On Homesickness: Appalachian Readings

A resolution of mine for 2018 is to read more books about Appalachia. I was an Appalachian studies minor back in the day at Berea College, and my writing and, honestly, my identity are wrapped up in the region. Because I do best with goals, I decided to read one book on Appalachia each month. […]

First Place Essay: “Cold Light”

I’m so, so honored to have placed first in the creative nonfiction category in Still: The Journal’s annual writing contest! Read the full essay here. Also be sure to check out the other amazing pieces. My friend Natalie Sypolt won first in fiction, and the winning poem is incredible. In addition, the amazing Meg Wilson (who […]

Appalachia Ablaze

As a child, I was terrified of fire. After a fire marshal came to my elementary school to teach us basic fire safety, such as having a plan and using stop-drop-and-roll, I doubled down on my fear. I slept on the side of the bed closest to the door, in case I needed to run […]

Shape Note Singing

The other night, Casey and I watched Lawless, a film set during Prohibition in rural Virginia. In one of the scenes, Shia LaBeouf visits a church service wherein the congregants are sitting in a square—in parts—facing one another, and singing. Based on the strong rhythm and the arrangement of people, I could tell they were using shape […]