Brent Kennedy, III, died at the age of 69 on September 21, 2020, in Wise, Virginia. He was the Author of The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People and co-author of two other Melungeon books and a founder in 1997 of the Melungeon Heritage Association. He is often credited with helping to make Melungeon heritage a point of pride, rather than of racist derision. Kennedy served for years as Vice Chancellor for Development and College Relations at the University of Virginia-Wise. A life-long resident of Wise, he was the owner and operator of Kennedy Auto Sales and Service Station.
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel was named one of O Magazine’s 22 “Best Books to Pick Up Before Summer Ends” and to Entertainment Weekly’s “20 Late-Summer Must-Reads Coming in August,” and Sheerluxe’s “6 New Books to Read This August,” and Salon’s “Provocative Must-Reads for August.
Both Betty by Tiffany McDaniel and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi are on E on line’s list of “17 Books to Check Out Before the End of Summer.”
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi is one of Entertainment Weekly’s 20 New Books to Read in September, and on Library Reads list of the ten books published in September that library staff across the country love, and on Amazon’s list of the Best Books of the Month of September in Literature and Fiction, and on BuzzFeed News list of “38 Books to Read this Fall.”
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, You Want More by George Singleton, and Where I Come From by Rick Bragg made the Atlanta Journal-Constitution list of New Southern Books We’re Eager To Read in Fall 2020.
The New York Times, back in June, named White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia by Kiki Petrosino, one of a half dozen poetry books they considered, “New and Noteworthy.”
The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2020 award covers novels published in 2019. The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate. One of five finalists is To the Bones by Valerie Nieman published by West Virginia University Press.
The 2020 Lillian Smith Awards has announced the following on-line events – Wednesday, October 7th at 6:00 – an evening with George Singleton. Thursday, October 8 at 2:30 - Lit Café – Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography
The Berry Center – directed by Wendell Berry’s daughter to promote his work and legacy – has named The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson their 2020 Agrarian Literary League selection.