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LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia

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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 con 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.


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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 con 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.

30 review for LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    "Handling Dynamite" by Julia Watts was my favorite. "Handling Dynamite" by Julia Watts was my favorite.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Whoa, this is weird. I've been seeing several reviews that praise the short fiction but weren't impressed with the poetry. I, personally favored the poetry.🀯 This must be what growing up is, lol. Okay! So on the flip side I didn't hate the fiction, I just favored the poetry. I feel like that difference is important. My absolute favorite piece in this collection was, in fact, a fiction piece; Silas House's How to be Beautiful. *Chefs kiss* πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» This is my favorite kind of energy. Well, aside fro Whoa, this is weird. I've been seeing several reviews that praise the short fiction but weren't impressed with the poetry. I, personally favored the poetry.🀯 This must be what growing up is, lol. Okay! So on the flip side I didn't hate the fiction, I just favored the poetry. I feel like that difference is important. My absolute favorite piece in this collection was, in fact, a fiction piece; Silas House's How to be Beautiful. *Chefs kiss* πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» This is my favorite kind of energy. Well, aside from the mom and feeling of needing to stay hidden. But, I think you get it. My second favorite piece was the final short fiction piece were given; this one by Julia Watts titled Handling Dynamite. I actually wish this piece was longer. There was one story in this collection that I really didn't like, I mean I was super bored. I wanted it to end; had it been its own novel I would have DNF'ed it (I don't want to tell you which one it is). But, let's just say I wish we could have had like five pages less of it and tacked those pages onto our last story to be alone with Ronnie and Sissy a little longer. It should be noted that I was really into Carter Sickles piece Saving. I loved the tone/language, I loved the main character and the transguy back story. But then Sickles threw in a poor, helpless, ABANDONED pupper and well it completely ruined the whole thing for me. What that says about me, I'll let you decide; but I've always known pets are the way to break my heart not humans. -Homeward Bound? Cried. A Dog's Purpose? Cried. Balto? Cried (cartoons are not exempt) Hachi, a Dog's Story? BAWLED. (I literally cannot make it through that movie anymore) -The Blindside? Eh. The Fault in Our Stars? Also eh. The Notebook? I Laughed. YOU SEE, I'm this person. Anyway! My favorite poetry pieces came from: Dorothy Allison's Butter, Maggie Anderson's Cleaning the Guns, Kelly McQauin's Monkey Orchid, Savannah Sipple's Jesus and I Went to Walmart and everything submitted by Aaron Smith (Blanket/ There's still one story/ Twice). The dialogue of some of these was just absolutely stellar. I loved the mixture of Appalachia culture with nature with sex and love, with who you are/can be in the LGBTQ community. As noted above, I loved Monkey Orchid the words "We blend into one ecstasy, an orgy of blossoms, of bottoms and tops living as if we will always be a party to the circuit party -a parable of pleasure almost parody." πŸ™ŒπŸ» I found myself particularly complexed that I enjoyed Savannahh Sipple's pieces so much since (after way longer than a normal person) I realized WWJD stood for "What would Jesus do".😹😹 But, you know what? I really enjoyed her poems. I've actually looked her up now and read through an interview she did with The Rumpus and I'm not gonna lie I low key really want this book now. I want to explore Sipple more. Really, I want to explore several of these poets/authors after finishing this collection. I'm giving the collection itself three stars because I DID like it, but I didn't love it. I'm going to keep it on my shelves though, until I've gotten my hands on more collections by my favorites. For now, it's just going to have to be a guide. It definitely pulls all the best parts (and the worst) from the hills of Appalachia and I really liked seeing the LGBTQ parts of Appalachia that we usually miss. It really is a gem for what it is.

