silas house: 'the history of every country'
Born in 1971, Silas House, a musician as well as writer, is from Eastern Kentucky and still lives and works in his hometown of Lily, Kentucky. House graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a BA in English, specializing in American literature. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative writing degree from Spalding University.
House’s poetry, plays, and novels have been touted as products of a remarkable and profound new talent in Appalachia; he was listed as one of “Ten Emerging Talents in the South” by the Millennial Gathering of Writers at Vanderbilt University in 2000. In 2008, he was singularly honored at the Appalachian Studies Conference for his work and delivered the keynote address to that organization. His books—Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2002), and The Coal Tattoo (2004)—have won an array of distinctions: two Kentucky Novel of the Year awards, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Appalachian Book of the Year Award, and the Chaffin Award. House’s books have also been singled out as finalists for the Southern Book Critics’ Circle Prize, and he has received two Pushcart Prize nominations.
Mentored by Lee Smith, House has written poetry and stories that have appeared in Oxford American, Appalachian Heritage, The Louisville Review, and other journals and magazines. Each year, he directs the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, and was a contributing editor to No Depression magazine, and is one of Nashville’s most successful public relations writers. He recently co-edited Something’s Rising, a collection of oral histories on the topic of mountaintop removal, and he was selected to edit the posthumous manuscript of Appalachian writer James Still. House’s newest book, Eli the Good, will be published later in 2009.