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Shepherd releases its Anthology of Appalachian writers

By Staff | May 15, 2012

The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Ron Rash Volume IV, is now for sale at the Shepherd University Bookstore.

This special volume is a collection of Appalachian stories, essays, poetry and photographic art, which focuses both on the region and the literary art of poet and novelist Ron Rash. The book likewise serves as a tribute in memoriam to one of its editors Ethan Fischer.

Ethan Fischer grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Cornell University and the University of Pittsburgh, studying science and English. After earning a law degree from the University of Michigan, he practiced neighborhood law before going on the road as an actor and playwright. Fischer worked with Bear Republic Theater on the West Coast and later with the Video Buddies 9Gross National Product) in Washington, D.C. He was general editor of Antietam Review and co-producer of the Rumsey Radio Hour. Ethan’s poetry, essays, and interviews were published in journals across the nation and his writing workshops for “children of all ages,” as well as his campus and radio work, allowed him to share his love of poetry and fascination with language. Fischer taught literature and creative writing at Shepherd University, was director of the West Virginia Fiction Competition and was a founding editor of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers. His poetry collection Beached in the Hourglass was published in 2004.

The Ron Rash volume of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers features the work of both Rash and Fischer, as well as three winners of the 2011 West Virginia Fiction Competition: Jim Koenig’s “Carry Me to the River,” Paul Kessler’s “The Water Beneath,” and Jeremiah Shelor’s “The Tragedy of Woodrow Monroe.” Rash selected the winners and wrote critical reviews for each of the finalists in the state-wide competition, cosponsored by The West Virginia Center for the Book.

Storytellers, poets and essayists from Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Iceland contributed to the volume. The book also features heritage writer Willa Cather and one of her Appalachian stories set in Winchester, Va.-“Sapphira and the Slave Girl”-and features the award-winning poetry and prose of Grace Cavalieri, Rob Merritt, Jim Lewin, Dave Hoffman, Marc Harshman, Randi Ward, Sue Silver, Wesley Browne, Jenny Preston, Anna Egan Smucker, Sue Dunlap, Marc Levitt, Wendy Miles, Stephanie Whetstone, Zack Davis, Robert Amburgey, Larry Kinder, Judy Strang, Jacquelyn Markham, Lisa Res and others.

Readings from the anthology will take place Sept. 25, at 7 p.m., at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies; a reception for the writers and photographic artists in the volume will follow at 8 p.m. in the Scarborough Library Reading Room.

This and other events will be part of the 2012 Appalachian Heritage Writers Project (AHWIR) and Appalachian Heritage Festival, featuring the work of Gretchen Moran Laskas. The AHIWR project is cosponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

The anthology can be purchased online through the University bookstore under tradebooks at www.shepherdbook.com. For information about the Appalachian Heritage Writers Project and the Appalachian Studies Program, see www.shepherd.edu/ahwirweb/ and follow Appalachian Heritage events and the Appalachian Studies Program on Facebook.