Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia


Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia is a landmark anthology that brings together the work of 105 Appalachian women writers, including Dorothy Allison, Harriette Simpson Arnow, Annie Dillard, Nikki Giovanni, Denise Giardina, Barbara Kingsolver, Jayne Anne Phillips, Janice Holt Giles, George Ella Lyon, Sharyn McCrumb, and Lee Smith. Editors Sandra L. Ballard and Patricia L. Hudson offer a diverse sampling of time periods and genres, established authors and emerging voices. From regional favorites to national ...

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Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia is a landmark anthology that brings together the work of 105 Appalachian women writers, including Dorothy Allison, Harriette Simpson Arnow, Annie Dillard, Nikki Giovanni, Denise Giardina, Barbara Kingsolver, Jayne Anne Phillips, Janice Holt Giles, George Ella Lyon, Sharyn McCrumb, and Lee Smith. Editors Sandra L. Ballard and Patricia L. Hudson offer a diverse sampling of time periods and genres, established authors and emerging voices. From regional favorites to national bestsellers, this unprecedented gathering of Appalachian voices displays the remarkable talent of the region's women writers who've made their mark at home and across the globe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A successful anthology entices readers to move from its pages to find additional works by the writers included. Listen Here, therefore, is going to keep our libraries and bookstores busy for years to come." — A! Magazine

"A marvelous confluence of compelling subject matter and almost perfectly executed presentation. Those who care about the literature of our region need to have this book at their fingertips because this is the authoritative guide to its subject." — Appalachian Heritage

"Like a feast table piled high with samplers of everybody's best recipes." — Appalachian Journal

"If you haven't taken your beach vacation yet this summer, pack this book in your suitcase. Its 673 pages will keep you entertained... and the stories you read in it will nourish your mind and warm your heart throughout the coming fall and winter and far, far beyond." — Appalachian Life Magazine

"Besides introducing readers to many new voices, the anthology provides a strong counterpart to the stereotype of hillbillies that have cursed the region." — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A giant step forward in Appalachian studies for both students and scholars of the region and the general reader.... Nothing less than a groundbreaking and landmark addition to the national treasury of American literature." — Bloomsbury Review

"What rings true through it all is the truth of women's experiences, not only in Appalachia, but universally." — Chevy Chaser

"Full of welcome surprises to those new to this regional literature: specifically, it includes particularly strong selections from children's fiction and a substantial number of African American writers." — Choice

"Collectively, the 105 writers featured in Listen Here prove themselves, and their region, worthy of the wide recognition that has historically eluded them." — Floyd County Times

"Counters the misperception that there is no significant body of Appalachian literature, particularly literature written by women, with the sheer volume of work included." — Journal of Appalachian Studies

"A textbook companion for anyone interested in women's literature — or anyone interested in a more complete view of American literature than that found in most textbooks." — Knoxville (TN) News-Sentinel

"A remarkable accomplishment, bringing together the work of 105 female Appalachian writers saying what they want to, and saying it in impressive bodies of literature." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"A remarkable new anthology of 105 Appalachian women writers, many of whom have been forgotten or marginalized by the mainstream literary establishment. One of the keenest pleasures in Listen Here lies in its diversity of voices and genres." — Material Culture

"An important contribution to Appalachian literary life." — Mountain Eagle

"Collects work by 105 Appalachian writers, including Gail Godwin, Lee Smith, and Barbara Kingsolver, composed during the past 170 years." — Raleigh (NC) News & Observer

"A comprehensive and unsurpassed anthology of women writers from Appalachia.... Exceptional in diversity and scope." — Southern Historian

"A number of wonderful gems [are] sprinkled throughout the 600 plus pages." — Red Raven Circling (

