It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Transylvania University Judy Gaines Young Book Award: Awarded in 2016
The Judy Gaines Young Book Award is annually presented by Transylvania University to the author of a book of distinction from the Appalachian region.
Dawn Jewell is fifteen. She is restless, curious, and wry. She listens to Black Flag, speaks her mind, and joins her grandmother’s fight against mountaintop removal mining almost in spite of herself. “I write by ear,” says Robert Gipe, and Dawn’s voice is the essence of his debut novel, Trampoline. Jagged and honest, Trampoline is a portrait of a place struggling with the economic and social forces that threaten and define it. Inspired by oral tradition and punctuated by Gipe’s raw and whimsical drawings, it is above all about its heroine, Dawn, as she decides whether to save a mountain or save herself; be ruled by love or ruled by anger; remain in the land of her birth or run for her life
From the critically acclaimed author of Bloodroot, a gripping, wondrously evocative novel of a family in turmoil, set against the backdrop of real-life historical event—the story of three days in the summer of 1936, as a government-built dam is about to flood an Appalachian town, and a little girl goes missing.
A river called Long Man has coursed through East Tennessee from time immemorial, bringing sustenance to the people who farm along its banks and who trade among its small towns. But as Long Man opens, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to dam the river and flood the town of Yuneetah for the sake of progress—to bring electricity and jobs to the region—are about to take effect. Just a few days remain before the river will rise, and most of the town has been evacuated. Among the holdouts is a young, headstrong mother, Annie Clyde Dodson, whose ancestors have lived for generations on her mountaintop farm; she’ll do anything to ensure that her three-year-old daughter, Gracie, will inherit the family’s land. But her husband wants to make a fresh start in Michigan, where he’s found work that will bring the family a more secure future. As the deadline looms, a storm as powerful as the emotions between them rages outside their door. Suddenly they realize that Gracie is nowhere to be found. Has the little girl simply wandered off into the rain? Or has she been taken by Amos, the mysterious drifter who has come back to Yuneetah, perhaps to save his hometown in a last, desperate act of violence?
Suspenseful, visceral, gorgeously told, Long Man is a searing portrait of a tight-knit community brought together by change and crisis, and of one family facing a terrifying ticking clock.
Zion, the latest collection of poems by TJ Jarrett, is the poignant study of the resonating effects of the civil rights movement on one family. Jarrett lovingly explores the minutiae of mortality and race across three generations of “Dark Girls” who have come together one summer to grieve and to remember as one of them passes to the farther shore—a place beyond retribution, where there is only forgiveness.
The Mississippi of Jarrett’s collection is alive with fireflies and locusts and murders of crows; yet for some, it is a wasteland of unanswered prayers, burning evenings, and the shades of dead or disappeared loved ones. There, the dark nights of the soul weigh long and heavy, and “every heart has its solstice, and its ache is unrelenting.”
Yet much as every solstice has an equinox, every time to kill has a time to forgive. Throughout the volume, the author imagines opportunities for compassion on multiple levels, from sweeping pardons to the most intimate of mercies. Jarrett’s faceless narrator confesses the past through conversation and exploration with notorious Mississippi governor Theodore Bilbo: two minds, two hearts, two races at last face to face.
At once brutal and achingly tender, Jarrett’s volume itself is a vibrant and musical body, singing to all its parts.
Across the Blue Ridge Mountains stretches a world both charming and complicated.
Jeremy Jones and his wife move into a small house above the creek where his family had settled 200 years prior. He takes a job alongside his former teachers in the local elementary school and sets out on a search to understand how this ancient land has shaped its people-how it shaped him. His search sends him burrowing in the past-hunting buried treasure and POW camps, unearthing Civil War graves and family feuds, exploring gated communities and tourist traps, encountering changed accents and immigrant populations, tracing Wal-Mart's sidewalks and carved-out mountains-and pondering the future. He meshes narrative and myth, geology and genealogy, fiddle tunes and local color about the briskly changing and oft-stigmatized world of his native southern Appalachians.
Somehow, these journeys continually lead him back to the mystical Bearwallow Mountain, a peak suddenly in flux.
"These beautifully crafted poems astonish with their sudden shocks of emotional power. Denton Loving explores the mutations of the inner life with compassion and a streak of melancholy, as well as the outer patterns of the natural world, both with a keen eye and a knowing heart. A wonderful first collection." - Lynne Sharon Schwartz "Do the wonders around me exist if mine are the only eyes to see, Denton Loving asks in one of this collection's early poems. The answer is a resounding, Yes, because Loving has the talent to convey what he has seen that we too might see, and feel, and know more deeply. Crimes Against Birds is an impressive debut by a very gifted poet." - Ron Rash "These are first of all poems of attention, attention to the natural world, to cultural heritage, and to wonders encountered solely in the mind. And they are always more than that. This bracing book considers what is seen and what is not seen, what is present and what is missing, and what is not yet arrived. A poet's eye is working here with the other senses following. The tone that mixes melancholy with held-back joy feels inevitable and just right. This is a book to savor and linger over and then sit calmly in its presence." - Maurice Manning
Stunning illustrations and poetic text fill the pages of this enchanting picture book that celebrates nature and its evocative, peaceful beauty.
The forest sees every season, from the first snowflake to the blossoming flower buds. The forest sees the ever-moving life in nature and the beauty it emanates. With lyrical language and rich and textured illustrations, What Forest Knows takes you on a hike through the trees, beyond the meadows, between the deer and foxes, and into the heart of the outdoors.