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New Poetry Collection Celebrates Appalachian Voices in Ohio | News

Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour will publish a new poetry anthology focused on the state’s Appalachian region, shipping to begin later this month.

“People often forget, and many don’t even know it, that nearly a quarter of the state of Ohio is inside Appalachia proper,” Gunter-Seymour said in a statement, ” and pockets of Appalachian families who emigrated generations ago exist prominently across the state, still firmly committed to its Appalachian roots.This collection is an intimate look at the landscape and family of central Appalachia, diving much deeper than traditional journalism.






The cover of “‘I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing’ – Ohio’s Appalachian Voices.”


The anthology focuses on the unique cultural experiences of poets located in or related to Appalachian Ohio.

The anthology was conceived and produced by Gunter-Seymour. Graphic designer as much as poet, Gunter-Seymour designed the anthology, recruited and edited the collection.

A lavish mix of voices are included in the anthology, with works featured by Black, Indigenous, non-binary, and LGBTQ people; people of all ages – from teenagers to older poets; recovering poets, some with different abilities or developmental differences; emerging and established poets.

Of these features, some live in the state while others live in other parts of the country, but all have a deep connection to Ohio’s Appalachia.

Ohio University’s director of creative writing, Mark Halliday, wrote of the anthology: “This abundant anthology encompasses many styles, viewpoints and backgrounds, creating a richly detailed tapestry of human experience in the Appalachians of Ohio. There is a pervasive sense of stoic courage in the face of life’s rough edges; and many poems acknowledge and honor this struggle in the lives of past generations. The cumulative evocation of imaginative persistence in forested valleys and on winding, hilly roads and in hundreds of cities is very moving.

Ten “Meet the Poets” reading events are planned across the state over the next few months, beginning with the anthology launch on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the historic Mercantile Library, Cincinnati, sponsored by the Appalachian urban community. Coalition.

Additional readings will take place in Westerville, Ironton, Marietta, Youngstown, Akron, Athens, Toledo, South Euclid and Coshocton.

The Athens event will be virtual and will take place on May 18 from 7-9 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Ohio University Multicultural Center.

More information about each event is available online through the Gunter-Seymour website.

These readings will allow the voices of Ohio’s Appalachians to be heard and provide contributors with the opportunity to meet and connect with Ohio communities across the state.

Copies of the anthology can be purchased directly from the publisher, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, at sheilanagigblog.com/cardinal-sing. Reduced rates are available for schools and non-profit organizations.

Gunter-Seymour is currently serving an unprecedented second term as the Ohio winner. Gunter-Seymour is also one of FAO’s first “Arts and Culture Pillar Fellows”.

Through the association I’m an Appalachian Kid® Fund, FAO creates opportunities in five programmatic areas known as the Pillars of Prosperity: Arts and Culture; Community and economic development; Education; environmental stewardship; and Health and Social Services. The Pillars of Prosperity Fellowship Program provides targeted support to individual leaders to help them scale their impact from one local community to many. Gunter-Seymour is among three scholars in the inaugural class of 2021.

Publication of the anthology was made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

With additional funding provided by the FAO, a copy of the anthology will be provided to all Ohio public libraries and all Appalachian Ohio middle and high schools, enabling Ohioans of all ages to access reading the poems and discover examples of Ohio’s Appalachian heritage and legacy. culture.

“We are thrilled to have Kari Gunter-Seymour as a member of our Arts and Culture Prosperity Pillar and to support this wonderful anthology highlighting what it means to be an Appalachian kid,” said Cara Dingus Brook, President and CEO. of the FAO. “We believe this unique collection will encourage students and educators in our region to tell their own rich stories.

Since 1998, FAO has worked with donors who are passionate about Ohio’s Appalachia, its communities and its future. The organization helps donors give back in ways that are meaningful to them and to our region.


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