August/September 2009



Prize-Winning Prose to be Performed at NC Stage

Peter Neofotis is an extraordinary storyteller. He does more than narrate; he embodies every syllable of his well-crafted prose, which centers on a small town in the mountains of Virginia. He navigates characters, drama and flashbacks with grace and brings life to an entire town through the personalities and personal histories of its people. But, […]


New River Expedition Sees Both Beauty and Problems

By George Santucci, Executive Director National Committee for the New River We started talking last year about a complete trip down the New, from Watauga County, N.C., all the way to the confluence in West Virginia, to celebrate the river’s 10 years with the American Heritage designation. At times we feared we’d bit off more […]


Behold the Beautiful Butterfly

Monarch Migration Offers Teaching Opportunities Story by Marsha Walton Talk about endurance athletes! Monarch butterflies make human tri-athletes look like slackers. Millions of these beautiful insects (weighing less than two ounces as adults) embark on a spectacular 2000+-mile journey from the United States and Canada to spend winters on a few mountaintops in central Mexico. […]


How Country Became Contra: The American Social Dance

Story by Sarah Vig To say contra is a dance craze would imply that it just came about recently or is going out of style. Neither of which seems to be true. Contra’s origins lie with the early American colonists who brought the popular English Country Dances with them when they hopped the pond to […]


Dancing Appalachia’s Joys and Sorrows

Story by Bill Kovarik Dancers cling to each other and spread their hands in the air, like trees on an Appalachian mountainside. Then, explosions rock the stage, and erupt on a screen in the background. The dancers collapse, and, in a while — after a slow, sad dance of grief — a grinning man in […]


The Firefly Phenomena

Story by Alison Singer For me, the mystique of fireflies began in childhood. We went outside with our mason jars, captured the beckoning lights with open palms. We held them under our blankets, or sleeping bags, and watched their flickering lights as we faded into sleep. I used to name all the fireflies I caught […]


Unequal Justice in the Coalfields

In the long and troubled history of Appalachia’s coal fields, violence between the industry and its critics in the labor and the environmental movements is not unusual. What needs to be understood now, however, is that the cycle of violence is escalating with the strong encouragement of the coal industry. Just this summer, events caught […]

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