Both Refined and Rough-Hewn

Zeniths & Zephyrs – Mountain Peaks and Soft Breezes

Recently, my good friend and writing colleague Rachel Riggsby handed me a copy of this anthology of Appalachian writing. It was put together by a member of the Appalachian Authors Guild, Doris Musick, and as with most anthologies, it was a one-time affair.


I have the advantage of knowing several of the writers included here, so I knew what to expect as I opened and began to read. Still, there were surprises – inventive turns of phrase, twists of storytelling. The pieces here are not urbane, complex and overly sophisticated works, nor were they intended to be. Each is a piece, a remnant, of Appalachian history and culture, pieced together into something greater, as might be a quilt at the foot of a bed in a Tennessee or Virginia B&B. 

This collection is a simple one, refined in certain aspects, left rough-hewn in others – as are the Appalachian lives it depicts. As such, it's just the sort of writing you would read if you want to understand Appalachia.


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