A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia
download cover image ►

A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia

Title Details

Pages: 224

Illustrations: 61 b&w images

Trim size: 7.000in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 10/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5624-2

List Price: $25.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Wormsloe Foundation Nature Books

A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Getting acquainted with local flora and fauna is the perfect way to begin to understand the wonder of nature. The natural environment of Southern Appalachia, with habitats that span the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau, is one of the most biodiverse on earth. A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia—a hybrid literary and natural history anthology—showcases sixty of the many species indigenous to the region.

Ecologically, culturally, and artistically, Southern Appalachia is rich in paradox and stereotype-defying complexity. Its species range from the iconic and inveterate—such as the speckled trout, pileated woodpecker, copperhead, and black bear—to the elusive and endangered—such as the American chestnut, Carolina gorge moss, chucky madtom, and lampshade spider. The anthology brings together art and science to help the reader experience this immense ecological wealth.

Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers such as Ellen Bryant Voigt, Wendell Berry, Janisse Ray, Sean Hill, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Deborah A. Miranda, Ron Rash, and Mary Oliver. Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The guide is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.

Although titled A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, this book — as much a collection of poetry as a work of science — can be enjoyed either in the field or indoors. Small enough to carry in a backpack, it could function as a companion on an outing to wood, field, or stream. Or it could be read on a quiet winter’s evening by the fire while planning the next season’s hikes or simply contemplating nature’s many wonders.

—Chris Scott, Chapter 16

Debra Allbery

Mildred Barya

Anna Lena Philips Belle

Wendell Berry

Adrian Blevins

Lee Ann Brown

Molly McCully Brown

Nickole Brown

Kathryn Byer

Catherine Carter

Allison Hedge Coke

Ricardo Nazario y Colón

Allyson Comstock

Daniel Corrie

Justin Gardiner

Landon Godfrey

Jesse Graves

Douglas Van Gundy

Cathryn Hankla

Gary Hawkins

Holly Haworth

Sean Hill

Rebecca Gayle Howell

Lisa Kwong

John Lane

Lisa Lewis

Laura Long

Maurice Manning

Jim May

Davis McCombs

Michael McFee

Kevin McIlvoy

Irene McKinney

Rose McLarney

Lucien Meadows

Sandra Meek

Deborah Miranda

Thorpe Moeckel

Rajiv Mohabir

Elizabeth Seydel Morgan

Robert Morgan

Shauna Morgan

Mary Oliver

Jim Peterson

Dan Powell

Melissa Range

Ron Rash

Chelsea Rathburn

Janisse Ray

Glenis Redmond

Rita Mae Reese

Billy Renkl

Henry Shearon

RT Smith

Bianca Spriggs

Heidi Lynn Staples

Laura-Gray Street

Dan Stryk

Suzanne Stryk

Susan O'Dell Underwood

Ellen Bryant Voigt

Gyorgyi Voros

Lesley Wheeler

L. Lamar Wilson

William Wright

About the Author/Editor

Rose McLarney (Editor)
ROSE McLARNEY is an associate professor of creative writing at Auburn University and coeditor in chief and poetry editor of the Southern Humanities Review. She has published three collections of poems, Forage, The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, and Its Day Being Gone, winner of the National Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Southern Review, New England Review, Missouri Review, and many other publications.

Laura-Gray Street (Editor)
LAURA-GRAY STREET is an associate professor of English and directs the Creative Writing Program at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She isthe author of Pigment and Fume and coeditor, with Ann Fisher-Wirth, of The Ecopoetry Anthology. Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, Poecology, Poet Lore, Poetry Daily, Hawk & Handsaw, Many Mountains Moving, Gargoyle, ISLE, Shenandoah, Meridian, Blackbird, and elsewhere.

L. L. Gaddy (Editor)
L. L. GADDY is a naturalist and writer based in South Carolina. He heads Terra Incognita, a nonprofit company in South Carolina that does environmental consulting, research, and exploration and is president of Terra Incognita Books, which publishes work on natural history and travel. He is the author of Spiders of the Carolinas and A Naturalist’s Guide to the Southern Blue Ridge Front.