Crystal Wilkinson has been named the new Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2021-2022. She grew up in Casey County, Kentucky, and now teaches at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of the novel, The Birds of Opulence, and the story collections, Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street. She has published wonderful poetry in literary magazines for years, and her first poetry book, Perfect Black is forthcoming in August.
The Southern Independent Bookseller’s Alliance has re-named their Okra Next list to Read This Next!. For Winter 2021 it includes:
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, set in Birmingham
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is also on the Deep South Magazine 11 Book Picks for Spring 2021
On the "Read This Next" Spring List from SIBA is
The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt, set in Eastern Kentucky, scheduled for a June release
On the Uncorked Librarian’s List of April 2021 book releases is
Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham, set in Asheville.
The New York Times rated New and Noteworthy:
Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution by John Archibald, set in Birmingham
The Department of English at Appalachian State University hosted a live-streamed writers series this semester that can still be viewed free by the public. It is co-sponsored by Appalachian Journal.
Check out the Reading and Craft Talk by
The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College has announced this year’s Weatherford Awards.
The fiction award goes to Carter Sickels for The Prettiest Star. Runner’s Up are The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw, F*ckface by Leah Hampton, and How Fire Runs by Charles Dodd White.
The poetry award to Matthew Wimberley for All The Great Territories. Runner’s Up are Talking to Shadows by Ron Houchin, Of This River by Noah Davis, and Redneck Bouquet by Jeff Mann.
The non-fiction award to Eric Luke Lassiter, Brian A. Hoey, and Elizabeth Campbell for I’m Afraid of that Water. Runner’s Up are RX Appalachia by Lesly-Marie Buer, Peace in the Mountains by Thomas Weyant, and Shelter from the Machine by Jason Strange.