The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival
June 14-16, 2013
KEYNOTE ADDRESS. Joseph Bathanti is the author of six books of poetry: Restoring Sacred Art (winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize), Communion Partners, Anson County, The Feast of All Saints, This Metal and Land of Amnesia. His novel East Liberty won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel Coventry won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories The High Heart won the 2006 Spokane Prize. Bathanti is the recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council in both poetry and fiction. He and his work have also been acknowledged numerous times including the Sherwood Anderson Award, the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize and others. He was recently named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Western Region for the North Carolina Poetry Society for 2011-12. He has taught at Appalachian State University (ASU) since 2001. Bathanti is also writer-in-residence of Watauga Global Community, a unit within ASU, where he will establish and direct a site-based writing initiative focused on creative nonfiction.
KEYNOTE MUSICIAN. Dale Ann Bradley has been named Female Vocalist of the Year four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association. She has released albums both as a solo artist and with the New Coon Creek Girls, and she is known for her distinctive, gentle vocal phrasing and covers of popular (yet non-genre-related) songs by artists such as U2, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, and Stealer's Wheel. Bradley grew up in southeastern Kentucky and has lived in the bluegrass state for most of her life; her father was a coal miner and Baptist minister. Bradley auditioned unsuccessfully for the New Coon Creek Girls in 1988 and then spent the next couple of years working as a solo artist in Renfro Valley. She finally joined New Coon Creek in 1991 and performed on the group's 1994 Pinecastle Records debut, The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore. Bradley's first solo album, East Kentucky Morning, came out in 1997 and largely consisted of compositions by Dale Ann Bradley and New Coon Creek ally Vickie Simmons. The project also featured a celebrated take on U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," which helped the album go Top Ten on both the Gavin Americana and Bluegrass Unlimited charts and earn high critical praise.
KEYNOTE MUSICIAN. Steve Gulley had already won esteem for his lofty tenor voice and emotional delivery as an entertainer at Kentucky's historic Renfro Valley before he joined Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, bringing him before a wider but no less appreciative audience. Steve was also a founding member of the bluegrass group Mountain Heart, where he recorded five highly acclaimed CDs as the lead singer for that band. He had been tapped as a harmony and featured singer on projects like the widely-praised Keith Whitley album, "Sad Songs and Waltzes," and many others including projects by Ronnie Bowman, Dan Tyminski, Tim Stafford, David Parmley, Dale Ann Bradley, Jeff Parker and Grasstowne's Phil Leadbetter. He has also earned multiple Male Vocalist of the Year nominations from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. Steve's first solo project titled "Sounds Like Home" has just been released on the Lonesome Day Records label.
FICTION MASTER CLASS. Meredith Sue Willis will teach the 2013 fiction master class. A well-known speaker and writer about the teaching of writing, Willis’ own novels include A Space Apart, Higher Ground, Only Great Changes, Trespassers, and Oradell at Sea. Her short story collections are In the Mountains of America, Dwight's House and Other Stories, and Out of the Mountains. Her work has been praised in periodicals like The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle and many other periodicals. She has won major awards including literary fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the arts, and her fiction has won prizes like the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and the West Virginia Library Association Award (1980), as well as the Chaffin Award for fiction. An early writer-in-the-schools with Teachers and Writers Collaborative, she has turned many of her experiences teaching writing into three books for teachers and writers (Personal Fiction Writing, Deep Revision and Blazing Pencils) and three novels for children (The Secret Super Powers of Marco, Marco's Monster and Billie of Fish House Lane). She is a past Distinguished Teaching Artist of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
NONFICTION MASTER CLASS. David Joy will teach the 2013 nonfiction master class. Joy is the author of Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman's Journey, his first memoir released in September 2011. His writing has appeared in multiple magazines and journals including Smoky Mountain Living, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Bird Watcher's Digest. He recently finished his second book of creative nonfiction, a memoir titled, Ruth: A Beautiful Dismantling. Joy has won numerous awards for his journalism and has been named a finalist for prestigious literary honors such as the Reed Environmental Writing Award as well as the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Award.
POETRY MASTER CLASS. Aaron Smith is the author of two books of poetry: Appetite (Pittsburgh, 2012), a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the Thom Gunn Award, and Blue on Blue Ground (Pittsburgh, 2005), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. His chapbooks are Men in Groups and What's Required, winner of the Frank O'Hara Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications including Court Green, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Best American Poetry 2013, and on Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish on The Daily Beast. A 2007 Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, he is assistant professor of English at West Virginia Wesleyan and poetry editor for the national literary journal Bloom.
