LMU hosts Mountain Heritage Literary Festival

Published 7:01 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Writers and aspiring writers gathered to celebrate writing, music and Appalachian heritage during the 13th annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival (MHLF) at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), June 15-17, 2018.

“While we do have an emphasis on Appalachian literature and culture, we welcome presenters and participants from all over the place,” said Darnell Arnoult, director of MHLF. “It’s a warm, intimate and encouraging festival that has been compared to a family reunion. We all learn from each other. Our goal is to celebrate the written word and to encourage and nurture its creation.”

MHLF is proud to work with the Appalachian Writers Association for the presentation of the Appalachian Book of the Year awards. A new tradition began this summer with winners being announced at MHLF. Because of a lapse in offering the awards, winners for the last two years were announced at the 2018 festival.

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“We are very excited and honored to be able to offer this award at our festival,” Arnoult said. “This adds another level of distinction and is a perfect reflection of the goals of our festival.”

The 2017 Appalachian Book of the Year award winners are:

“The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry” by Jane Gentry, published by University Press of Kentucky. (Poetry)

“On Homesickness” by Jesse Donaldson, published by West Virginia University Press. (Nonfiction)

“Fire is Your Water” by Jim Minick, published by Ohio University Press. (Fiction)

The 2016 Appalachian Book of the Year award winners are:

“Believe What You Can” by Marc Harshman, published by West Virginia University Press. (Poetry)

“South of the Etowah: A View from the Wrong Side of The River” by Raymond L. Atkins, published by Mercer University Press. (Nonfiction)

“The Birds of Opulence” by Crystal Wilkinson, published by University Press of Kentucky. (Fiction)

Books published in 2018 will be eligible to receive the award at MHLF 2019. All books must be written by an author from, or living in, Appalachia or writing about Appalachia.

Other writing awards and winners presented at the MHLF include:

Emma Bell Miles Essay

Sarah Key, “Disabled List”

Rebecca D. Elswick, “Funeralizing”

Jack Wright, “My Early Career”

James Still Short Story

Rebecca D. Elswick – “The Knowing”

Sarah Key, “How to Become a Gorilla”

Sarah Key, “Soft and Steady”

George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry

Melissa Helton, “Language Poems”

Larry Thacker, “Fresh Earth”

Natalie Kimbell, “The Leaving”

Jesse Stuart Prize for Young Adult

Damien Presnick, “40 Patchtown”

Chrissie Anderson Peters, “Throwing Shade”

Jean Ritchie Fellowship – Noah Davis

Lee Smith Award – Ronni Lundy

Arnoult, who also serves as Writer-in-Residence at LMU, was joined by staff members Michael Cody, Jane Hicks, Jesse Graves, Ronni Lundy, Lisa Parker, Mark Powell, Lisa Soland, Amy Speace, Douglas and Telisha Williams, Marth Wolfe and William Wright. Events include workshops, panels, readings, lectures, concerts, plays, films, open mic and more.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or e-mail at admissions@LMUnet.edu.