R201. Mining a Dark Vein: Writing About Appalachia and America’s Working Class

Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Six hours from the capital, in the Appalachian coalfields, lives a working class—people feeling angry, marginalized, and stereotyped. On display during elections, this misunderstood population spans thirteen states but is largely absent from America’s literary conversation. In this panel, five writers with intimate knowledge of Appalachia explore how we can understand its traumas, value its truth, and tell its complex stories.



Larry Bingham graduated from Virginia Tech and holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Excerpts from his novel-in-progress, Wade Pruitt, have won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship for Appalachian Writing and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship.

Amy D. Clark is director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Appalachian Writing Project at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. She is author/coeditor of Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, NPR, and other venues.

Jill McCorkle is the author of four short story collections and six novels including her most recent, Life After Life. Her stories have appeared in various periodicals as well as Best American Short Stories and The Norton Anthology. She teaches at at NC State and the Bennington Writing Program.

Carter Sickels


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center