Editor’s Note

Summer 2015 Editor’s Note

During their panel discussion titled “Voice Lessons” at the 2015 Appalachian Studies Association Conference, writers and teachers Darnell Arnoult, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Amanda Jo Runyon, and Jessie van Eerden offered their thoughts on voice in creative writing. They talked of the vital voices that have shaped their work over the…

Spring 2015 Editor’s Note

Since February, three friends of mine have been diagnosed with cancer. Their stories are all too familiar. A few odd pains—nothing too severe— an eventual doctor’s visit, followed by a couple more, and finally, a diagnosis that seemingly came from out of the blue. They are all in their sixties.…

Winter 2015 Editor’s Note

In the dead of winter, sunlight is often in short supply, appearing without warning, only to soon disappear again behind a mass of grey clouds. Many of us can’t help but walk around downcast, wearing what Shakespeare called a “February face” in Much Ado About Nothing—“So full of frost, of…

Fall 2014 Editor’s Note

In his poem “Digging,” the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney depicts a writer at his desk, a pen resting “Between my finger and my thumb,” ready to begin his day’s work. But the narrator becomes distracted by the sound of a spade striking gravel, and he looks out to find his father’s “straining rump among the…

Spring 2014 Editor’s Note

In 1953, William Styron was riding high on the success of his debut novel, Lie Down in Darkness, which had been published two years earlier to great acclaim. He was just twenty-eight when he sat down with Peter Matthiessen and George Plimpton at a café on the Boulevard Montparnasse in…

Winter 2014 Editor’s Note

Nine years ago, my paternal grandmother was in the final weeks of her life. I joined my family in keeping vigil back in southeastern Kentucky as often as I could, making the eight-hour drive down Interstate 81 or flying to nearby Knoxville, Tennessee, from my then home in Washington, D.C.…
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