1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Greene novel selected for Young literary award

LEXINGTON, Ky.—A breathtaking tale of a young girl gone missing in Depression-era Tennessee has won the second annual Judy Gaines Young Book Award, presented by Transylvania University. “Long Man,” by Tennessee author Amy Greene, has been praised by national reviewers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Minneapolis Star Tribune. Set just before the real-life damming of Long Man River, the novel tells the story of a tiny Appalachian town doomed to flooding so that the surrounding area could prosper economically. “In this moving story, traditional ways of being in the world and being bound to a particular place are usurped by the interests of a more modern rendition of economy,” Transylvania writer in residence Maurice Manning said. “The tale of human displacement and wandering around a sense of home, of one kind or another, is fundamental to the very idea of Appalachian literature.” Crystal Wilkinson, a Kentucky writer and founding member of the Affrilacian Poets collective, selected the book for the award. Greene will receive the award at Transylvania on April 5 at 5 p.m. in Cowgill 102, where she will give a free public reading. The award also comes with a $2,500 cash prize, and a signed copy of the novel will be preserved in the Transylvania Special Collections. Greene is from Morristown, Tenn., and was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance in 2010. Her articles and op-eds have appeared in the

Silas House gives public reading at Transylvania University

LEXINGTON Ky.—Nationally bestselling author Silas House gave a free public reading of his works on Oct. 21 in Transylvania University’s Carrick Theater. An Eastern Kentucky native, House in his Twitter profile describes himself as: “writer. mountain hugger. father. hillbilly. professor. believer.” He is one of the state’s best known writers and a champion of environmental and social justice. House, whose novels include “Clay’s Quilt” and “A Parchment of Leaves,” has won numerous accolades, including the E. B. White Award, the Audie Award (best narration) and the Nautilus Award; and he was a two-time finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Novel of the Year and named the Appalachian Writer of the Year. “Silas House is one of the most important and most versatile writers working today,” said Maurice Manning, a Transylvania professor and writer in residence. “His is a broad vision and deeply humane. He is at the forefront of understanding, articulating and defending the Appalachian region. It will be an honor to have Silas visit our campus community.” House serves as the NEH Chair of Appalachian Literature at Berea College and is a faculty member of Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.  He has also been a commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” House received the Helen Lewis Community Service Award for environmental activism; and he won the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Kentucky Council of English Teachers. “Everything he writes, whether it

Theatrical adaptation of Manning’s ‘Book of Visions’ premieres at Transylvania

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The world premiere stage production of Maurice Manning’s award-winning book of poetry “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” debuts March 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Transylvania University’s Lucille Caudill Little Theater. This ensemble performance portrays friendships and fantasies from the colorful life of young Lawrence “Law” Booth who imagines incredible things to escape his troubles. Set in Appalachia in the 1970s and 80s, the coming-of-age poetic saga focuses on the adventures of the rebellious Booth, his scurrilous Mad Daddy, his best friend Black Damon, the perhaps imaginary Missionary Woman and Red Dog, his beloved canine pal. Drawn directly from Manning’s poems, this theatrical adaptation features vivid monologues, startling revelations, choral storytelling, Appalachian music and many weird and wondrous visions all brought to vigorous life by Transylvania student actors and a professional production team. “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” took Manning, an English professor and writer-in-residence at Transylvania, more than 10 years to write. It was a project he began right out of college, and although he felt unsure of what he was doing, he was certain he wanted to be a writer. “I didn’t really know what that meant or how to go about it,” Manning said. “I just wanted to be a person who read books and carried around a pen and scraps of paper, someone who studies the world for its meaning.” Manning must have figured it out. “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” won the 2001 Yale Series