The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series

The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series and Appalachian Journal present the Fall 2020 season

All events will be online recordings with links posted on the dates indicated on the schedule. All events will be available through December I5, 2020.

vwslogo.jpgAppalachian Journal logo

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of the late Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), a 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past member of Appalachian's Board of Trustees and ASU Foundation, long time member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Board and generous supporter of Appalachian State University. 

Book Purchasing

To purchase books by the VWS authors, visit:


University Library Resources on the Fall 2020 authors is available at:


For further information on the Fall 2020 season, please email Susan Weinberg, weinbergsc@


  • Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc.
  • Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs 
  • College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Department of English
  • Intercultural Student Affairs 
  • University Bookstore 
  • Belk Library 
  • Appalachian Journal


  • The New Public House & Hotel
  • The Red Onion Restaurant
  • The Gideon Ridge Inn


  • John and the late Margie Idol
  • Paul and Judy Tobin
  • Alice Naylor
  • Thomas McLaughlin

Jacinta white

Jacinta White (Poet)

Link to Reading and Craft Talk video to be posted Thursday, September 17 at Noon

Craft Talk
Poet Jacinta White will discuss her process of exploring African American churches and cemeteries in the rural South and how that journey led to her most recent collection, RESURRECTING THE BONES. She will speak on the place of poetry as a research tool and how poetry not only helps us make sense of our world (and our perceived and realized place within it) but also how it stands within a historical context.

Jacinta V. White, the author of Resurrecting the Bones: Born from a Journey through African American Churches & Cemeteries in the Rural South (Sept. 2019, Press 53), attributes poetry to being her lifeline and began seriously writing after the sudden passing of her father in 1996. Jacinta's chapbook, Broken Ritual, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press In 2001, Jacinta founded The Word Project -- a company that uses poetry and art with groups to provide a space for self-discovery and healing. The Word Project is the parent company for the international, online quarterly Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing. She is also the CEO of Deeper Dive Consulting, where she works with organizations and companies to build a healthy workplace culture through leadership and professional development. Jacinta makes her home in Winston-Salem, where she recently received the city's Outstanding Women Leaders award.

Resurrecting the Bones is a book of poetry born out of the author’s journey visiting African American churches & cemeteries in the rural South. Published by Press 53, the collection of 37 poems attempts to convey the impressions the poet received through her visits to churches and cemeteries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. 


Craft talk begins at 22:30 

Jacinta White
Jacinda Townsend
Novelist and Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing

Link to reading and craft talk will be posted Thursday, October 8, at noon.

Craft Talk: The Unreal
This talk will examine all that is between straight realism and speculative fiction: magical realism, fabulism, absurdism, and surrealism. The magic that we insert into our stories helps explain the world—the universe, and oft-times the divinity--all that is beautifully random, and the power structures that need to be both perpetuated and dismantled. But magic, in storytelling, not only explains the world: it explains us. How and on what occasions might we use magical realism to help us speak the deepest truths? How might we haunt our characters with the ghosts that are so deeply in our subconscious? We will visit with all four of these subgenres to find answers.

As an accompaniment to this lecture, viewers may want to read the following:

  • Danzy Senna's "Admission." From Senna's collection, You Are Free.
  • The Marcovaldo Stories, by Italo Calvino.
  • "A Stone Woman," by A.S. Byatt, in her collection The Little Black Book of Stories.
  • "Do Stay, Giraffe," by Wolfgang Borchert, in the anthology The Art of the Tale.

Jacinda Townsend recently served as the Appalachian Writer in Residence at Berea College. She is the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Saint Monkey was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Townsend grew up in south-central Kentucky and took her first creative writing class at Harvard, where she earned her B.A. While at Duke University Law School, she cross-registered in the English department and took several formative writing workshops. In 1999, after four years as a broadcast journalist and then a lawyer in New York City, Townsend went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received her M.F.A. She spent a year as a Fulbright fellow in Côte d’Ivoire. Her recently completed novel, Kif, will be published in by Graywolf Press in 2022.

The craft talk, titled "The Unreal," begins at 19:15 minutes.

Graham Hoppe author photo

Graham Hoppe (Creative Nonfiction)

Link to Reading and Craft Talk video to be posted Thursday, October I5, at noon

Craft Talk: Dollywood: Place and Persona. 
Graham Hoppe will speak about approaching a public place like a theme park and approaching a public personality like Dolly Parton. He will touch on working with popular history, dealing with corporations and getting access (and how to push your narrative forward when you don't get access).   

Graham Hoppe writes about culture and history with a focus on food, music, and tourism. He is a graduate of the folklore program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC he studied topics such as Cracker Barrel, firehouse dinners, and parking garages. His work has appeared in South Writ LargeThe Ethnic AmericanFood Today EncyclopediaThe Southern Foodways Alliance, and Bit and Grain. He serves as the production editor for the North Carolina State Government News Service. His first book, Gone Dollywood: Dolly Parton’s Mountain Dream, is available now from Ohio University Press. Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Graham currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Book Description: Country music superstar Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is a 150-acre fantasyland that hosts three million people a year. What does it tell us about the modern South, and in turn what does that tell us about America as a whole? Hoppe blends tourism, public history, and personal reflection into an unforgettable interrogation of Southern American identity.

Craft Talk begins at 24:07


Nickole Brown
Nickole Brown (Poet

Link to Reading video to be posted Thursday, October 22, at noon

Nickole Brown received her MFA from Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition was reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audiobook of that collection became available in 2017. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in the hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, where she volunteers at three different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won’t consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it—these poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature beautiful, but damaged and dangerous. The first of these new poems won Rattle's Chapbook Contest with the publication of To Those Who Were Our First Gods in 2018. A second chapbook from this project, an essay-in-poems called The Donkey Elegies, will be published by Sibling Rivalry in January 2020. 

Upcoming Events