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“Mountains Piled Upon Mountains” features nearly 50 writers from across Appalachia sharing their place-based fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry. Moving beyond the tradition of transcendental nature writing, much of the work collected here engages current issues facing the region and the planet (such as hydraulic fracturing, water contamination, mountaintop removal and deforestation), and provides readers with insights on the human-nature relationship in an era of rapid environmental change.

Ron Rash, author of “Above the Waterfall,” calls it “a collection of writings that does more than record the observations of Appalachian authors on their environment. It is also a timely call to action: to preserve what might be lost and, most hopefully, what might yet be resurrected.”

Chris Green, director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Berea College notes that “From the introduction onward, this collection, filled with bright surprises and sharp challenges, engaged my emotions, mind, and senses. Taking in its life-giving poems, heart-piercing stories, and ethically profound essays, night after night I pondered this collection, drank in Appalachia and nature, and felt my sense of wonder and connection renewed.”

This book includes a mix of new and recent creative work by established and emerging authors. The contributors write about experiences from northern Georgia to upstate New York, invite parallels between a watershed in West Virginia and one in North Carolina, and often emphasize connections between Appalachia and more distant locations. In the pages of “Mountains Piled Upon Mountains” are celebration, mourning, confusion, loneliness, admiration, and other emotions and experiences rooted in place but transcending Appalachia’s boundaries.

About the editor:

Jessica Cory teaches in the English department at Western Carolina University. She grew up in southeastern Ohio, and her work has been published in ellipsis ..., A Poetry Congeries, and other journals.

Book tour schedule:

September 20

Bluefield State College, Bluefield.

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