Best Buddies

Some things we can let go of. Other things we can stash in the bottom drawer. But the best things can stay in your heart forever.

Sunday Fatback

As a child, she saw only the difference between the simple food in her home and the fancier fare on her friends’ tables. Years later, she would see more clearly.

A Hundred Years of Earl Scruggs

In this centennial year of the North Carolina banjo legend’s birth, bluegrass wizard Tony Trischka extols his Earlness with a masterful tribute.

How to Make It Over Mountains

From northwest Virginia, two poems on the depths of persistence and the limits of our knowledge.

How to Understand America, According to My Father

My father believed a simple mental picture of history could make anyone a lifelong learner. So, he developed a three-century “Time Map.” The education establishment wasn’t interested.

Young and Queer and Mountaineer

Mesha Maren’s third novel, out this week, is a landmark achievement for a new generation of Appalachian writers who assert their right to be fully queer and fully mountaineer.


Chock full of images, an ode to the spirit of the New South.

Better Branching for More Blooms

With spring in full swing, two glittering poems from southeast Tennessee.

Rich Dirt

Sometimes, you think you’ve gotten above your raising, and then you discover you started out much higher than you thought.

The Liquor Trailer

Just across the state line, that’s where you go to be a man.

In This Soil of Grief and Hope

For Mother’s Day, a look at mama through the eyes of North Carolina poets.

Remembering Miss Margaret Parks

Last week, our editor wrote about a teacher who changed his outlook on the world. A poet who contributes regularly to us this week recalls how a simple correction from her teacher sparked a lifetime of reconsidering the story of the South.

The Root System

We were taught the South’s greatest music sprung up in specific places, like the Mississippi Delta or New Orleans or Appalachia. Our teachers didn’t dig deep enough.