May 6, 2017

I grew up poor. 

Often, when one reads memoirs or oral histories from folks who grew up where I did -- that is, in Appalachia, or in the South, or somewhere that's either both or in-between  -- one will see a disclaimer from the speaker or writer indicating that while t...

April 27, 2017

Appalachia is a place. It is defined on maps, even when competing mapmakers disagree about its boundaries. It is also a culture, even though that culture is not uniform in nature across the region.

For generations, America's most talented writers have understood the pow...

April 27, 2017

A few days ago, I mentioned to my wife Betsy that I might take up blogging soon. "You said that last summer," she reminded me.  As I glance begrudgingly at the stack of essays waiting beside me to be graded, I realize that if I do not start now, she and I might be havi...

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