Getting acquainted with local flora and fauna is the perfect way to begin to understand the wonder of nature. The natural environment of Southern Appalachia, with habitats that span the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau, is one of the most biodiverse on earth.
Ecologically, culturally, and artistically, Southern Appalachia is rich in paradox and stereotype-defying complexity. Its species range from the iconic and inveterate, such as the speckled trout, pileated woodpecker, copperhead, and black bear, to the elusive and endangered, such as the American chestnut, Carolina gorge moss, chucky madtom, and lampshade spider. A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia brings together art and science to help the reader experience this immense ecological wealth.
Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers.
Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The anthology is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.
Laura-Gray Street is author of Pigment and Fume and Shift Work, and co-editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology and A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia. She is an associate professor of English; directs the undergraduate Creative Writing and Visiting Writers Series Program; and edits Revolute, the MFA’s literary journal, at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.
Lee Ann Brown is the author of five collections of poetry including "In the Laurels, Caught," published by Fence Books in 2013. She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City and Western North Carolina. She teaches poetry at St. John’s University and edits Tender Buttons Press.
Holly Haworth’s work was selected for The Best American Science & Nature Writing 2019 and listed as notable in The Best American Travel Writing 2017. Her poetry, essays, and reporting appear at The New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Orion, Virginia Quarterly Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, Terrain.org, and at the On Being radio program blog.
John Lane is Professor of English and environmental studies at Wofford College and director of the college’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center. His latest books are "Neighborhood Hawks," from UGA Press, and "Anthropocene Blues," from Mercer University Press. He has won numerous awards, including the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, and was named the 2013 Water Conservationist of the Year by the SC Wildlife Federation. He, with his wife Betsy Teter, is one of the co-founders of Spartanburg’s Hub City Writers Project.
The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, the PSA’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, three Georgia Author of the Year awards, and two Peace Corps Writers awards, Sandra Meek has published six books of poems, including "Still" (Persea, January 2020), "An Ecology of Elsewhere," "Road Scatter," and the Dorset Prize-winning "Biogeography."
Jim Peterson is the author of six poetry collections and a novel. Several of his plays have been produced. He is a retired creative writing coordinator at Randolph College and currently serves as a faculty mentor at the University of Nebraska–Omaha MFA Program in Writing. He lives in Lynchburg, Virginia with his charismatic corgi, Mama Kilya.
Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize. The 2019–2021 Gilbert-Chappell distinguished Poet for eastern North Carolina, and the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, she teaches at UNC Wilmington, where she is editor of Ecotone.