  3. 5 out of 5

    talia β™‘

    THE ROPE SWING - this was genuinely the perfect short story and exactly what i wanted from this collection. at once, the Ilya Kaminsky line comes to mind: you can fuck anyone--but with whom can you sit in water? rating: 5 HOW TO BE BEAUTIFUL - this one struck something so unidentifiable within me. i feel so melancholic and hopeful at the same. rating: 4 BAD HABITS - soooooooooooooooo good omg rating: 4.5 WONDERS - something about summer + lakes/oceans/ponds + coming of age + queerness just fits in a w THE ROPE SWING - this was genuinely the perfect short story and exactly what i wanted from this collection. at once, the Ilya Kaminsky line comes to mind: you can fuck anyone--but with whom can you sit in water? rating: 5 HOW TO BE BEAUTIFUL - this one struck something so unidentifiable within me. i feel so melancholic and hopeful at the same. rating: 4 BAD HABITS - soooooooooooooooo good omg rating: 4.5 WONDERS - something about summer + lakes/oceans/ponds + coming of age + queerness just fits in a way others can't understand. rating: 3.5 NOT FOR LONG - fellas, what if we were both literature professors and we were having an affair where you called me a god's name and i named you after the devil i would willingly sell my soul to and i want to cry out "stay! stay!" whenever we part and we never know what is mutual, what myths we embody, what myths our lovers stroke? what then? rating: 4.5 AMONG - wayyyy too short to be rightfully reviewed by me, but it is lovely prose. rating: 3 A BETTER LIFE - dude, this broke my fucking heart. rating: 4.5 RICOCHET - "I'm twelve years old, and I'm going to see the end of the world." God :( rating: 4 SAVING - goddamn ya'll... rating: 4.5 HANDLING DYNAMITE - a really lovely and bittersweet (but ultimately sweet) ending to this anthology. rating: 4 OVERALL i am so so so happy with this collection. for the past few years, i've been seeking out more queer rural/Appalachian stories because they are incredibly underrepresented and scarcely published. these also combat those ignorant ideas and generalisations of the south/midwest/rural areas that EVERYONE there is backward, homophobic, bigoted etc etc because like, queer and marginalised people live there too...? and they deserve to have their narratives written, shared, and given attention to. wished to have some more bi & trans/nb voices, though. please share with me ALL the queer rural voices anthologies/books/stories/poetry etc!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Zuska

    A truly wonderful collection of outstanding prose & poetry. From the introduction: "...as its contents attest, LGBTQ writing from Appalachia nearly always concerns the ways that sexuality, gender identity, place and family converge, interweave and complicate one another...The way those threads are woven together and those panels are juxtaposed is the point of LGBTQ Appalachian writing." Some favorite pieces from the collection: Mesha Maren's "Among", a tour de force meditation that uses the vario A truly wonderful collection of outstanding prose & poetry. From the introduction: "...as its contents attest, LGBTQ writing from Appalachia nearly always concerns the ways that sexuality, gender identity, place and family converge, interweave and complicate one another...The way those threads are woven together and those panels are juxtaposed is the point of LGBTQ Appalachian writing." Some favorite pieces from the collection: Mesha Maren's "Among", a tour de force meditation that uses the various meanings of the word among to illustrate all those woven threads. Such an intricately built and layered prose poem. So wonderful. Book editors Jeff Mann's "Homecoming"( and Julia Watts's "Handling Dynamite"are a pair of beautiful, heartbreaking bookends about needing/wanting/being driven to leave home and needing/wanting/feeling driven to return. Maggie Anderson's "My Father and Ezra Pound" - "We needed nothing then except each other/And that we needed all the time." Each selection (or set of selections) is preceded by a brief intro/bio for the contributing author. All contributors have published at least one book, and you will find yourself wanting, as you work your way through this collection, to seek out and read all their books, because their works represented here are so fine, so moving, so full of vital information about the human condition. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Some beautiful poetry from my own back yard.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Whong

    I tore through this on vacation and really enjoyed it. I loved My Book, in Birds (Nickole Brown), all of Maggie Andersons work, How To be Beautiful (Silas House), Three Crosses and Yellow-Eye Beans (Jeff Mann), and Scrape the Velvet from Your Antlers (Kelly Mcquain)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ace Boggess

    An outstanding anthology. Must-read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Hawkins

