This is one of the most desirable gift books to come out of our region in the 40+ years I’ve been dealing in the literature of the Southern Appalachians. It combines poetry, drawings, and science in a way that will keep those who own this book returning to it time and again and being uplifted each time. A Literary Guide to Southern Appalachia illuminants the natural history of our region, species by species, in seven categories: Trees and Plants, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates, and Fungi. For each category, two to fifteen species are chosen, and each species is illuminated with a poem by a writer with a connection to the region, a drawing by one of the artists with regional experience, and a brief essay by L. L. Gaddy that provides both a Description and Notes as well as the Habitat and Range for each of sixty species. The poets chosen range from the nationally known, including Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Ron Rash and Robert Morgan to some whose first book has not yet appeared. Not everyone loves poetry or drawings or natural history, but you can safely give this book to anyone who appreciates even just one of those three aspects of life and watch their appreciation expand. Rose McLarney grew up in Western North Carolina and now teaches at Auburn. Her three poetry books have garnered rave reviews and many awards, including the Fellowship of Southern Writers New Writing Award for Poetry. Laura-Gray Street teaches at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is the author of two poetry collections and the recipient of many fellowships and awards. L. L. Gaddy is a South Carolina naturalist and the author of three well-received books.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2019. 205 pages with a Bibliography and black-and-white drawings by Allyson Comstock, Landon Godfrey, Gary Hawkins, Dan Powell, Billy Renei, Henry Shearon, and Suzanne Stryk. Hardback with a cover illustration in gilt.