Nikki Giovanni

Jesse Wright

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to bring you voices from people who’ve written love letters for Appalachia, of a sort. And like most loves, this love, well…. it’s complicated.

Some of the folks we’ll hear on our show grew up in these mountains and were eager to move away, but when they did, they felt a strong homesickness that seemed to draw them back.

Brett Weinstein

She was born in Knoxville and raised in Cincinnati. The poems of Nikki Giovanni reflect her pride as both a black American woman, and an author with deep roots in Appalachia.  She is revered not only for her poetry but for her work as essayist, children’s author, activist, and teacher. The recipient of 7 NAACP Image Awards, the Langston Hughes medal, a Grammy nominee, National Book Award finalist – her achievements are unique and impressive.

Robert Gipe

This week's episode of Inside Appalachia is addressed as a Valentine letter to Appalachia. Like most loves, this one is complicated. Some of the folks we spoke to for our show grew up in the mountains and were eager to move away. But when they did, they felt a strong homesickness that seemed to draw them back. They said their love for Appalachia is for a place that isn’t quite perfect. But they were inspired to write about it. Listen to the show to hear what they had to say.

Shepherd University

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni  loves several things about Appalachia: its defense of freedom, and how the people here know when enough is enough in regards to material wealth.

Submitted Photo

This week Shepherd University is hosting the 20th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival. Many of the planned festivities surround the 17th Annual Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence.