I hope this message finds you well. If you are looking to add books to your reading list, you will especially find this newsletter interesting! We kick things off with a book review by Mike Maloney regarding the novel The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek written by Kim Michelle Richardson located in the Core Column. 

This week we offer a guest blog by West Virginian Amie Copenhaver, a review of the book Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy. The book includes work by UACC stewards Richard Hague, Michael Maloney and Dale Marie Prenatt.

In addition to the book reviews, please also enjoy a poem written by Pauletta Hansel, see community activities and events you may be interested in, and check out our virtual archive of performances by Appalachian artists or centered around Appalachian/urban Appalachian life.


Book review of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Mike Maloney

Kim Michelle Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is set in a small mountain community in Breathitt County, Kentucky, in the midst of the Depression.  The characters are the Pack Horse Librarians who brought books and magazines on muleback to the families in the farthest reaches of the hollows of Eastern Kentucky.  The heroine,  Cussy, is one of the blue-skinned people of the area.  (The Fugate family in real life.  They suffered from a rare genetic condition).  Through Cussy’s visits to deliver books we get glimpses into the lives of each family in the area.   Each family or individual she visits is different, each believable, some noble, some not so much.  Most live on the edge of starvation but most offer to share their meager bits of food with Cussy.  Most are equally starved for the reading materials Cussy brings. Through her father’s experience we see the lives of the underpaid and mistreated coal miners.  We experience the treatment of blacks and the blue people – both considered colored.  Women are portrayed as oppressed but not conquered, victims who are more often clever and heroic than gossipy and vain.  I began my life a decade later in another part of the same county.  Most of the conditions Richardson describes were still present but not so dire.  The struggle to get enough to eat was not so hard.  The threat of violence not so prevalent.  Miners were treated better and paid more.  The question of leaving the beloved land of the mountains to find a better life in the city was there in Cussy’s time, worse in my time and still there today.

The discussion of Book Woman with family and friends has caused me to gather together other books in my library about Appalachian women – Kathy’s Kahn’s Hillbilly Women, Danny Miller’s Wingless Flights: Appalachian Women in Fiction, and Cassie Chambers’ recent publication, Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachians.  The latter is by a woman from Cow Creek in Owsley County.  Funny how we identify where you are from.  If you grew up in Price Hill, you were from so and so parish.  If you grew up in East Kentucky you were from so and so Creek (or Ridge).
"I Want More Than To Return to 'Life as Normal'" by Susan Pepper
Please enjoy this article by Susan Pepper recently published in the Cincinnati Enquirer. In this piece, Pepper provides us with a meaningful perspective on the COVID-19 stay at home orders and how our society could potentially benefit from this slower-paced lifestyle. Read the full article here.

Appalachia Re-Visioned - a poem by Pauletta Hansel 
Please enjoy this poem written by Core member Pauletta Hansel and published in the Heartwood Literary Magazine. Read the poem here.
Congrats, Grads!
Congratulations to graduating seniors Cecelia Carter, Oyler's Valedictorian, and Myranda Swift, Oyler's Salutatorian! Core member Pauletta Hansel has worked with these seniors during their time at Oyler and shared the stage with them at the 2018 Urban Appalachian Showcase. The University of Cincinnati sure is lucky to be welcoming such bright and talented individuals. Help us congratulate them on their achievements!
Hate and Antisemitism in Ohio During COVID-19
Representatives from the Cincinnati Regional Coalition Against Hate, a
UACC affiliate organization, will present an online program on "Hate and
Antisemitism in Ohio During COVID-19." There are two installments,
Thursdays at noon on May 21 and May 28. Info on speakers and topics is
covered in the announcement:

"Evenings on the Green" - Roots of Bluegrass
Ohio Village in Columbus brings you some of central Ohio's  finest bluegrass music. Gates open at 6pm, music 7 - 9pm. Beer, wine & soft drinks available, food trucks on site. Donations benefit the Ohio History Connection.
  • June 18: R U Bound
  • July 16: The Wood Pickers
  • August 20: The Relentless Mules
Virtual Walk to Stock the Community Market Pantry
The Community Market Pantry is a vital part of Community Matters, helping neighbors reach stability so they can focus on their strengths and fully engage in the community. You can help!

Join Community Matters' team "Friends of Community Matters" at the 17th Annual (1st totally virtual) Freestore Foodbank Hunger Walk & 5K on Memorial Day, May 25th! All funds generated will help support the ongoing food costs of the Community Market pantry. The pantry serves approximately 650 families each year with fresh produce, meal items, household products, and toiletries. In addition, the Community Market is often the first connection opportunity we make with many of our neighbors in Lower Price Hill.

Join their team by registering here!

Want to learn more? Vsit us at or follow us on Facebook!

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

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