Edited by Rose McLarney, Laura-Gray Street and L. L. Gaddy
Included is my poem “Across the Burning World You Blazed”
Getting acquainted with local flora and fauna is the perfect way to begin to understand the wonder of nature. The natural environment of Southern Appalachia, with habitats that span the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau, is one of the most biodiverse on earth. A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia-a hybrid literary and natural history anthology-showcases sixty of the many species indigenous to the region. Ecologically, culturally, and artistically, Southern Appalachia is rich in paradox and stereotype-defying complexity. Its species range from the iconic and inveterate-such as the speckled trout, pileated woodpecker, copperhead, and black bear-to the elusive and endangered-such as the American chestnut, Carolina gorge moss, chucky madtom, and lampshade spider. The anthology brings together art and science to help the reader experience this immense ecological wealth.
Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers such as Ellen Bryant Voigt, Wendell Berry, Janisse Ray, Sean Hill, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Deborah A. Miranda, Ron Rash, and Mary Oliver. Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The guide is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.