Tag Archives: appalachian language

The Jack Tales. Not just beanstalks.

ONE TIME away back years ago there was a boy named Jack. He and his folks lived off in the mountains somewhere and they were awful poor, just didn’t have a thing. Jack had two brothers, Will and Tom, and they are in some of the Jack Tales, but this one I’m fixin’ to tell […]

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What in tarnation?

“Tarnation!” reads the title at the bottom of the Aug 1922 National Sportsman cover. “What in tarnation?” is one of a wide variety of euphemistic expressions of surprise, bewilderment or anger that arose in 18th and 19th century America. Perhaps due to our Puritan legacy, Americans were, during this period, especially creative in devising oaths […]

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"A Hard Journey: The Life of Don West" releases

“A Hard Journey” brings to life Don West, poet, ordained Congregationalist minister, labor organizer, educator, leftist activist, and one of the most important literary and political figures in the southern Appalachians during the middle years of the twentieth century. Author James J. Lorence is a professor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin, Marathon County, and […]

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Author Gretchen Laskas discusses "The Miner’s Daughter"

Author Gretchen Laskas caused quite a stir at the WV Book Festival several weeks ago in Charleston, where she discussed her newly published second book, “The Miner’s Daughter.” We decided to find out what all the fuss is about, and ask her a bit about she’s up to in this young adult novel. Appalachian History: […]

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"Poverty pays unless you’re poor" -Don West

Home-Coming (1946) And I’ve come back to you,Mountain Earth–Come to laughAnd sorrowAnd sing– To dig my songs upFrom your soilAnd spin a melodyOf corn blades,Top-fodder,Crab-grass,And a clean-plowed furrow. I’ve come to sing and grope–With a people who knowDeep songs,Who stumble upA long crooked road…. I’ve come becauseYour great silent agonyEchoed everywhere And the weary foot-stepsOf […]

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