Southern Appalachian Poetry

An Anthology of Works by 37 Poets


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About the Book

The mountain South thrives on centuries-old traditions, a fact well known to readers of Appalachian literature, which is among the richest and most evocative of any region in the country.
This anthology collects 225 poems by 37 poets of Southern Appalachia, from James Still and Louise McNeill to Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell and Charles Wright. Embracing the region’s strong narrative tradition, dialect and syntax, the collection also includes poems that redefine the terms of isolation, as technological change and heightened tourism bring the old and new ways into greater tension. Autobiographical essays introduce each poet and his or her work. Notes explain colloquial, obscure, or historical references appearing in the poems.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Marita Garin lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Her work has been published in numerous journals including Southern Humanities Review, The Hudson Review, Colorado State Review and The Hollins Critic.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Marita Garin

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 275
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, glossary, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3429-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      xi
Preface      1
Introduction      3

Bob Henry Baber      11
Joseph Barrett      18
Kathryn Stripling Byer      24
Fred Chappell      31
Mark DeFoe      40
Charles B. Dickson      46
Hilda Downer      50
Gregory Dykes      56
Marita Garin      62
Richard Hague      68
Marc Harshman      77
Don Johnson      84
Stephen Knauth      92
Mary Kratt      99
P. J. Laska      104
George Ella Lyon      110
Jeff Daniel Marion      116
Michael McFee      124
Llewellyn McKernan      130
Irene McKinney      136
Louise McNeill      142
Jim Wayne Miller      148
Robert Morgan      156
Valerie Nieman      165
Lee Pennington      170
Ron Rash      177
George Scarbrough      183
Bettie Sellers      190
Vivian Shipley      195
Nancy Simpson      200
R.T. Smith      206
Bob Snyder      213
Katherine Soniat      218
James Still      222
John Foster West      228
Charles Wright      234
Isabel Zuber      241

Glossary      249
Notes on the Poets      251
Index of Poems and Poets      259

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “a fabulous resource…overall impact is quite rich”—Appalachian Heritage
  • “McFarland & Company deserves considerable praise for its Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies series, which for more than a decade has brought out a fascinating collection of books. Marita Garin also has offered a valuable service to the study of Appalachian literature, and stopped a gap that has been open for too long…a rewarding and pleasurable book”—Appalachian Journal
  • “a much welcomed collection that avoids the usual pratfalls. If you’re looking for an anthology that’s completely satisfying, Southern Appalachian Poetry will not disappoint. You’ll come away with a true sense of what mountain culture used to be”—The Pilot
  • “valuable and fascinating…replete with strong poetry, vital and rich”—North Carolina Literary Review; “a valuable read…engaging”—The Mississippi Quarterly
  • “manages to capture many of the compelling voices that emerged during the Appalachian cultural and heritage revival movement in the 1960s and 1970s that are often overlooked in other southern collections”—The Bloomsbury Review
  • “this splendid volume offers a distinctly different and creative vision of the region…”—Dr. Robert J. Higgs (Jack Higgs), co-editor, Voices from the Hills: Selected Readings of Southern Appalachia