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Kentucky writer Silas House comes to Shepherd University

ISSUED: 27 August 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Kentucky writer Silas House comes to Shepherd University)

Shepherdstown, WV--Award-winning Kentucky writer Silas House will be at Shepherd University to receive the Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award and fulfill duties as Writer-in-Residence September 28 through October 3. He will deliver the Scarborough Society Lecture titled "'The Story of Every Country,' the Importance of Place" on October 1 at 8 p.m. in the Erma Ora Byrd Hall.

House was listed as one of the Ten Emerging Talents in the South by the Millennial Gathering of Writers at Vanderbilt University in 2000. His latest book, Something's Rising, is a series of oral histories about mountaintop removal, and his fourth novel, Eli the Good, will be out this fall. House's books have won 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. His books have been finalists for the Southern Book Critics' Circle Prize, and he has received two Pushcart Prize nominations. Mentored by Lee Smith, House has published stories in Oxford American, Appalachian Heritage, The Louisville Review, and an array of other journals and magazines. He directs the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival in Kentucky and is an environmental activist.

The Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence project is funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council, Shepherd University Foundation, and West Virginia Center for the Book. Community partners include the Shepherdstown Film Society, Four Seasons Bookstore, Friends of the Shepherdstown Library, Martinsburg Public Library, and Scarborough Society. For more information, see the residency Web site at or contact the Shepherd University Department of English at 304-876-5220 or e-mail Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, project director, at

The residency activities include a screening of the award-winning documentary Sludge, in Reynolds Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday September 28 with a discussion led by Dr. Ed. Snyder, chair of Institute for Environmental Studies; "Celebration of Appalachian Storytellers: A Kentucky Muse and the Anthology of Appalachian Writers," at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29; a reading of Something's Rising at Martinsburg Public Library at 10:30 a.m. and "The Writing Life with Silas House" at Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30; Scarborough Society Lecture and Appalachian Heritage Awards Ceremony at Erma Bryd Hall at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 1; "The Appalachians: Writers and Renegades" at Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at 5 p.m. and Appalachian Heritage Festival Concert at the Frank Center Theater at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 2; and the Appalachian Heritage Festival, all day on Saturday, October 3.

For information, or for tickets to the concerts, call Rachael Meads at 304-876-5113 or e-mail at


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