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Poetry celebrates the voices of Appalachia in Ohio



This is the cover of the new book ‘I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices’.

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The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) announced the release of “I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices”, a unique collection of poetry focused specifically on the unique cultural experiences of poets located in or connected to Appalachian Ohio.

The anthology was conceived and produced by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour. Graphic designer as much as poet, Gunter-Seymour designed the anthology, recruited and edited the collection. It’s a sumptuous blend of voices – Afrilachian, Indigenous, non-binary and LGBTQ; from teenagers to those aging creatively; recovering poets, some with different abilities or developmental differences; emerging and well established; some live in the state, others in various locations across the country, but all have a deep connection to Ohio’s Appalachia. Gunter-Seymour is currently serving an unprecedented second term as the Ohio winner.

Gunter-Seymour is FAO’s first Arts and Culture Pillar Fellow. Through the I’m a Child of Appalachia 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 poems and discover examples of Ohio’s Appalachian heritage and culture.

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 in Cincinnati. Additional readings will take place in Westerville, Ironton, Marietta, Youngstown, Akron, Athens, Toledo, South Euclid and Coshocton. 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. Event information is available here: www.karigunterseymourpoet.com/cardinal-sing

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.

To learn more about the Appalachian Foundation of Ohio and the opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org or contact [email protected] or 740-753-1111.

To learn more about Gunter-Seymour and I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices, visit www.karigunterseymourpoet.com/cardinal-sing.

Submitted by Rochelle Hawk, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

This is the cover of the new book ‘I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices’.




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