Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas Alan Holmes

Committee Members

David M. Jones, Scott R. Honeycutt


For decades now, the Appalachian community has been internally combatting two equally strong feelings—an inherently rich love of the mountains and a conflicting urge to leave the mountains. In recent years, Appalachian writers have produced a new literary tradition of identifying, discussing, and remedying this dilemma. Jim Wayne Miller’s 1997 The Brier Poems unapologetically explores the Appalachian community’s complicated relationship to its region. bell hooks’ 2012 Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place and Savannah Sipple’s 2019 WWJD and Other Poems then expand Miller’s exploration as both hooks and Sipple collectively represent voices that have often been left out of the stereotypical Appalachian narrative; their literature widens the lens of Appalachian experience and repositions the importance of the Appalachian canon. hooks and Sipple are contemporaries in conversation with Miller as all three authors have declared the Appalachian experience to have never been hegemonic—reclaiming, embracing, and uniting a modern Appalachian identity.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.