Red Holler, John Branscum & Wayne Thomas
Red Holler takes us beyond the stock imagery of rural Appalachian communities. We travel into housing projects, forest-stripped ravines, and trailer high-rises. The anthology spans ten years and the mountain range from Mississippi to New York, Native American myth, African American urban legend, folk culture, and European ghost stories, placing fresh new voices alongside widely known and celebrated authors.
The son of migrant laborers, John Branscum grew up in the small-town trailer parks and inner-city housing projects of Kentucky, Arkansas, and California. He is currently a professor of creative writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs pedagogy committee, and text editor for Black and Grey Magazine. His fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have been published in journals ranging from the Evergreen Review to North American Review, and received such recognition as the national Ursula K. Le Guin Award for Imaginative Fiction, several Academy of American Poets awards, and appearances in Best American Non-required Reading, and Best American Horror.
Wayne Thomas is the author of plays, fiction, and essays. He teaches creative writing at Tusculum College, a small school located in the northeast Tennessee mountains. He is editor of The Tusculum Review.
PRAISE FOR RED HOLLER:
“Humorous, poignant, caustic, and keenly aware of their “outsider” status, the writers redefine what it means to be Appalachian... Worth reading for Benedict’s introduction alone, this title will appeal to all readers interested in a deep, passionate treatment of a specific geographic and cultural milieu.”
— Library Journal, Starred Review
“Branscum and Thomas push beyond the old tropes in this diverse but uneven anthology. . . The best surprise of the collection is Pinckney Benedict’s graphic narrative, “ORGO vs the FLATLANDERS,” which lovingly mocks the genre’s overwrought mythologies while “work[ing] out on paper that boyhood understanding of the true nature of the world” . . . Teachers and enthusiasts of Appalachian literature will appreciate the breadth of work, including artist statements and bios.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Red Holler will stand among the best of literary anthologies, not because if its daring and provocative excursions into uncharted Appalachian territories, but because of its stubborn, travel-worn re-examination of the destination it knows only too well. . . . Welcome to Red Holler, where all roads lead to home.”
— Kestel Review