Join us in celebrating the work of these talented writers as they discuss their own perspective on the identity of Appalachian life. Refreshments to be served.
Justin Wymer is a poet, scholar, and educator. Born and raised in Saint Albans, WV, he holds degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow. Currently, he resides in Denver, CO where he is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and literary arts with a focus on trauma studies and literature of excess.
Wymer’s poems, interviews, translations, and essays have appeared in various journals, including The Adroit Journal, Atlantean Poets, Beecher’s, Boston Review’s Poet Sampler (intro by Peter Sacks, 20 most-read poems of 2013), Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Kenyon Review, Lana Turner, Manchester Review (UK), The Rumpus, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Verse Daily, and West Branch, among others.
Wymer’s debut poetry collection, DEED, won the 2018 Antivenom Poetry Award, chosen by Jennifer Franklin, and was published by Elixir Press in 2019.
Learn more at justinwymer.com
Mesha Maren is the author of the novel Sugar Run (Algonquin Books). Her short stories and essays can be read in Tin House, The Oxford American, The Guardian, Crazyhorse, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, Ecotone, Sou’wester, Hobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She was the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Duke University and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia.
Learn more at meshamaren.com
Randal O’Wain holds an MFA from Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. He is the author of Meander Belt: family, loss, and coming of age in the working class south (American Lives Series, 2019) and Hallelujah Station and other stories (Autumn House Press, 2020) His essays and short stories have appeared in Oxford American, Guernica, The Pinch, Booth, Hotel Amerika, storySouth, among others.
Learn more at randalowain.com