Appalachian Resources in Special Collections and University Archives: Appalachian Literature
About Appalachian Literature
This section contains resources related to literature by and about Appalachian people. It includes collections of poetry, biography, correspondence, and political theory.
Early American literature was often concerned with the effects of the wilderness on white settlers—Appalachian men were depicted as archetypal violent barbarians, noble savages, or comic country bumpkins. While literary interpretations of Appalachian people as backwoodsmen or "hillbillies" may be created by those outside of the region, examination of these interpretations is essential to understanding later literature from the area. As political, economical, and cultural aspects of the area shifted, so did the focus of Appalachian literature. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, as a result of the Civil War and the emergence of coal and logging industries, writings were often focused on social protest. This includes African Americans writing about slavery and the aftereffects of the war, Native Americans fighting to preserve their traditions, and those fighting the abuses of industrialists in the region. Sometimes known as the Appalachian Renaissance, a great amount of literature has come from the region since the 1970s. This period is characterized by the desire to correct negative interpretations of the region, creation of anthologies of Appalachian literature, and, for some, a shift towards urban issues.
This and additional information on the history of literature and authors in Appalachia can be found in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, as well as the resources listed below.
Click on the book or collection title for more information about it.
About Special Collections and University Archives
New Theatre (the Lyric) and Store Building for the Blacksburg Realty Company
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm & By Appointment
Books & Journals
- ALCA-lines: Newsletter of the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia, v.4, no.1. Call Number: PS537 A42 Spec Large
- Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2006. Call Number: F106 E53 2006 Spec Large
- Anthology of Appalachian Writers. Call Number: PS537 A58 Spec Large
- Atwell, David Adam. Appalachian Safari: a Virginia Mountain Man's Wild Stories, 2013. Call Number: F217 B6 A89 2013 Spec Large
- Baber, Bob H.; Lyon, George; Norman, Gurney. Old Wounds, New Words: Poems from the Appalachian Poetry Project, 1994. Call Number: PS554 O43 1994 Spec Large
- Brunais, Andrea. Hillbilly Drug Baby: the Story, 2018. Call Number: HV881 B78 2018 Spec Large
- Catte, Elizabeth. What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, 2018. Call Number: F217 A65 C37 2018 Spec Small
- Cohen, WIlliam Howard. The Hill Way Home: Poems from the Appalachian Highlands, 1965. Call Number: PS3553 O435 H5
- Dennison, Cathee; Giovanni, Nikki. Appalachian Elders: a Warm Hearth Sampler. Call Number: PS508 A44 A86 1991 Spec Large and Newman 3rd Floor
- Hayes, Amanda. The Politics of Appalachian Rhetoric, 2018. Call Number: PE2927 A6 H39 2018 Spec Large
- Kline, Michael. They Can't Put it Back: Songs from a Ravaged Land. Call Number: M1977 M5 K55 Spec Large
- Kirk, Stephen. Scribblers: Stalking the Authors of Appalachia, 2004. Call Number: PS266 N8 K57 2004 Spec Large
- Lanier, Parks. Appalachian Georgics: Mountain Poems and Other Mythologies, 1983. Call Number: PS3562 A518 A85 1983 Spec Large
- Mann, Jeff; Watts, Julia. LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia, 2019. Call Number: PS508 G39 L43 2019 Spec Large and Newman 3rd Floor
- McKinney, Denise R. Poetry as Prayer: Appalachian Women Speak, 2004. Call Number: PS537 P64 2004 Spec Large
- Paden, Jeremy; Spriggs, Bianca Lynne; Walker, Frank X. Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets, 2018. Call Number: PS591 N4 B476 2018 Spec Large
- Quillen, Rita Sims. Looking for Native Ground: Contemporary Appalachian Poetry, 1989. Call Number: PS325 Q55 1989 Spec Large
- Satterwhite, Emily. Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878, 2011. Call Number: PS286 A6 S28 2011 Spec Large and Newman 3rd Floor
- Swanson, Charles A. Farm Life and Legend: Poems, 2009. Call Number: PS3619 W362 F37 2009 Spec Large
- Vande Brake, Katherine. How They Shine: Melungeon Characters in the Fiction of Appalachia, 2001. Call Number: PS286 A6 V36 2001 Spec Large
- Yarrow, C. H. Mike. Voices from the Appalachian Coalfields, 2015. Call Number: PS595 M5 Y37 2015 Spec Large
- Lucy Dickenson Urquhart Papers, 1865-1973 (Ms1987-046).
- Lucy Herndon Crockett Papers, 1940-2015 (Ms2011-032).
- Marvin H. Neel Papers, 1933-1988 (Ms2016-022).
- Mary Sinton Leitch Correspondence with J. J. Lankes, 1932-1950 (Ms2017-001).
- Sherwood Anderson Collection, 1912-1938 (Ms1973-002).
- Welford D. Taylor Collection on Sherwood Anderson, 1918-2003 (Ms2015-020).