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Anthology celebrates Affrilachian writers

ISSUED: 28 May 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities has released the “Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Crystal Wilkinson Volume.” The book is the 12th in a series of anthologies that center on Shepherd’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence and West Virginia Center for the Book. This year’s anthology celebrates the work of Affrilachian poet and Weatherford award winner Crystal Wilkinson, the 2019 One Book, One West Virginia common reading author.

“This is our most diverse volume ever,” said Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, managing editor and Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities director.  “We’re excited about the volume in particular because it reflects so well the work of Crystal Wilkinson, both a superb writer and wonderfully good-hearted person.”

The volume, supported by the West Virginia Library Association, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the Shepherd University Foundation, contains work by fiction and creative nonfiction writers from around the state, country, and Appalachian region, including Affrilachian poet Frank X Walker, West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman, and poets Ronald Davis, Mark DeFoe, and Randi Ward.

This volume also contains the stories of West Virginia Fiction Competition winners Jessica Salfia, Jordan Carter, and Seán Patrick Duffy. Wilkinson selected the winners and wrote story critiques for all of the finalists, which are contained within the volume.

The book is an annual anthology, created by editors Dave Hoffman, Natalie Sypolt, and Shepherd student editor Allison Wharton. Copies are available at Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown by appointment for curbside pickup Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the book will be available at other venues.

The West Virginia Library Association distributes copies of the anthology to school libraries across the state.  For more information, visit or contact Shurbutt at

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