Writers, Artists, & Musicians
In 1979, writer Gurney Norman, under the auspices of the University of Kentucky's Appalachian Center, submitted a proposal to the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry to "identify, recognize and nurture the poets of the central Appalachian region" by organizing poetry workshops in regional communities and ultimately to publish a poetry anthology. The Foundation funded the project and in January 1980 the work began with poets George Ella Lyons and Bob Henry Baber acting as executive director and consulting director, respectively. The grant period ended in December, 1980 and the project was never refunded. As of August, 1987, the anthology had not been published.
The poet, Sylvia Trent Auxier, was born in Pike County, Kentucky. She moved to Meta, Kentucky in 1928 and published her first poetry book in 1948, though she had been published previously in newspapers like The Saturday Evening Post and the Louisville Courier-Journal. Her most well known poetry book is Meadow Rue. The collection includes manuscripts of Auxier's five poetry books and correspondence with her publishers. The manuscripts present are those of Meadow Rue, published in 1948; Love-Vine, published in 1953; The Grace of the Bough, No Stranger to the Earth, published in 1957.
Dean Cadle, bio-bibliographer of Kentucky author James Still, was also a librarian, author, and accomplished photographer. Many of his stories, essays and poems are present in this collection as well as reviews and critical papers on the works of James Still. The collection also contains articles, interviews, biographical materials, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and a few miscellaneous materials which include programs of workshops, festivals, and conferences, promotional materials, and memorabilia. This collection was arranged and described as part of the Arranging and Describing Archives Related to Appalachian History and Culture, a "We the People" NEH grant.
Harry Caudill was best known nationally for his role as a writer-of about 80 newspaper essays, 50 odd magazine articles, more than 120 lectures and speeches, and 10 books-who drew attention to the social, economic, and environmental problems the coal industry had caused in his region, earning him the moniker "Upton Sinclair of the coal fields." Caudill also served in the Kentucky House of Representatives and taught Appalachian history at the University of Kentucky. Caudill's was supported by his wife, Anne Frye Caudill.
Author Rebecca Caudill was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1899, and frequently drew upon her Appalachian background for material in her writings. The collection consists primarily of materials related to Caudill's work as a writer. Caudill's play The Joyous Land has been digitized and is available on ExploreUK.
Belinda Mason, native of Eastern Kentucky, was an author and AIDS activist. This collection contains completed manuscripts and drafts of her literary writing, including plays, poetry, monologues, a novel, and short stories. Also included are biographical clippings, obituaries, documentation of Mason's work with the National Commission on AIDS, and information on "Belinda", a documentary film about Mason that was produced by Appalshop.
Composer, Performer, and Author. Niles was born in Louisville in 1892. Coming from a musical family, Niles began to play the dulcimer at an early age. As a teenager he worked with a surveying team in eastern Kentucky. During this time he kept a notebook in which he recorded lyrics and music of old folk songs known in the area. After World War I Niles studied music at the University of Lyon and the Schola Cantorium in Paris. Niles completed his musical education at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He renewed his search for folk songs in Appalachia as he accompanied noted photographer Doris Ulmann on her travels through the mountain region. He set traditional songs in new arrangements and composed many original songs.
The Scotian Women, a play written by Kentucky author Lee Pennington, was inspired by the events of the Scotia Mine Disaster which occurred at Oven Fork, Kentucky in 1976. This collection documents the creation of the play and contains newspaper clippings, notes, various drafts and a final copy of the script, as well as promotional materials from the University of Kentucky's Guignol Theater production in February 1981. This collection was arranged and described as part of the Arranging and Describing Archives Related to Appalachian History and Culture, a "We the People" NEH grant.
The Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, Inc. (SAWC) is a group of self-described writers who are committed to encouraging and promoting literature about life in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They feel that there is a great need for those who actually live or have roots in the region, to speak about their lives and culture.
James Still was a poet, short story writer, children's author, novelist, folklorist, teacher and librarian. Although born in Alabama, Still spent most of his life in Kentucky and centered many of his writings around the coal fields of eastern Kentucky. Papers include manuscripts, published materials, biographical materials, financial records, correspondence, interviews, book reviews, promotional materials, and memorabilia. This collection was arranged and described as part of the Arranging and Describing Archives Related to Appalachian History and Culture, a "We the People" NEH grant.
The Jesse Stuart papers contain typescripts for his short stories and poems. The son of an illiterate farmer, Stuart is recognized as an outstanding regional author. In 1954 Stuart was chosen by the Kentucky legislature as Poet Laureate of Eastern Kentucky.
The Yesterday's People: life in contemporary Appalachia manuscript includes the original manuscript, revisions, galleys, and proofs of Jack Edgar Weller's book and materials written before publication. Yesterday's People describes the culture and customs of the Southern Appalachian people, and presents an analysis of their problems.