, just as gritty as ours but across of the Mason-Dixon line. Anna Lea Jancewicz was born and half-raised there. With this stirring essay, she describes a landscape that might…

What Broke My Heart

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This prose poem is for you if your heart has broken—but not for a lover—broken because you looked at someone and saw how hard the world can be. It comes from Ellen Birkett Morris, the author of a poetry book called Surrender. Ellen…

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