An identity crisis at my age? “Becoming Appalachian” was first published in the Winter/Spring, 2011, issue of Appalachian Journal, then reprinted with photos in poet and naturalist Dave Bonta’s Blog, via negativa, July 2011.
“The Fall, 2010 issue of Appalachian Journal, which focused on regional identity, hit me where it hurts: in my self-proclaimed, hardly-won, and wholly un-censused identity as Appalachian. Because nowhere in seventy pages of scholarly surveys, speculations, and definitions could I find myself.
Researchers reach out to fourth generation descendants born in industrial cities far from the mountains and deem them Appalachian, and I totally get that. I’ve come to understand, and not just from Loyal Jones, that you can get an Appalachian into Heaven but she’ll still insist on going home to the mountains every other weekend.”