Restitching the Seams through Image and Word: Loss and Isolation from The Geographic, Social, and Economic Fringes

Through physical remnants and lingering stories, we can piece together stories of those who lived on the fringes of Appalachia, in the foothills and hollows during times of twentieth century transition and industrialization. In the shift from farm to factory, some were left isolated socially and spiritually, often removed from their beloved landscapes.

At the core those men, and especially women, are caught in change in a world fragmented through shifting environments and subsequent uprooting . Their stories speak of loneliness, the search for identity, and displacement, stories of overcoming, sometimes stories of defeat.

Combining primary materials with poetry and prose based on Scots-Irish and German families as well as women and men from the valley floors and hollows of North Carolina, the presentation will make use of interspersed visual supportive materials, photos, documents, old letters, along with language of prose and poetry from the author’s past and upcoming volumes, Bequest (Finishing Line, 2015) and Singing with Jarred Edges (Main St. Rag, 2018).

The purpose of the presentation is to tell the quiet stories often left unheard amidst statistical studies. It is hoped that others might be stirred to find value in the easily overlooked, to bring their own family stories to light, to look at the lives of others who may not have voices, to notice and record what came before.