Appalachian Writers

Appalachian Writers


North Carolina Writers’ Network West-commonly called Netwest has recently published an anthology: Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. The book is chock full of stories, essays, and poems written by writers who live in the Southern Highlands of Appalachia-or writers who have been inspired by the Southern Highlands of Appalachia.

The book was edited by Nancy Simpson who just happens to be one of my favorite writers. Some of my other favorite local writers turn up in the book  like Glenda Beall, Glenda Barrett, Brenda Kay Ledford, Marshall McClung, Sam Hoffer, and Estelle Darrow Rice.

I’ve read collections like this before-you never know when you combine so many different writers-so many different styles-so many different takes on the same subject if the project will fall flat or work. Without a doubt-this one works.

Once I got my copy-I sat down and read it through-most of it I read sitting on the front porch swing which was the perfect place to reminisce with the writers about days gone by. Standouts for me where-Great Granny Steeves by Karen Gilfillan, Listen To The Mockingbird by Gary Carden, and Memories of Summer by Marshall McClung.

Echoes Across the Blue Ridge is well rounded and doesn’t just pay homage to the past of these mountains but draws the reader gently into the present with pieces like The Trillium by Glenda Beall. The story Glenda tells could have happened last week-even though I know it didn’t. Chuggin’ On The Chatuge by Shirley Uphouse gives a peek into the changes that have taken place in much of the Southern Highlands over the last 20 years and gives a dose of humor to the give and take that happens between native and non native folks.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Fontana Dam by Brenda Kay Ledford and Talking To Mama by Nancy Sales Cash-both center around people who were displaced when Fontana Lake was built. After tromping around the ruins of Proctor-I find anything related to the folks who lived in the area before the lake rose especially appealing.

Thomas Rain Crowe’s Triple Negatives: Losing A Language tells his story of leaving the area in his youth and afterward-working hard to remove the taint of his mountain speech-but now he works hard to retrieve those words-those lost comforting voices he heard as a child.

I could go on and on-but by now you probably get the point-the book is a winner and if you enjoy reading about Southern Appalachia-you should get it-I know you’ll be glad you did. The price is totally reasonable-$16.00 for a 200 page book of this caliber isn’t bad at all. (+ shipping and handling if you order one). I’m thinking it would make a perfect Christmas or Birthday gift for that price.


p.s. While I don’t have any writing in the book-one of my photos did make it in-yay me!


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  • Reply
    Carol Markey
    February 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Why isn’t Sheila Kay Adams on Blind Pig & the Acorn?

  • Reply
    kathryn Magendie
    August 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I’m going to the City Lights party for the book this evening – looking forward to buying my copy! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Sounds like a good book. Congratulations on getting your photos in it!

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    August 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you very much for reviewing ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE. You’ve done an excellent job. My mother, BLanche L. Ledford, and I are grateful to be part of this wonderful collection. Your photos in the anthology are very good. Thanks again for a great job.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Tipper, your review of Echoes Across the Blue Ridge is tops! I appreciate your kind words about a book that is outstanding, I think. So many good writers on so many different topics, but they are all related to our southern Appalachians.
    Thank you for your support and thanks for entering your photo in the contest for the book. I love it.
    Your writing would have been here also, I’m sure, if you had submitted anything.

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    July 29, 2010 at 1:21 am

    tipper: the book sounds great i,ll buy it first thing. ive read everything i could ever find about the smokies. from our southern highlanders to a resent book about a bryson city dr. the title has sliped my mind just now.if ever there was a place with more personel intrest ive yet to find it. by for now friend k.o.h

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Congratulations on getting a picture published.
    I can’t believe your writing didn’t make it.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    One of your pictures made it into the book?! Yay!!
    And you say I’m a good picture taker. You are the published photographer. tee hee
    The book sounds like one you can’t put down until you read cover to cover.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    We appreciate all the writers of
    our beautiful mountains and way of
    life in Applachia. I was impressed
    with your blog on Hazel Creek and
    the town of Proctor awhile back.
    And then there’s the little things
    you share with us that most people
    including me, take for granite. I’m glad someone showed me the
    Blind Pig and the Acorn about two
    years ago. Now I wonder whats
    coming next. Keen insight, Tipper.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I read all the time and this sounds like a good one to buy.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    July 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    This sounds like some reading I would really enjoy … Tipper, you have suggested some of the best reading, I can’t thank you enough!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Tipper – thanks for the reading recommendations:-) Love to explore new books. I know, Cold Mountain is much publicized, but it is one of the best books I have ever read. One of these vacations Mark and I are going to drive the camper down there and spend some time. We’re now spending hot summer weekends in our ‘northern Appalachians’ the white mountains. On a hot day there’s no place better than sitting on a rock in a cold mountain stream or paddling around a swimming hole with the dog. The bluegrass festival in Campton is next month.
    Thanks again for your blog and especially for your mountain laurel pictures of many weeks ago. I was not able to hike out and see our own local ones.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I am thrilled to know about this little book, Tipper. I may order some. They would make great Christmas gifts… Brenda Ledford is a blog friend of mine too… I didn’t know that her family got uprooted when they built Fontana Dam. I know alot of people in TN got uprooted when TVA put in all kinds of dams…

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    July 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Great to know! That feller who done worked hard to ‘not tak’ the way we tak in the mountains shoulda become a telafon operador in Atlanta! You tak bout losen that axsent, you loose it quik when you anser folks and they done start laufing atche caus the way you tak!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    July 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Yea you indeed!! Way to go Tipper! And, uh, have you thought about what you are going to get me for Christmas…?
    On second thought; I’ll have to get one before then!! Thanks for the information.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    July 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Sounds like a great collection — lots of familiar names there.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I am a real bookworm and thoroughly enjoy reading about other cultures and civilizations. I’ll certainly look for this book on Amazon.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Sounds like a very interesting book to read.

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