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‘Anthology’ writers to participate in reading in Shepherdstown July 12

ISSUED: 30 June 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Five local writers whose work is featured in the ‘Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Frank X Walker Volume,’ published by the Shepherd University Foundation and the West Virginia Center for the Book, will be part of a reading event July 12 at noon, at Four Seasons Bookstore in Shepherdstown. Poets Tracy Seffers (who is Shepherd University’s registrar) and Matthew Umstead will read, as well as West Virginia Fiction Competition winners Paul Kessler, Zach Davis, and Melissa Howley.

The 2014 Frank X Walker volume of the annual anthology features some of the best poets and storytellers in the Appalachian region, including West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman, as well as some of the best African American writers in America, including Kentucky Poet Laureate Walker, Shauna Morgan Kirlew, Randall Horton, Makalani Bandele, and storyteller Omope Carter Daboiku. One of Walker’s rare fiction pieces is included in the book, ‘Grown folk,’ as well as stories by other local writers including Jessica Salfia. The book also brings into print heritage writer Elizabeth Keckley, an ex-slave and Mrs. Lincoln’s dressmaker, in one of the most fascinating slave narratives of the 19th century.

Anthology editors Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, David O. Hoffman, Natalie Sypolt, and Charlotte Henning, with the assistance of Frank X Walker, made the selections for this year’s volume, which features photographic art as well as poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. The West Virginia Humanities Council provided funding for Frank X Walker’s involvement in the program, while the West Virginia Center for the Book and the Shepherd University Foundation joined forces to provide funding for the publication of the book. Adam Leviton is the graphic designer of the volume.

To have your local bookstore carry the book, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, professor of English at Shepherd, at

For information about the July 12 reading, contact Kendra Adkins at Four Seasons Books,

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