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Forty Years of Appalachian Heritage Literary Quarterly: Home

Highlighted issues of Appalachian Heritage literary quarterly, selected by Editor George Brosi, to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2013.

Forty Years of Appalachian Heritage

For the last 40 years, Appalachian Heritage has been studying over a storm, or maybe it has been calling one up. Each lead editor has, in turn, issue by issue, gathered people together to share their tales. And as we listen to these conversations, we can hear Appalachia’s evolving story—one that Appalachian Heritage has nurtured, widened, and deepened.

Spring, 1974

In its early years, Appalachian Heritage often re-printed stories from important regional authors, thus providing subscribers with an overview of the region’s literary heritage.  A good example of this work is the story in this issue by John Fox, Jr. (1883–1919), Appalachia’s first best-selling author.  This issue also contains the magazine’s first essay of literary criticism and poems by Bettie Sellers, a future poet laureate of Georgia, and Bennie Lee Sinclair (1939–2000), a future poet laureate of South Carolina.

Winter, 1979, Tribute to James R. Stokely

A section of this issue pays tribute to James R. Stokely (1913–1977),  including essays by his wife, the novelist and orator, Wilma Dykeman (1920–2006),  as well as James Still (1906–2001). Also in this issue are the fifth and last installment of series on “Appalachian Values and American Values” by Jim Wayne Miller (1936–1996), the magazine’s most prolific author,  and the third and last of a series on “Mountain Women” by Danny Miller (1949–2008), a professor at Northern Kentucky University. In its first decade, Appalachian Heritage provided readers an overview of Appalachian Studies as well as Appalachian Literature.

Summer, 1982, First Issue Published at Hindman

In 1982, Alice Lloyd College determined it could no longer afford to publish the magazine. Mike Mullins (1948–2012), the Director of the Hindman Settlement School, offered the magazine a new home.  This is Albert Stewart’s first issue from Hindman, where he had lived with the settlement worker and novelist Lucy Furman (1869–1958) and became close friends with James Still.

Spring, 1985, First Issue Edited by Sidney Saylor Farr at Berea College

In 1985, twelve years after founding Appalachian Heritage, Albert Stewart retired as editor.  Berea College President John Stephenson welcomed  the magazine to Berea College and hired Sidney Farr, a poet from a coal camp in Bell County, Kentucky, as the magazine’s second editor.  A glance at the Table of Contents of Farr’s first issue reveals a who’s who in Appalachian Literature and Appalachian Studies at the time.

Fall, 1991, Blacks in Appalachia Issue

This is the first issue to feature African Americans. Contributors include Dr. Ancilla Bickley, folksinger Sparky Rucker, Dr. William H. Turner, and Wilburn Hayden, an Appalachian Studies Association President.

Fall, 1995, Silas House's First Time In Print

Silas House first appeared in print in this issue of Appalachian Heritage.  His story, “Daddy Tell Me about the War,” later was expanded to become his fourth novel, Eli the Good.  The book reviewers for this issue are representative of the distinguished scholars who provided reviews for the magazine throughout its existence—the late Jim Wayne Miller, an early promoter of Appalachian Studies and Appalachian Literature, the late William T. Cornett of Hazard Community College, short story writer Chris Holbrook, now at Morehead State University, and Gordon B. McKinney, Professor Emeritus of Berea College.

Fall, 1999, First Issue Edited by Jim Gage

 After serving fourteen years, Sidney Saylor Farr retired, and James Gage, an English Professor at Berea College, took over as editor.  His first issue includes fiction by Silas House, poetry by Sidney Saylor Farr, and photos by Randy Ball and Ann W. Olson.

Fall, 2002, First Issue Edited by George Brosi

This is the first issue edited by George Brosi, the current editor. It inaugurated the tradition of having a featured author for each issue. Ron Rash, the magazine’s first featured author, has gone on to a distinguished literary career. Two of his novels are currently being made into Hollywood movies.   This issue has poetry by a future North Carolina poet laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer, and current Berea College Appalachian Center Director, Chris Green, plus fiction by Chaffin Award Winner, John Sparks.

Spring, 2004, Featured Author Silas House

This issue includes, for the first time, poetry by Charles Wright—a Pulitzer Prize winner. The featured author is Silas House. Here also is the first published fiction by Kathryn Stripling Byer, a future poet laureate of North Carolina.

Fall, 2007, Thomas Wolfe Issue

The long process of creating this issue, featuring Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), began when editor George Brosi wrote an endorsement for a grant proposal which allowed Shawn Holliday then of the Alice Lloyd College faculty and Chair of the Thomas Wolfe Society to spend time with Wolfe manuscripts in Harvard University’s Haughton Library.  Appropriate previously-unpublished manuscripts became the nucleus of this issue.

Spring, 2009

The Spring 2009 issue includes the first story from Appalachian Heritage reprinted in Best Stories of the South—“Columbarium” by George Singleton. The featured author is Pamela Duncan, and the featured artist  is Debbie Littledeer. 

