LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia. Eds. Jeff Mann and Julia Watts. West Virginia UP. 288 pp.
This collection, the first of its kind, gathers original and previously published fiction and poetry from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors from Appalachia. Like much Appalachian literature, these works are pervaded with an attachment to family and the mountain landscape, yet balancing queer and Appalachian identities is an undertaking fraught with conflict. This collection confronts the problematic and complex intersections of place, family, sexuality, gender, and religion with which LGBTQ Appalachians often grapple.
With works by established writers such as Dorothy Allison, Silas House, Ann Pancake, Fenton Johnson, and Nickole Brown and emerging writers such as Savannah Sipple, Rahul Mehta, Mesha Maren, and Jonathan Corcoran, this collection celebrates a literary canon made up of writers who give voice to what it means to be Appalachian and LGBTQ.
Jeff Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, receiving degrees in English and forestry from West Virginia University. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Appalachian Heritage, Best Gay Poetry, Best Gay Erotica, and Best Gay Stories. He has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks, Bliss, Mountain Fireflies, and Flint Shards from Sussex; five full-length books of poetry, Bones Washed with Wine, On the Tongue, Ash: Poems from Norse Mythology, A Romantic Mann, and Rebels; six novels, Insatiable, Country, Cub, Fog: A Novel of Desire and Reprisal, which won the Pauline Reage Novel Award, Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War, which won a Rainbow Award, and Salvation: A Novel of the Civil War, which won a Lambda Literary Award and the Pauline Reage Novel Award. In May 2013, he was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
A native of southeastern Kentucky, Julia Watts is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning Finding H.F. and many other works including lesbian romance, lesbian erotica and young teen paranormal. Watts is a two-time recipient of grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and recently completed an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University. She lives, writes and teaches in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lambda Literary Awards: Secret City, Finalist, LGBT Young Adult, Finding H.F., Winner in LGBT Young Adult, The Kind of Girl I Am, Finalist in Lesbian Erotica, Once Upon a Dyke, Finalist in Lesbian Erotica. GCLS Goldie Awards: Hypnotizing Chickens, Finalist, Lesbian Dramatic/General Fiction, Secret City, Winner, Lesbian Young Adult, Women. Period., Finalist, Lesbian Anthology, The Kind of Girl I Am, Finalist, Lesbian Dramatic Fiction, Bell, Book and Dyke and Tall in the Saddle, Finalist, Lesbian Science-Fiction/Horror/Paranormal.