“In Their Own Country” program highlights
17: Irene McKinney
In poems and stories, the poet laureate of West Virginia, who lives
on the Barbour County land where she was born, warns us not to lose
our connection with the natural world. Thought provoking and
moving. Music by Bob Webb.
24: Denise Giardina
The McDowell County native traces the historical and theological
threads that run through her novels and talks about humor, sex,
theology and her run for governor. Various musicians.
1: Richard Currey
Currey shares intense readings from his novels and stories,
including scenes of country musician calling his wife from the road
and a medic cradling a dying soldier in Vietnam. Music by John
8: Cynthia Rylant
Favorite stories and some real surprises, too, from a reclusive
author who has quietly written more than a hundred wonderful books.
Also: a charming duet with an eight-year-old Tucker County girl.
Music by Robin Kessinger.
15: Keith Maillard
Outrageously sexy readings from a Marshall County native who
teaches at the University of British Columbia in Canada. For his
eight published novels, he made up a fictional town modeled on
Wheeling. Music by Steve Hill.
22: Jayne Anne Phillips
First-rate advice about writing from a national award winner, along
with stories inspired by family and community — and a few
intense pieces that are definitely not from personal experience.
Music by Bob Webb.
29: Sandra Belton
A warm visit with a deeply generous writer of children’s
stories, including glimpses of 1950s segregated Beckley and
readings from her popular Ernestine and Amanda series. Music by Tim
5: Pinckney Benedict
A controversial writer talks frankly about writing and himself, and
shares stories of people struggling to keep their dignity against
big odds, mixed with fast-paced, dark tales of giant hogs and drug
lords. Music by Ron Sowell.
12: Breece D’j Pancake
Pancake plowed new territory for Appalachian writers with his
searing, dark, brilliant stories. Readings from his letters and
stories, mixed with discussion of his work by other writers and his
biographer. Various musicians.
19: Maggie Anderson
The nationally praised poet and director of Kent State
University’s writing program has advice for poets, stories
and lively, far-ranging poems. Music includes that of a Connecticut
composer specifically composed to accompany Anderson’s
26: Stephen Coonts
A fast-paced, entertaining visit with West Virginia’s
best-selling writer, along with readings from several of his
techno-thrillers about international espionage and fighter pilots.
3: Marc Harshman
A nationally known children’s writer talks about poetry,
politics and storytelling, and reads from his books, including one
in which children come to terms with a lovable uncle who also
happens to be alcoholic. Various musicians.
10: Davis Grubb
After his novel Night of the Hunter was made into a movie, Grubb
became a celebrity. His dark stories often involve innocents
battling danger and dangerous adults. Recorded interviews courtesy
of the WV Library Commission. Various musicians.
17: Mary Lee Settle
Settle talks about doing the research that helps her bring history
to life. Readings include scenes of a rebel in Cromwell’s
England facing a firing squad and Mother Jones rallying miners on
Cabin Creek. Various musicians.