ISSUE 2:01


JEFFERY BEAM ( is the author of nine books of poems including The Fountain, Visions of Dame Kind (, and An Elizabethan Bestiary: Retold.  His two volume enhanced CD collection, What We Have Lost: New & Selected Poems came out in late 2001, and songs by composer Lee Hoiby based on poems from Beam's "Life of the Bee" premiered at the Weill Recital Hall Carnegie Hall, April 18, 2002.  Beam is poetry editor of Oyster Boy Review (

            When asked to write a paragraph about his connection to the Appalachian region, he wrote this: "When my ancestors came to America they settled in Appalachia, and still, now when I return to those beautiful hills, I feel at home.  My heart is truly in the highlands and here in Chapel Hill outside of the mountains I sometimes pretend that the mountains are right outside my window.  Luckily they aren't far away.  Appalachian song and myth, as well as the Celtic culture of my ancestors, is bred into my poems and songs.  The sequence Ôlittle' was written on the porch of my mentor, publisher, and friend Jonathan Williams's porch in Scaly Mountain, near Highlands during a one week period.  The other poems also all respond to the creatures, flora, and atmosphere of the Smokies and what we can learn about ourselves and the world there."


WESLEY BIDDY was born and grew up near Atlanta, and graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, TN.  He has published poems in The Lee Review and was selected to read at the 1999 Atlanta Performing Arts for All Festival.  He completed a summer session at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2002.


RICKS CARSON has been active as a writer since his days at Washington and Lee in the 1960‚s. He lives with his wife and sons in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches and coaches the state champion soccer team at Pace Academy. Ricks spends his summers in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. He publishes and reads poetry in the Atlanta area and across the Southeast.


THOMAS RAIN CROWE is the author of eleven books of original and translated work and editor of the acclaimed anthology, Writing the Wind: A Celtic Resurgence. His second book of translations of the Persian poet Hafiz (Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved) was released in August of 2001 by Shambhala. Crowe lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.


JENNIFER MANSKE FENSKE graduated from Clemson University, and lived for a time in a cabin in Arden, N.C. She is older now, and writes from Atlanta. Her essays have been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Arizona Republic. Fenske received the M.A. in English and creative writing at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Just beginning a fiction career, she recently placed her first novel with an agent and is writing a second.

KEITH FLYNN studied at Mars Hill College and the University of North Carolina— Asheville, winning the Sandburg Prize for Poetry in 1985.  He is lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, Crystal Zoo, which has produced three albums: Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), Pouch (1996), and Nervous Splendor, a spoken-word and music compilation forthcoming in 2003.  His poetry has appeared in many journals around the world, including The Colorado Review, Rattle, The Cuirt Journal (Ireland), Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry, Poetry Wales, Shenandoah, and Crazyhorse. He has been awarded the Paumanok Prize and received two Pushcart nominations.  He books of poetry are: The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters 1994), and The Lost Sea (Iris Press, 2000).  Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review.


MARK HARRIS was born in Kentucky and has been teaching English in Southwest Virginia for ten years. Mark writes poetry, a little short fiction, literary criticism, cartoons, and abortive novel excerpts.  He enjoys truth and humor.  His work has been published in Studies in Short Fiction, Cithara, and Contra Mundum.  


J. HAYDEN HOLLINGSWORTH, MD is a retired cardiologist who has long been interested in writing and public readings. He has presented his works at resorts, including the Greenbrier and The Homestead as well as national professional meetings and other venues. He has been an essayist on WVTF-FM, a National Public Radio affiliate. Recently, he had a work of creative non-fiction, A Woman of Distinction, published by Xlibris. He particularly enjoys observations on the vagaries of daily living as well as other bits of historical journalism. Hayden lives in Roanoke, Virginia.


SHANNON ROWLETT JONES earned an MFA in Theatre from the University of Georgia, Athens.  She lives with her son and husband, also a writer, in Atlanta.


JIMMY DEAN SMITH is Associate Professor of English and Communications at Union College in Kentucky. He is a contributing editor to PopPolitics and on the Advisory Board for the Journal of Mundane Behavior.


JOHN KITTERMAN teaches American literature, creative writing, and film at Ferrum College.  He has poems published in The Roanoke Review and The New Virginia Review, among other journals.


JACQUELYN TAIT LEEBRICK is Director of Graduate Studies and a professor of Computer Graphics and Digital Imaging in the School of Art at East Carolina University. She was Director of the the Bascom-Louise Gallery in Highlands,  North Carolina from 1985-1995.  She received a Masters of Fine Arts from Clemson University and a Masters of Art from Florida State University in Photography. She taught photography and art in the Art Department at Honolulu Community College for eight years. Jacquelyn has been exhibiting her photographs in national and regional exhibits for 20 years.


Jacquelyn and Gil have been collaborating as artists for over 15 years. They photograph at many of the same locations, later interchanging ideas and images for their artwork. The resulting images sometimes reflect two different points of view, and at other times, become in a melding of both sensitivities. They received a joint Artist's Project Grant from the state of North Carolina for a Southeastern Ceremonial Sites project.


GIL LEEBRICK has been photographing and teaching photography for more than 25 years. He is the Director of the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in the Department of Art at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Gil was Associate Professor of Art at Clemson University and lectured at the University of Missouri and Kent State University. He was Director of the Appalachian Environmental Arts Center from 1984-1991. His photographs have been exhibited in over 100 exhibits and reside in numerous public and private collections.


SARA PENNINGTON is a poet from Ohio.  

JERRY SHUTTLE reads and writes from his home in Sullivan County, TN.  He is a reference librarian at East Tennessee State University.


TIMOTHY SILVER is professor of History at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. His previous publications include A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800.


KATHERINE K. SOHN was born in North Carolina as the oldest of eight children.  She has held jobs as a volunteer in the American Peace Corps in India and as a rural organizer with the Office of Economic Opportunity. Sohn's dissertation, Whistlin' and Crowin' Women of Appalachia:  Literacy Development Since College, won the 2001 College Composition and Communication Conference James Berlin Outstanding Dissertation Award. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of English and Writing Center Coordinator at Pikeville College in Kentucky.


NEIL WALLEN grew up in south Florida, and after eight years in Bristol, Tennessee, he is still trying to make peace with these mountains.  He writes in his bio that "I do not feel unwelcome, but neither is there the embrace I felt elsewhere. I still write to make sense of things."  He is a father, husband, and allergist.


ROBERT WEST grew up in Western North Carolina and graduated with a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  His poems have appeared in several American poetry journals, including Oyster Boy Review, Poetry, and Southern Poetry Review.