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WV Book Team: Collection gathers fiction, poetry from Appalachian LGBTQ authors

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“LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia,” the first collection of its kind, gathers original and previously published fiction and poetry from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer authors from Appalachia.

Like much Appalachian literature, these works are pervaded with an attachment to family and the mountain landscape. Yet, balancing queer and Appalachian identities is an undertaking fraught with conflict. This collection confronts the problematic and complex intersections of place, family, sexuality, gender and religion with which LGBTQ Appalachians often grapple.

With works by established writers such as Dorothy Allison, Silas House, Ann Pancake, Fenton Johnson, and Nickole Brown and emerging writers such as Savannah Sipple, Rahul Mehta, Mesha Maren and Jonathan Corcoran, this collection celebrates a literary canon made up of writers who give voice to what it means to be Appalachian and LGBTQ.

With over 20 contributors — including writers from West Virginia such as Maggie Anderson, Jonathan Corcoran, Charles Lloyd, Jeff Mann, Mesha Maren, Kelly McQuain, Rahul Mehta, Ann Pancake, and Anita Skeen — LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia has already received advance praise:

Marie Manilla, author of “The Patron Saint of Ugly,” notes it is “a complete pleasure reading this rich collection that explores the gay experience in Appalachia. The urge to flee is strong, but so is the need to return to an at-times brutal terrain that often offers more fists than love.”

Foreword Reviews calls it “an immersive exploration of queer life within the confines of a conservative American subculture.”

Felice Picano, author of “Justify My Sins,” calls it “a gratifying diversity of multi-generational voices, styles, and attitudes.”

Stacey Waite, author of “Teaching Queer,” says it “maps the queer ecology of Appalachia and the voices that construct themselves in relation to the landscape and the cultural imagination of the place.”

About the editors

Jeff Mann is an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. He has published three poetry chapbooks, five full-length books of poetry, two collections of personal essays, a volume of memoir and poetry, three novellas, six novels, and three collections of short fiction. He is the winner of two Lambda Literary Awards.

Julia Watts is a professor of English at South College and a faculty mentor in Murray State University’s low-residency MFA in writing program. She is the author of over a dozen novels, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning “Finding H.F.,” the Lambda Literary and Golden Crown Literary Society Award finalist “The Kind of Girl I Am,” and the Lambda Literary Award finalist and Golden Crown Literary Award-winning “Secret City.”

Contributors to this book will appear at Taylor Books on June 23 during FestivAll.

To order WVU Press books visit wvupress.com, call 800-621-2736, or visit a local bookstore like Taylor Books or West Virginia Book Company in Charleston. To learn more about WVU Press, visit wvupress.com or Booktimist: A Blog about Books and Culture from West Virginia University Press. For updates on books and events, follow WVU Press on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or join our mailing list on wvupress.com.

Abby Freeland is the sales and marketing director and fiction editor at West Virginia University Press.

Funerals for Sunday, September 22, 2019

Browning, Thelma - 1 p.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Cooper, Corey- 2 p.m., Henson & Kitchen Funeral Mortuary, Huntington.

Pennington, Connie- 2 p.m., White Cemetery, Danese. 

Waybright, Gerald- 3:30 p.m., Pickens Cemetery, Pickens. 

Young, Susan- 3 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.