Wise Writes and the UVa-Wise Lecture Committee invite students, faculty and staff to a free performance by Hindman Writer In Residence and poetry editor for the Oxford American magazine, Rebecca Howell, and Banjo Balladeer Brett Ratliff on Thursday 2/15/18 from 5-7pm in the Dogwood Room of the Slemp Student Center. Cultural activity credit will be awarded for attendance.
“Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of American Purgatory, which was selected by Don Share for the 2016 Sexton Prize. Her debut collection, Render /An Apocalypse, was a finalist for Foreword Review’s 2014 Book of the Year and received wide critical acclaim, most notably by David L. Ulin for the LA Times, who called the collection “remarkable.” Howell is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s verse memoir of the Iraq War, Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation, which was named a 2011 Best Book of Poetry by Library Journal and was shortlisted for Three Percent’s Best Translated Book Award. Among Howell’s honors are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize; she has also been awarded sustaining support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women throughout her career. Since 2014, she has edited poetry for the Oxford American, publishing a new profile of Southern poetics including such writers as Nikki Giovanni, Tyehimba Jess, and Fady Joudah, and featuring the release of Nikky Finney’s epic, “The Battle Of and For The Black Face Boy.” Howell lives in Knott County, Kentucky, where she serves as James Still Writer-in-Residence at the Hindman Settlement School.” (http://www.rebeccagaylehowell.com/about.html).
“Brett Ratliff’s homeplace is Van Lear, Kentucky, the historic coal camp that gave birth to Loretta Lynn. Having been mentored by the masters of the area–George Gibson, Rich Kirby, Paul David Smith, Lee Sexton, and Jamie Wells among them–Ratliff is often the traditionally trained musician on stage with country, acid honk-a-tonk, and cow punk. He has toured the region and the world with groups such as Clack Mountain String Band, Dirk Powell Band, Giant Rooster Sideshow, and Rich & the Po’ Folk and has played alongside the likes of Woody Pines, Chris Stapleton, Foghorn Stringband, Jean Ritchie, Mike Seeger, and Art Stamper. Today Ratliff teaches traditional Kentucky repertoire at The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington; Swannanoa Gathering in Swannanoa, North Carolina; Sore Fingers Week in Oxfordshire, England; Augusta Heritage’s Early Country Music Week in Elkins, WV; Cowan Creek Mountain Music School in Letcher County, KY and elsewhere. His first solo release was the 2008 June Appal recording Cold Icy Mountain.” (http://brettratliff.net/bio/).