Winter, 2011, Cormac McCarthy Issue

This is the first issue to have a featured author without any of his own works included.  The reclusive Cormac McCarthy, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, is celebrated here by top McCarthy scholars from the U. S. and Great Britain.

Winter, 1973, First Issue

Winter 1973 marked the release of the first issue of Appalachian Heritage. The editor, Albert Stewart (1914–2001), was a mountain poet and promoter of regional literature who had graduated from Hindman Settlement School in 1932. At the time, Stewart was a professor at Alice Lloyd College, which initially sponsored the magazine.

Fall, 1976

This issue includes two essays which epitomize the old-fashioned approach of authors from “off” to Appalachia - William Aspenwall Bradley’s “In Shakespeare’s America” and a reprint of William Goodell Frost’s “Our Contemporary Ancestors” alongside “Appalachia in Fiction” by Cratis Williams, known as the Father of Appalachian Studies. Also, reprinted poems from Emma Bell Miles, who wrote the first book-length study of the mountain culture in 1905, are included.

Summer, 1983

This issue includes “Telling the Bees” by Sharyn McCrumb, published before the first book publication of this now best-selling author.  Also here is poetry by James Still and important literary criticism by Rita S. Quillen, “The Poetry of Fred Chappell.”

Spring, 1987, Leonard Roberts Memorial Issue

This is the memorial issue for Leonard Roberts, a folklorist who grew up in a humble mountain home in Floyd County, Kentucky immersed in the folk culture of the region and went on to earn a PhD in folklore.

November, 1993, Special Issue in Honor of Loyal Jones

1994 was the only year that Appalachian Heritage published five magazines, including this special issue that celebrated the contributions to Appalachian Studies of Loyal Jones, the first ever Appalachian Center Director and a professor at Berea College.  Many of the most prominent figures in Appalachian Studies contributed to this issue.

Winter, 1995, Remembering John B. Stephenson

The annual Denny C. Plattner Awards for outstanding contributions to the magazine in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction commenced with this issue and have been a yearly tradition ever since.  It also includes a special section in memory of John B. Stephenson (1937–1994), the Berea College President who brought the magazine to Berea.

Fall, 1997, Remembering Jim Wayne Miller

This issue celebrates the life and work of Jim Wayne Miller, the author who has appeared in Appalachian Heritage more than any other. It includes poetry by Billy C. Clark (1928–2009), fiction by Sharyn McCrumb, a review by Wilma Dykeman, and praises for Jim Wayne Miller from novelist Robert Morgan, children’s author George Ella Lyon, poet Jeff Daniel Marion, and Loyal Jones.

Fall, 2001, First Issue to Include A Music CD

This is the first issue to include a music cd.  Also  here are “When TV Came to Punkin River” by Bo Ball, Charles May on James Still, and an article by Loyal Jones.

Summer, 2003, First Issue with a Featured Author, Fred Chappell

This issue inaugurated the tradition of having a featured artist for each issue, in this case the photographer Judith Victoria Hensley of Harlan, Kentucky.  The featured author is Fred Chappell, and it includes Sidney Saylor Farr’s first essay on traditional cooking in Appalachia, a series she continued until just before her death. Also included is a story by R. T. Smith, the editor of Shenandoah, poetry by Cathryn Hankla of the Hollins University creative writing faculty, and a review by Warren J. Carson, a dean at the University of South Carolina, Upstate.

Fall, 2005, Featured Author Emma Bell Miles

This magazine features its first historical author and is the first to feature an individual serving as both featured author and artist—Emma Bell Miles. This is also the first magazine with a guest editor for the featured author section, Grace Toney Edwards, then the Director of Appalachian Studies at Radford University.

Summer, 2008, Black Appalachian Issue

This Black Appalachian issue was guest edited by William H. Turner and featured articles by Henry Louis Gates, bell hooks, Ancella R. Bickley, and Sparky Rucker. Poets include Frank X Walker, Alena Hairston, Crystal Wilkinson, Glennis Redmon, doris davenport, and Crystal Good.

Fall, 2009, Cherokee Writers Issue

This issue features, almost exclusively, the creative writing of enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokees.  Some of the pieces here appear in English on one page and in the Cherokee Syllabary on the facing page.

Winter, 2013, 40th Anniversary Issue

The 40th Anniversary issue includes selected poetry and stories from the first forty years of the magazine.

About This Guide

This guide is based on the "40 Years of Appalachian Heritage" exhibit project of summer 2013. The exhibit showed in the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center's Longwall Gallery, June - September 2013.  The highlighted issues were selected and annotated by magazine editor George Brosi. Contributing curators for the exhibit project were Student Curatorial Associate Joey Shepherd, Christopher Miller, and Dr. Chris Green. Student Curatorial Associates Travis Rigg and Shadia Prater did technical production for this guide.

Appalachian Heritage Literary Quarterly