Tiana Clark is the author of Equilibrium Bull City Press, 2016), which was selected to be the winner of the 2016 Frost Place Chapterbook Competition. Clark is also the author of I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), which won the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. She has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Best New Poets 2015. Clark has also won a Pushcart Prize, the Rattle Poetry Prize, and the Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize.
Clark was brought up in both Nashville, Tennessee and Southern California. She attended Tennessee State University where she received a BA in African and Women's studies.
Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling author for his debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home. His latest novel, The Last Ballad is the winner of the Southern Book Prize for Literary Fiction, named a best book of 2017 by the Chicago Public Library, and the American Library Association. He is the founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency. He is the Writer-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina-Ashville.
A native of Danville, Kentucky, Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate. Walker has published ten collections of poetry, including Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Poetry and the Black Caucus American Library Association Honor Award for Poetry. His honors also include a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry, the Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Poetry in Appalachian Heritage, and the West Virginia Humanities Council’s Appalachian Heritage Award.
Jesmyn Ward is a New York Times bestselling and two-time National Book Award winner. She is the author of six novels: Navigate Your Stars; Flight of the Century: Writers Reflecting on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Case; Sing, Unburied, Sing; Men We Reaped: A Memoir; Salvage the Bones; and Where the Line Bleeds. Navigate Your Stars is the newest of her books to be released on April 7, 2020. Ward is currently a professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University.
Dan T. Carter is a retired United States History professor from South Carolina University and his retirement has taken him to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Carter has written: The Politics of Rage, Scottsboro: A tragedy of the American South (Jules and Frances Landry Award), From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994, When the War is Over: The Failure of Self-reconstruction in the South, 1865-1867, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and the Transformation of American Politics.
James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South
Michael Croley is the author of Any Other Place: Stories. He has won several awards from Kentucky Arts Council, the Key West Literary Seminar and the Sewanee Writers Conference. His debut novel, Any Other Places: Stories, appearing in the Narrative, Catapult, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. He has written many essays. He was born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in Corbin, Kentucky. Croley, graduating from Florida State and the University of Memphis writing programs. He now teaches English and Narrative Journalism at Denison University.