Foothills Voices, volume 2, set of launch on May 9

April 30, 2019 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books.

From the Blount County Public Library:

The second volume of Foothills Voices: Echoes of Southern Appalachia will be unveiled on Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in the Sharon Lawson room of the Blount County Public Library. Twelve writers from the East Tennessee region tell twelve stories – true stories of love, family, joy, and heartbreak – in the latest volume of Foothills Voices: Echoes of Southern Appalachia, produced by the Blount County Public Library and set for publication in April.

The voices in this volume echo with a pitch, tone, and diversity that reflects the Appalachian region itself. They include

  • the sounds of thunderous singing of music sung just as it was two centuries ago;

  • the almost imperceptible scratching of a pen used by an octogenarian grandmother as she writes a journal for her grown children;

  • the soft sounds of books being shelved in a library where children are laughing in the background;

  • the tall but largely true tale of two moonshiners, one who comes off the mountain and another who doesn’t.

The Foothills Voices project, begun in 2016 by the Blount County Public Library, is supported by the Blount County Friends of the Library and is part of the library’s Southern Appalachian Studies Center. The first volume of Foothills Voices was published in 2017.

The chapters in this latest volume of Foothills Voices deal with aspects of Appalachian life from intimate family stories to global issues as they played out in these hills and valleys. There’s life and death here. Sometimes the death is planned or much anticipated; sometimes it’s a surprise.

There is also work in these pages: the nurse who cares for the mentally ill, the member of the road-building crew, the grave-digger, and the dairy farmer. There’s the artist turned teacher who gained prominence as a librarian. There’s the farm boy turned soldier whose faith saw him through weeks of combat. There’s the woman who tended her garden with such care, intelligence, and strength of will that it became a tourist attraction.

“These stories reflect a region whose vibrancy and depth has sometimes been stereotyped inaccurately and unfairly,” Jim Stovall, the editor of this volume, said. Stovall is the library’s writer-in-residence.  “The people of southern Appalachia know who and what is here. We hope that this volume of Foothills Voices will help articulate the stories and lives of this region and will help others to share in the joy that life in this region offers.” The volume is scheduled for publication by April 15. Copies will be available for purchase at the library and on Amazon in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.

Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, where services are an example of your tax dollars at work for you.

For further information about library programs or services, call the library at (865) 982-0981 or visit the Web site at . To sign up to receive a monthly calendar by email, go to the library’s Home Page and go to What’s Happening? on the Menu Bar. Then under News and Events click on Join Calendar Email List. Also check out Facebook at “Blount County Public Library,” Twitter at “Blount_Library,” and Instagram at “bcplibrary.”

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