The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) has announced the publication of “I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices”, a one-of-a-kind collection of poetry focused specifically on the unique cultural experiences of poets located in or connected to Appalachian Ohio.
The anthology was conceived and produced by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour. A graphic artist as well as a poet, Gunter-Seymour designed the anthology, recruited and edited the collection. It is a lavish mix of voices — Affrilachian, Indigenous, non-binary and LGBTQ; from teens to those creatively aging; poets in recovery, some differently-abled or with developmental differences; emerging and well-established; some living in the state, others from assorted locations throughout the country — but all with a deep connection to Appalachian Ohio. Gunter-Seymour currently is serving an unprecedented second term as Ohio’s laureate.
Gunter-Seymour is FAO’s first Arts & Culture Pillar Fellow. Through the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund, FAO creates opportunities across five programmatic areas known as Pillars of Prosperity: Arts & Culture; Community & Economic Development; Education; Environmental Stewardship; and Health & Human Services. The Pillars of Prosperity Fellowship Program provides targeted support to individual leaders to help them grow their impact from one local community to many. Gunter-Seymour is among three fellows in the 2021 inaugural class.
Publication of the anthology was made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. With additional funding provided by FAO, a copy of the anthology will be supplied to all public libraries throughout Ohio and to all Appalachian Ohio middle and high schools, allowing access for Ohioans of all ages to read the poems and experience examples of Appalachian Ohio heritage and culture.
Ten Meet the Poets reading events are scheduled throughout the state over the next several months, beginning with the anthology’s launch on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m., at the historic Mercantile Library in Cincinnati. Additional readings will be held in Westerville, Ironton, Marietta, Youngstown, Akron, Athens, Toledo, South Euclid and Coshocton. These readings will allow Ohio Appalachian voices to fill the air and provide opportunities for contributors to meet each other and connect with Ohio communities across the entire state. Event information is available here: www.karigunterseymourpoet.com/cardinal-sing
Copies of the anthology can be purchased directly from the publisher, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, at sheilanagigblog.com/cardinal-sing. Discount pricing is available for schools and non-profits.
To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org or contact [email protected] or 740-753-1111.
To learn more about Gunter-Seymour and of I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices, visit www.karigunterseymourpoet.com/cardinal-sing.
Submitted by Rochelle Hawk, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.