WRITING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, MASTER CLASS. Connie Jordan Green will teach the 2013 master class in writing for young people. Connie lives on a farm in East Tennessee, where, when she isn't gardening, she writes in a small attic study. She is the author of two novels for young people, The War at Home and Emmy, and two poetry chapbooks, Slow Children Playing and Regret Comes to Tea. Her novels have won awards, including listing in the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults and selection as a Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and publications, including most recently Appalachian Heritage, Crossroads, MayPop, Now & Then, Potomac Review and anthologies Outscape; Motif: Writing by Ear; The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III; Contemporary Appalachia; and Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets. Since 1978 she has written a newspaper column for The Loudon County News Herald. In 2008 she was a Lifetime Achievement inductee into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. She teaches creative writing and literature for Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning. She and her husband have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
TRIBUTE MUSICIAN: Kate Larken is a writer, editor, publisher (MotesBooks), musician, actor, educator and entrepreneur. Her publications, performances and recordings are numerous. Kate’s creative life is braided from her diverse professional experiences in three primary strands: education, communication and the arts. She has often used activism to get things done. Among many life/career honors, she has been awarded the Sallie Bingham Prize from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Appalachian Sound Archives research fellowship at Berea College. She has authored books, songs and award-winning plays. This year Kate launched two new collaborative creative outlets: ArtEvokesArt.com and the South’s newest feminist publishing project, Grassroots Women Press. She teaches at St. Catharine College.
STAGE PERFORMANCE. Sue Massek will perform a one-woman play based on the life of Sarah Ogan Gunning. Massek is a founding member and banjo-player for the Reel World String Band. Her writing and activism have been heavily influenced by her experiences at the Highlander Center, where she met and learned from activists like Rosa Parks and Pete Seeger. With the Reel World String Band, Sue has toured the USA, Canada, and Italy and just finished their sixth recording project, "Coast is Clear." Her solo work has taken her to Guatemala and Nicaragua, but more often she is in Kentucky schools teaching diversity, disguised as folk music and dance. Sue's love for nature is a driving force in her life and many of her songs reflect her passion for protecting our environment. Her songs have been featured in films and plays.
JAMES STILL LECTURE. Dr. Lucinda McKeithan will deliver the James Still Lecture. McKeithan is Alumni Distinguished Professor of English Emerita at NC State University. For nearly 40 years she taught courses in Writing and Southern and African American literature and also served as director of both the creative writing and the teacher education programs. She is the author or editor of six books, including Daughters of Time: Creating Women’s Voice in Southern Story and the co-edited Companion to Southern Literature, which was named a “Best Reference Work” by the American Library Association. She now leads online seminars for the National Humanities Center’s teacher enrichment programs and is senior consultant for the NEH award winning website Scribblingwomen.org. She also lectures locally and nationally on southern, Appalachian, and African American literature.
WRITER IN RESIDENCE. Pamela Duncan was born in Asheville and grew up in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She lives in Cullowhee, North Carolina and teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University. Her first novel, Moon Women, was a Southeastern Booksellers Association (now Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Award Finalist, and her second novel, Plant Life, won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. She is the recipient of the 2007 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, awarded by the Fellowshop of Souther Writers. Her third novel, The Big Beautiful, was published in March 2007.
CO-DIRECTOR. Darnell Arnoult’s first book What Travels With Us: Poems was published in 2005. The collection received the 2005 Weatherford Award, was named 2006 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Book of the Year and was a finalist for Appalachian Poetry Book of the Year in 2005. A novel Sufficient Grace followed in 2006. Sufficient Grace received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and positive reviews from Book List, Kirkus, American Library Association and National Association of the Mentally Ill. It was selected for the Book Sense annual reading group list and nominated for several regional awards. Additionally, Arnoult was honored as Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance in 2007 and was awarded the Mary Frances Hobson Prize in Arts and Letters from Chowan University in 2009. Arnoult was born in Martinsville, Va., and then lived and worked in North Carolina for 20 years before moving to Tennessee in 1999. She holds the MFA from the University of Memphis, where she held a Moss Fellowship and served as Senior Fiction Editor for the program’s award-winning literary journal The Pinch.
CO-DIRECTOR. Denton Loving’s fiction, poetry, essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in more than 40 magazines and journals including Literal Latte, Appalachian Heritage, Minnetonka Review and Main Street Rag, as well as in numerous anthologies including Degrees of Elevation: Stories of Contemporary Appalachia. In 2010, he received a summer writing fellowship from the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research. In 2012, his work was selected by Margaret Atwood for her workshop in the Key West Literary Seminars. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. He serves as director of prospect research at Lincoln Memorial University and lives in Speedwell, Tennessee.
The 2013 and 2014 Mountain Heritage Literary Festivals are sponsored in part by a grant from the East Tennessee Foundation.
Lincoln Memorial University
Cumberland Gap Parkway
P.O. Box 2005
Harrogate, TN 37752
423.869.7072 or 800.325.0900, ext. 7072