    ❀ Book #7 for #pridemonth πŸ’œ "LGBTQ Fiction And Poetry From Appalachia" edited by Jeff Mann & Julia Watts I thought this would be a great way to close out #pridemonth 2021. I'm a West Virginia girl, born and raised, and I feel this is a great tribute to the LBGTQ+ community and my beautiful, almost heaven, state of West Virginia. So many of these works made me imagine places around my hometown and others such Hawks Best and beyond. A few of my favorite works from this book are as follows: Pork Belly ❀ Book #7 for #pridemonth πŸ’œ "LGBTQ Fiction And Poetry From Appalachia" edited by Jeff Mann & Julia Watts I thought this would be a great way to close out #pridemonth 2021. I'm a West Virginia girl, born and raised, and I feel this is a great tribute to the LBGTQ+ community and my beautiful, almost heaven, state of West Virginia. So many of these works made me imagine places around my hometown and others such Hawks Best and beyond. A few of my favorite works from this book are as follows: Pork Belly by Savannah Sipple Blanket by Aaron Smith There's still one story by Aaron Smith Handling Dynamite by Julia Watts I also don't usually read intro's to books but this one is definitely worth the read. It helps explain how at the time of this publication there was simply no LBGTQ Appalachian literature. "The two identities seemed mutually exclusive" to quote the book. The authors inside of this collection are an assortment of authors of different ages, styles, stages, gender identity, and religion. They were chosen to give voice to what it means to be both Appalachian and LBGTQ. I believe they did a fantastic job of making this collection as diverse as humanly possible. There's something inside of this for everyone. 4.5 🌟

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carling

    What a collection! The queer world in Appalachia is clearly much larger than I ever imagined, though I wasn't surprised by the notes of repression found in a lot of the pieces. Well worth perusing. What a collection! The queer world in Appalachia is clearly much larger than I ever imagined, though I wasn't surprised by the notes of repression found in a lot of the pieces. Well worth perusing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristen McBee

    I struggled with some of the poetry (as I usually do!), but this great collection helps paint the picture of being LGBTQ in Appalachia, as the title promises. I could be wrong because I didn’t quantify this, but I feel like the short stories skew a little dated. I can recall two that felt more contemporary, but the rest were set a few decades back. Perhaps, though, it’s important to know, for example, the experience of being trans in Appalachia a few decades ago compared to now; it’s hard now, b I struggled with some of the poetry (as I usually do!), but this great collection helps paint the picture of being LGBTQ in Appalachia, as the title promises. I could be wrong because I didn’t quantify this, but I feel like the short stories skew a little dated. I can recall two that felt more contemporary, but the rest were set a few decades back. Perhaps, though, it’s important to know, for example, the experience of being trans in Appalachia a few decades ago compared to now; it’s hard now, but it was almost unbearable then. My favorite stories were by Rahul Mehta, Carter Sickles, and, of course, Julia Watts (her short short story packs a lot in!), and I’m excited to read more by them.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Raychel Kool

    This book made me feel seen in so many ways. The stories and poems do an amazing job at capturing the way it feels to love a place deeply, but also to feel rejected by it in some respects. The back of the book also includes a list of more LGBTQ+ Appalachian lit to explore, which I’ll definitely be looking into. Love love love this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    LeAnn

    Wish there were more short stories in this collection, rather than poems. Still a great celebration of LGBTQ lives in Appalachia.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Tom

    The anthology has a wonderful selection of LGBTQ Appalachian literature. I hope that Jeff and Julia can find the energy to edit a second volume.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Helton

    I was disappointed at the lack of bi/pan/ace representation, but a great collection. I'm glad this collection exists. I was disappointed at the lack of bi/pan/ace representation, but a great collection. I'm glad this collection exists.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charles McCaffrey

    Wonderful short story fiction, decent poetry

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ash Orr

  17. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Carney

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rex Cimino

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bailey McInturff

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  22. 5 out of 5

    hannah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Simone

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lacie

  27. 5 out of 5

    The Queen of Wands

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Chadwell-English

  29. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hair

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