Tess Collins is a novelist and theater manager from Middlesboro, Kentucky. It's no surprise the landscape and gothic-esque culture of the mountain region have shaped her work. She now lives in San Francisco, California (making her an urban Appalachian). Much of her personal life is reflected in her writing as her Appalachian Trilogy centers around a California lawyer who returns home to her rural Kentucky home to defend her brother on a murder charge. Although Tess no longer lives in the area, her experience of growing up in Appalachia helped to inspire her writing. Tess reflects on the pride she has for the region and is encouraged by what the region is doing to uplift women and minority communities in Appalachia. Get the full story in this week's blog post!

Plus, read an AP article that features our recent Don't Cry for Us, J.D. Vance: A Reading by Ohio Appalachian Authors virtual event, and be sure to check out some upcoming community events like the Santa Maria Health Fair at the Price Hill Recreation Center this Saturday (April 24).

UACC's recent event, Don't Cry for Us, J.D. Vance: A reading by Ohio Appalachian Authors received a mention in an AP article
UACC's recent event, Don't Cry for Us, J.D. Vance: A reading by Ohio Appalachian Authors received a mention in this AP article, "'Hillbilly' to Capitol Hill? Author eyes Senate bid in Ohio." Co-sponsored by Downbound Books, the online reading and conversation offered alternative narratives to "Hillbilly Elegy" and was attended by several hundred viewers.

The AP writer, Dan Sewell, like Vance, is from Middletown. He has been following Vance's career for some time. In this article, he assesses Vance's chance of winning the U.S. Senate seat now held by Rob Portman Vance's decision on whether to run, says Sewell, in part may depend on whether Ohio's large white working class population will support him. Over 2 million people live in Ohio's 32 Appalachian counties and millions more living in the rest of the 88 counties are Appalachian migrants or their descendants. Will this population end up deciding the outcome of this Ohio race and control of the Senate?
POP: An Illustrated Novel

On April 1, 2021, Core Member and poet Pauletta Hansel joined acclaimed Appalachian novelist Robert Gipe for a reading and conversation about his latest book, Pop: An Illustrated Novel. Pop is the third and final novel in Robert Gipe’s renowned Canard County series, Pop follows three generations of a family as they reckon with the changing landscape of Appalachia during the Trump era. The virtual event was sponsored by Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library; a recording of the event is available for viewing HERE.

Join BCM Curator of Collections Jason French as he explains why these hand-forged knives are pieces of Appalachian folk art.

FREE Bus Rides - Get Out the Vax

Cincinnati Metro and Access paratransit service will, once again, offer free rides on designated days to help people get to COVID-19 vaccination sites. To support “Get Out the Vax” efforts, all Metro and Access service will be free on all routes the second and fourth Saturdays and Sundays in April and May:
  • Saturday, April 24
  • Sunday, April 25
  • Saturday, May 8
  • Sunday, May 9
  • Saturday, May 22
  • Sunday, May 23

In addition, Metro will provide free rides on all routes each day of the upcoming COVID-19 mass vaccination event being held Thursday, April 8, through Saturday, April 10, at the Cintas Center. The Cintas Center is served by Metro Rts. 43151 and Metro*Plus. Customers are encouraged to use the Transit app to plan and track their trips in real-time.

Metro will also provide a free shuttle service transporting riders from Metro bus stops located at Montgomery & Dana and Woodburn & Dana, in addition to making stops at the Xavier University parking lot C-2 and the overflow parking lot, to the main entrance of the Cintas Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Metro is offering the free rides in partnership with the Regional COVID Communications Center, a collaboration between the Cincinnati Regional Chamber and the Health Collaborative; the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Transportation, City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The rides will be funded through the “Rides for Community Immunity” program announced by the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is distributing funds across Ohio’s 88 counties to help get the state’s most vulnerable populations transportation to vaccine locations.

Community Issues Forum: The Charter Amendment Proposal To Fund The Affordable Housing Trust Fund - Why Issue III Is Needed to Address The City's Affordable Housing Crisis
Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 12-1 PM on Zoom

An affordable housing crisis exists in Cincinnati, and a recent study revealed a current need of 28,000 units of such housing. Issue III, the City Charter Amendment proposal on the May 4th ballot, would provide $50-million annually to create affordable housing.

Panelists will include Margaret Fox, Executive Director of MARCC ( Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati), and Josh Spring, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.

Click THIS LINK to join the Zoom meeting.

Santa Maria Community Services Health Fair
Saturday, April 24 from 10 AM-1 PM @ Price Hill Recreation Center

Call for Mosaic Ideas - Maryland Ave Community Art
The 550-ft long center stretch of Maryland Avenue, now referred to as the Incline Run, is a peaceful, wooded path that provides safe access between Lower Price Hill and East Price Hill for pedestrians and bicyclists. After being closed for many years, the area was reopened in late 2019 and is right where the Price Hill Incline used to pass overhead, hence the name Incline Run.

East Price Hill artist Caitlin Arnest is leading a community engagement art project that will create mosaic concrete planters along the path.

They want YOU to help them come up with the images for the mosaics! See below for specific information and how to participate. Your idea may be featured in one of the mosaics!

Your ideas should be simple, clear, and able to construct from small pieces of tile. The approximate size of the planters will be 1 ft by 2 ft. This call for community ideas will be available until April 26th.

To read more and/or submit your idea, click HERE!

2021 "Women Speak"
May 1 - July 30

The submission portal for the 2021 Women of Appalachia spoken word event opens May 1! Submit your work here once they open.

Highlight YOUR Cincinnati Neighborhood in Developing Book by Local Writer
Submissions due by July 1, 2021

Nick Swartsell is editing a book about life in Cincinnati Neighborhoods. This isn't a guidebook about where to eat or shop -- it's about the social and psychological and historic contours of distinct communities in Cincinnati.
You should write something for it! Please share this if you know other folks who might want to submit something.

You have probably heard this before: Cincinnati is a city of small towns made distinct by topography and undefined, in-between spaces. They want writers to explore the Queen City’s varied neighborhoods and the places between for The Cincinnati Neighborhood Guidebook, an anthology by Belt Publishing. The book will be part of Belt’s Neighborhood Guidebook Series.

From Sayler Park tipping the city’s far-west tail to Mount Lookout on its eastern fringes, from Carthage to Lower Price Hill, they want essays and other written works that surprise them and tell them something about how Cincinnatians experience living in their neighborhoods, and about how your living in them shapes the city. Take us to the San Antonio Italian Chapel’s Pizza Party in South Fairmount, the boxing gym in the basement of West End’s Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses or the train yards and waterways of the Mill Creek Valley.

They’re hoping to get a diversity of voices and experiences representing as wide a sample from the city’s fifty-two distinct neighborhoods, its many informal sub-neighborhoods and outlying suburbs as possible. Yes, sure, you can submit something about Over-the-Rhine or Northside. But we also really want to hear voices from South Cumminsville, Bond Hill and East Westwood, not to mention Forest Park or Delhi and Covington or Bellevue.

Interpret the above as you wish, so long as the piece you submit is about an area in Greater Cincinnati. Longer submissions will be considered, but they’re looking for work that marries unique insight about lived experience with economy of language. Somewhere between 250 and 1,000 words would be a lovely place to end up for your essay.
Authors will be compensated.

Submissions are due by July 1, 2021. Please submit all entries to

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Urban Appalachian Community Coalition · 5829 Wyatt Ave · Cincinnati, OH 45213-2122 · USA

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