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813190662
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 8/21/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 712
  • Sales rank: 810,871
  • Product dimensions: 1.41 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Chronology of Works
About the Editors
Introduction 1
The Easter Frock, from Come Go Home With Me 8
from Bastard Out of Carolina 12
from Five Minutes in Heaven 19
Ontological 24
Long Story 25
Sonnet for Her Labor 27
A Place with Promise 28
from This Day and Time 32
from Hunter's Horn 38
from Seedtime on the Cumberland 40
The First Ride 42
Neighbors 49
When Grandmother Wept 49
Cicada's Song 50
Someday in a Wood 51
The Stair 51
Women Die Like Trees 54
When Earth Becomes an "It" 54
Anorexia Bulimia Speaks from the Grave 55
A Time to Reweave, from Selu 56
A Time to Study Law, from Selu 57
Out of Ashes Peace Will Rise 61
Belinda, Our Tremendous Gift 64
from Behind the Blue Ridge 71
from Sara Will 74
from Dorie: Woman of the Mountains 79
Wildwood Flower 83
Bittersweet 84
Lineage 84
Easter 86
Mountain Time 87
from Sing for Freedom 91
40, from Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet 97
49, from Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet 98
from Maybe, The Last of the 'Waltz Across Texas' and Other Stories 99
from Daytrips 102
from My Appalachia 108
Second Christmas 114
Spending the Night 114
Discipline 115
The Glad Gardener 116
from Wilder 119
The Boy 124
Hospitality 125
The Widow Man 125
Kivers 126
In Envy of Migration 130
Maps 131
About the Pelvis 133
Tick 134
The Hillbilly Vampire 138
The Vampire Ethnographer 139
No Minority 140
Homer-Snake, from Sweet Hollow 143
Sister 150
Sports Widow 151
from Call Home the Heart 154
Country 158
for Dr. Josefina Garcia & the "Tissue Committee" 159
zora neale 161
from Life in the Iron Mills 164
Giving the Sun 170
The Hole 170
Twins 171
Poetics South 172
In a Time of Drought 173
Broadside 173
from Praise House 176
from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 181
This is what history is 185
A woman is segmented as an ant 185
Every open space fills with sky 186
Appalachia 190
Elegy For Jody 191
from Fiddling His Way to Fame, The Heart of Old Hickory 194
from Return the Innocent Earth 199
from The French Broad 204
from The Durket Sperret 210
from More than Moonshine 215
Granny Brock 217
Mountains Fill Up the Night 218
Appalachia, Where are your Hills? 219
from Queen Ida's Hair-Doing House of Waves, Heartwood 222
Irons At Her Feet 225
from Sight to the Blind 229
from Storming Heaven 234
from The Unquiet Earth 236
from Hannah Fowler 242
Griots, from Racism 101 247
Knoxville, Tennessee 249
Revolutionary Dreams 250
A Poem Off Center 250
from A Southern Family 254
from The War at Home 259
from M. C. Higgins the Great 264
Writing Lessons (I.) 269
She 270
Writing Lessons (II.) 271
To her mother, lying in state 272
from A Circuit Rider's Wife 276
from The Hawk's Done Gone 279
from Past Titan Rock 284
Ms. Ida Mae, from Tough Customers and Other Stories 289
from My Great-Aunt Arizona 294
Momma's Letter 299
The Last Unmined Vein 300
from The Long Roll 305
from The Autobiography of Mother Jones 309
Life and Art in East Tennessee 312
Hooked Album Quilt, 1870 313
Weather Rhymes 317
from Weeds 321
from No Place Like Home 325
The Familiar Level 327
Refusing a Spinal 328
from The Bean Trees 332
from Prodigal Summer 336
from Extended Learning, Farlanburg Stories 340
from Some Days There's Pie 348
from Coon Creek Girl 355
from To Make My Bread 360
from With A Hammer for My Heart 366
Where I'm From 370
Rings 371
Salvation 372
Growing Light 373
Mulberries 376
To My Daughter Going Off to College 377
Welcome to the Other Side 379
Good Luck Charm 380
from Christy 383
The Gifts of the Spirit 388
Rain 392
Saved 393
Ascension 394
from The McCoys 397
from The Songcatcher 402
from Up the Hill toward Home 409
from Mother of the Disappeared: An Appalachian Birth Mother's Journey 415
Many Waters 421
For My Grandmother Who Knows How 423
The Hollow 424
Mother Milking 425
Music 426
Twilight in West Virginia: Six O'Clock Mine Report 430
Deep Mining 431
Sunday Morning, 1950 432
The Only Portrait of Emily Dickinson 433
Visiting My Gravesite: Talbott Churchyard, West Virginia 434
The Other Woman 437
Aubade to Fear (Heavy with Child) 437
Hill Daughter 438
Arrow Grasses by Greenbrier River 439
from The Milkweed Ladies 440
Lanterns and Lamps 443
First Plowing in the Hills 444
from The Spirit of the Mountains 447
from The Edge of the Woods 451
Seventh Grades 453
Breadstuff 454
All Those Nights 456
Under The Earth 457
The Way Back 458
Story is a Women 461
Solidarity in the Night 462
Ahlawe Usv' Tsigesvgi 463
Rumors, from Red Woman With Backward Eyes 464
from In the Tennessee Mountains 470
Briers, from Brier Country: Stories from the Blue Valley 474
from Machine Dreams 480
from Motherkind 484
Nativity 489
Echocardiogram 490
The Calling 492
In the Kitchen We String Beans 496
Clarissa and the Second Coming 497
When You Lose a Child 498
Snake Dreams 500
July 18, 1966 503
Woman Writer 504
I Used To Be A Teacup 505
Discovered 506
How Do You Remember Him? 507
from Singing Family of the Cumberlands 510
from The Time of Man 515
from Sketches of History, Life, and Manners, in the United States 519
from Missing May 523
Pink 528
Mornings, Sheba Combs Her Hair 529
Liza's Monday 530
The Morning of the Red-Tailed Hawk 531
All On A Summer's Afternoon 532
Legacy For Rachel 533
from Addie 536
from The Killing Ground 539
Why I Write 545
Fat Sestina 546
Spellcheck 548
from Cabins in the Laurel 551
Appalachian Winter 556
from Our Mountain 562
Homecoming 567
Kathy 567
My Father. His Rabbits 568
Backwoods Haiku 569
from What My Heart Wants to Tell 572
Bad News 576
And This Is The Way To Be Poor 577
The Language of Poetry 578
Memories of Home 581
from Saving Grace 585
Cycles from Transparencies 593
Where Stuarts Lie 594
Roots 594
Composition 595
from Big Stone Gap 598
Economy 603
New Poor 603
A Dry Spring 604
Our Bodies Remember 605
Force 607
from Shadow of the Mountain 610
My Boy Elroy, from In the Mountains of America 615
from The Raising, From the Bottom Up 625
from The Morning Cool 630
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