Shirley Stewart Burns is the author of Bringing Down the Mountains, the first academic book detailing the social, environmental, political, and economic consequences of MTR mining on southern West Virginia communities. She holds a Ph.D. in history with an Appalachian emphasis and served as an editor for the Family and Community section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, among other publications. Born in the southern coalfields of Wyoming County, West Virginia, Burns is the daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, and sister of underground coal miners.
Mari-Lynn Evans has executive-produced many television programs and films, including The Appalachians, a top-rated three-hour PBS documentary (with companion book and soundtrack), which was seen by more than 100 million people. Originally from Bulltown, West Virginia, Evans now lives in Akron, Ohio.
Silas House is the author of the novels Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2002), and The Coal Tattoo (2004), and the play The Hurting Part (2005). His work has received many awards, including two Kentucky Novel of the Year Awards, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Appalachian Book of the Year, and the Chaffin Award. House lives in eastern Kentucky, where he was born and raised.