In 2017, Women Speak, the literary portion of the Women of Appalachia Project, was one of the premier experiences of my poetic life. This project was created to address the often negative image of Appalachian women in our society. To quote founder Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet-Laureate of Athens, Ohio,
"We believe that all women are capable, courageous, creative and inspired. We tell our stories through our art."
The project is celebrating its 10th anniversay. Now Ms.Gunter-Seymour has put together a collection of work from 90 women writers and artists from nine states, and oh, the stories they tell! I am humbled and honored to be one of the contributors to this remarkable collection. If you want to laugh, cry, cringe, and rejoice, and hear the unapologetic truth of being a woman in Appalachia, you must get this collection.
You can get it at Amazon here or go to the Women of Appalachia Project website and learn more about this worthwhile project.
March is my birthday month and I have been given two unexpected but very appreciated gifts this month - publication in two stellar collections of poetry and story. Wow, what a privilege!
On March 11th, the Ohio Poetry Association launched its anthology, A Rustling and Wakening Within, a collection of ekphrastic poetry by Ohio poets, edited by Sharon Fish Mooney. This week, the Women of Appalachia Project released the chapbook, Women Speak, edited by Kari Gunter-Seymour. These two editors have worked tirelessly to produce works of quality. I am both humble and proud to be included in both.
For those who are unfamiliar with ekphrastic poetry, it is poetry based on another form of art, like a painting or piece of music. On the OPA website (https://sites.google.com/a/ohiopoetryassn.com/the-ohio-poetry-association/home) you will find additional information and see a link to the artwork referenced in the anthology.
The Women in Appalachia (www.womenofappalachia.com/women_speak.htm) poets are selected each year by jurors and agree to give presentations in the region to represent Appalacian women and their strength, intelligence, diversity and resiliency; to break the stereotype and celebrate who they are.
I hope you will consider purchasing one or both of these quality publications. Here are the links:
Exciting news! I am honored to have been chosen as a reader in the 2016/2017 "Women Speak", Women of Appalachia events. Here is a link to the details, time and place of the various events, and the list of amazing women who will be reading alongside me. Hope those of you in the region can attend one of these. I think it's going to be fabulous!