National Writing Project

Amy Clark: Language, Identity, and Learning in Talking Appalachian

Date: August 14, 2014

Summary: This interview with Amy Clark, director of the Appalachian Writing Project and co-editor of Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community, is a conversation about language, identity, and learning. With contributions from well-known authors such as George Ella Lyon and Silas House, Talking Appalachian has been called the most comprehensive, accessible study of Appalachian language available today.

 

Excerpt from Show

Amy Clark, co-editor of Talking Appalachian:

The act of transcribing [my grandmother's] words and the syntax of her sentences showed me the poetry of her voice, her dialect. This was the voice in the writing of Lee Smith, James Still, Harriet Arnow. Everything I'd heard on television or even among my peers about how ignorant we sounded was diminished. It was a turning point for me in realizing, to quote Linda Scott DeRosier, that I was "carrying my heritage in my mouth." How we talk about language matters as much as how we use it."

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