PAM DUNCAN was born in Asheville and grew up in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina. Her first novel, Moon Women, was a Southeastern Booksellers Association (now Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Award Finalist, and she was chosen as one of the Ten Best Emerging Writers in the South in 2000. Her second novel, Plant Life, won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. Her third novel, The Big Beautiful, was published in March 2007. That year she received the 2007 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She holds a B.A. in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She lives in Cullowhee, North Carolina and teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University.
Poet, memoirist, teacher and editor PAULETTA HANSEL was recently named the first Poet Laureate of Cincinnati. She is author of five poetry collections, most recently Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015), The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011) and What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011). Pauletta’s poetry and prose has been featured recently in journals including Talisman, Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Atlanta Review, ABZ Journal, Postcard Poems and Prose, Still: The Journal, The Mom Egg, Penwood Review and Appalachian Journal and anthologized in A Gathering at the Forks; Old Wounds, New Words; A Kentucky Christmas; Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia; the Motif series and Creatures of Habitat and Crossing Lines. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Pauletta has served as Writer in Residence at Thomas More College’s Creative Writing Vision Program and at WordPlay, a literary and literacy organization for younger writers. She leads community writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. She is a current editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. (Submission guidelines here.) Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Originally from southeastern Kentucky, Pauletta lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Owen Cramer. To learn more, visit paulettahansel.wordpress.com.
Michael Henson is author of four books of fiction and four collections of poetry. His most recent work is The Dead Singing: Poems from Mongrel Empire Press. The Way the World Is: The Maggie Boylan Stories won the 2014 Brighthorse Prize in Short Fiction. He is a co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the annual publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. He sings and plays guitar and mandolin with the Old Coney Bluegrass Band and with the roots trio Carter Bridge.
SONJA LIVINGSTON's most recent book, Ladies Night at the Dreamland, combines history, memory, and imagination to explore the lives of women from America’s recent and distant past. She’s the author of the lyrical essay collection, Queen of the Fall, and the memoir, Ghostbread, winner of the AWP Award in Nonfiction. Her writing has been widely anthologized and honored with a New York Arts Fellowship, an Iowa Review Award, the Susan Atefat Essay Prize, and grants from Vermont Studio Center and The Deming Fund for Women. Sonja teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
West Virginia native MARIE MANILLA is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her novel, The Patron Saint of Ugly, received The Weatherford Award. Shrapnel won the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Stories in her collection, Still Life with Plums, first appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in Word Riot and The Cossack Review. Marie teaches in the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Learn more at www.mariemanilla.com.
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN is author of This Gladdening Light: An Ecology of Fatherhood and Faith, which won the Will D. Campbell Award in Creative Nonfiction. Praised by Janisse Ray as “honest, gritty, and transcendent,” This Gladdening Light, Martin’s debut, is forthcoming with Mercer University Press in June. Martin’s work has appeared in publications and media across the country, including American Public Media’s On Being, Poecology, Fourth River, McSweeney’s, Shambhala Sun, Still: The Journal, and Thrush Poetry Journal. His poems have been anthologized in Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry, The World is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. V: Georgia. A contributing editor at New Southerner, the author of three poetry chapbooks, and a recipient of the George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry, Martin teaches English at Kennesaw State University and creative nonfiction for the Appalachian Young Writers Workshop. He lives with his wife and their two young children in northwest Georgia, between the Allatoona Range and Kennesaw Mountain. [www.christopher-martin.net]
JIM MINICK is the author of five books, including the new novel Fire Is Your Water and The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family, winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. He’s also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven, and he edited All There Is to Keep by Rita Riddle. His honors include the Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing, and the Fred Chappell Fellowship at University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Minick has also won awards from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, The Virginia College Bookstore Association, Appalachian Writers Association, Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then Magazine, and Radford University. His poem “I Dream a Bean” was picked by Claudia Emerson for permanent display at the Tysons Corner/Metrorail Station. Minick’s work has appeared in many publications including Poets & Writers, Oxford American, Orion, Shenandoah, Encyclopedia of Appalachia, The Sun, Conversations with Wendell Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, Appalachian Journal, The Roanoke Times, and Still. He completed an MFA in fiction from UNC-Greensboro, where he was Fiction Editor for The Greensboro Review. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of English at Augusta University and Core Faculty at Converse College’s low-residency MFA program. Learn more at http://www.jim-minick.com.
MARK POWELL has been called the "best Appalachian novelist of his generation" by Ron Rash, and a writer "on the verge of greatness" by Pat Conroy. He is the author of five novels, including Echolocation, forthcoming from Tyrus/Simon & Schuster in June, 2017. His other novels are Prodigals, Blood Kin, The Dark Corner, and The Sheltering. Powell has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Breadloaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences, and in 2014 was a Fulbright Fellow to Slovakia. In 2009 he received the Chaffin Award for contributions to Appalachian literature. He holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, the University of South Carolina, and the Citadel. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina where he teaches at Appalachian State University. Learn more at http://markpowellauthor.com.
When you lay every fear and foible, every hurt and healing out for the whole world to see as Wild Ponies did on 2013's Things That Used to Shine, the album's follow-up surely can't be faulted for cutting a little bit loose. That's certainly the case with Radiant, the rough and tumble new release from Nashville based WILD PONIES duo of DOUG and TELISHA WILLIAMS, originally from Henry County, VA. The set bucks and rumbles through 11 songs that pull from all manner of sources, poetic tweens, Catawba trees, homophobic politicians, dying small towns, and tarot cards. The tie that binds them all together is the thread of moments and memories, of cycles and seasons, that make up a life well-lived. M Music and Musicians Magazine says, "Wild Ponies swing emotional wrecking balls with great delicacy." No Depression says, "Wild Ponies just might be Americana’s new dark horses.”
WILLIAM WOLLFITT is the author of three poetry collections: Beauty Strip (2014), Charles of the Desert (2016), and Spring Up Everlasting (Paraclete Press, forthcoming). His fiction chapbook The Boy with Fire in His Mouth (2014) won the Epiphany Editions contest. His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in Blackbird, Image, African American Review, Tin House, The Threepenny Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Epoch, Spiritus, Mid-American Review, and other journals. He is an assistant professor of English at Lee University.
AMY WRIGHT is the author of the poetry collections Everything in the Universe, and Cracker Sonnets, as well as five chapbooks, including the nonfiction collection Wherever the Land Is. Together with William Wright she co-authored Creeks of the Upper South, a lyric reflection on the connection between waterways and cultural habitats. Her writing has been awarded two Peter Taylor Fellowships for the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, and an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission. She is also the Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 Press and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Austin Peay State University. Learn more at http://www.awrightawright.com.
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, Virginia, and then lived and worked in North Carolina for 20 years before moving to Tennessee in 1999. She is now writer-in-residence at LMU, where she also serves as program coordinator for Arts in the Gap, and co-edits drafthorse: a literary journal of work and no work. Arnoult holds the MA from North Carolina State University and the MFA from the University of Memphis.
CO-DIRECTOR. DENTON LOVING is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds and editor of Seeking Its Own Level, an anthology of writings about water. He co-edits drafthorse: a literary journal of work and no work. His fiction, poetry, essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in more than 60 magazines and journals including River Styx, Flyleaf, [PANK] and Fiction Southeast. He serves as director of prospect research at Lincoln Memorial University and lives in Speedwell, Tennessee.
Lincoln Memorial University
Cumberland Gap Parkway
P.O. Box 2005
Harrogate, TN 37752