In this episode, Petrone and Wynhoff Olsen talk about their connections to rural places and the inspiration for their book. We discuss the affordances and challenges of living and teaching in rural places, work to outline what a critical rural English Pedagogy is, and how teachers and teachers educators can use critical rural pedagogy inContinue reading “Author Talk – Drs. Rob Petrone & Allison Wynhoff Olsen”
This week I wanted to continue thinking about what it means to be from somewhere and its connection to genetic memory – memories that become coded in our DNA and get passed down through generations over time – in order to think about what it means and can look like to value and preserve ruralContinue reading “Building Our Worlds Again: Part 2”
In this episode of Reading Rural YAL, I discuss each chapter of Teaching English in Rural Communities in more detail to show you all the theoretical and practical awesomeness contained in this book. Here’s a link to more resources on using a critical rural lens in teaching reading and writing: Buy the book here.
In this episode, I embark on a new feature of RRYAL – talking about trade books! Teaching English in Rural Communities is a book I wish I would’ve had when I was a rural English teacher. Here I provide a summary and reading of the first few pages. I hope this is helpful to allContinue reading “Trade Book Talks – Teaching English in Rural Communities Episode 1”
I recently finished Monica Roe’s recently published novel AIR. It’s excellent for so many reasons, and I’ll get to that a little bit later in this post, but first I wanted to address the bone I have to pick with Kirkus as a way to illustrate why we need more rural voices across all areas and aspects ofContinue reading “Why We Need More Rural Voices In Publishing”
In this bonus episode of Reading Rural YAL, Dr. Jenn Sanders, one of the co-founders of the Whippoorwill Award for Rural Young Adult Literature discusses how and why the award got started, how winners are selected, and what she hopes the Whippoorwill does for rural teachers and students. To see past winners and learn more,Continue reading “Interview: Jenn Sanders, Co-Founder of The Whippoorwill Award for Rural YA Literature”
In this episode, Christopher Barzak and I cover *a lot* of ground. Because of our shared rural Midwestern experiences, we spend quite a bit of time talking about aspects of rural culture that we both recognize and have experienced. We also talk about his experiences in the global rural through his time living and teachingContinue reading “Author Talk: Christopher Barzak”
In this episode I discuss possibilities for trauma-based teaching THE GONE AWAY PLACE. Not only are they trauma-based, but they’re arts-integrated to boot!
I recently had the immense honor of being a guest teacher in a rural classroom in Arkansas (thanks, Zoom!). And it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. My lesson was a writing workshop on folk writing and how we can use family stories to inform our writing across genres and disciplines. Continue reading “Building Our Worlds Again: Preserving Rural Stories and Culture”
In this episode, I talk about how The Gone Away Place helped me think about the way trauma and loss affect rural towns. I share how it connects to some of the (un)processed traumas I experienced while living in my 800 or so person hometown.
In this episode, I talk about how the physical location and the natural damage to the landscape shape the story and readers’ experience and understanding of it.
In this episode, I give a brief summary of Christopher Barzak’s Whippoorwill Award Winning book, The Gone Away Place, and give a reading of the first pages. Wanna learn more about the Whippoorwill Award? Visit https://whippoorwillaward.weebly.com
For those of you following along, you may know that I am ecstatic to have recently become a member of the Whippoorwill Book Award selection committee. When I saw this award come on the scene a few years ago, I was so excited that there was someone out there finding Rural YAL and taking itContinue reading “The Whippoorwill Book Award for Rural YA Literature”
In this episode, I talk with Pedro Brown Hoffmeister about so many things! To say this was a great conversation is a massive understatement. Pedro is such an insightful human being and excellent storyteller. This one is definitely a can’t-miss conversation. If you enjoy it even half as much as I did, I would appreciateContinue reading “Author Talk: Pedro Brown Hoffmeister”
In this episode, I outline a lesson focused on human/environment interactions in which students complete a mutligenre project for authentic audiences.
Novels like Jojo Moyes’s The Giver of Stars, Kathleen M. Jacobs’s Sophie and the Book Mobile, and Kim Michele Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek all highlight the importance of books to rural readers and the lengths folks have been willing to go, to make sure that there were books in rural spaces toContinue reading “How can rural libraries better serve young adult readers?”
In this episode, I discuss my reactions to the text as a rural reader. Related texts discussed in this episode: Townes Van Zandt songs to check out: “Tecumseh Valley” “Waiting’ Around to Die” “If I Needed You” Ash Beckham TED Talk: “Owning Your Duality”
Recently, both The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education reported on research that is working to identify and define institutions of higher education that are rural located and rural serving. In this week’s blog, Dr. Casey T. Jakubowski responds to and offers critiques of these efforts, questioning who the work really serves. OfferingContinue reading “What does it mean for higher education to be rural located and rural serving?”
In this episode, I discuss the way that place, wilderness, and ecology shape and function in the novel.
This week’s blog post is a special one: It’s LIP’s first GUEST CONTRIBUTION (!) and it’s from our volunteer-extraordinaire – Anna Grace. In it, she discusses and details her continued efforts to define what it means to be rural. After recalling a story from her high-school days, Anna walks us through her experiences as anContinue reading “Our First Guest Contribution!”
In this episode, I give a summary of the novel and read the first few pages. Interested in learning more about the UNLV YA Summit here. Visit Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday
In this episode, Heath and I discuss everything from her rural background, farm and horse injuries, creating the world of a book while not living there, advice for young writers, and more. Follow her – On Twitter: @carlylheath On Instagram: @carlylynheath On the Web: https://www.carlyheathauthor.com Pick up the book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/668136/the-reckless-kind-by-carly-heath/
In this episode, I give a brief description of a research project students could do and present to their own communities inspired by The Reckless Kind.
In this episode, I discuss the aspects of Heath’s novel that were connections and disconnections for me and what I learned from them.
In this video, Melissa Wyatt and I cover a lot of ground. Here are some of the major things we talk about: 01:25: Where she’s from 04:05 Defining rural 07:12 Becoming a writer 08:24 Crafting people and places that aren’t where you’re from 10:14 Who gets to write rural stories 14:31 Disrupting and nuancing dominantContinue reading “RRYAL: Author Talk – Melissa Wyatt”
This episode discusses how I would teach Funny How Things Change and the way it layers place and class.
In this episode, I discuss my personal reaction to FUNNY HOW THINGS CHANGE as a rural (out-migrant) reader. I read some of my favorite quotes and discuss how the book deals with complexities of rural folks leaving their hometowns.
In this episode, I talk about how place functions in the text – the complex connections to and opinions of the mountains held by both community insiders and outsides.
In this episode, I provide a summary of Wyatt’s novel as well as read the first few pages. I’m really excited to talk about this text because of the way the narrative of leaving a rural place sits in conversation with that of Zentner’s In the Wild Light. Check out Wyatt’s Twitter thread mentioned inContinue reading “RRYAL: Melissa Wyatt’s Funny How Things Change Episode 1”
In this episode, Jeff and I talk about everything from genetic memory of place to why he became a writer and his advice for aspiring writers out there. Here are the time codes: 01:44 His background and connections to rural people and places 03:58 Genetic memory and place 07:24 Why he became a writer andContinue reading “RRYAL: Author Talk – Jeff Zentner”
During this episode, I outline a possible assignment that uses embodied knowledge and a chosen passage from In the Wild Light to inform students’ writing. Students visit places in the community they love, take pictures, create Wordles, and ultimately write place-connected pieces that they then invite the community to view.
In this episode, I detail my reaction to Zentner’s text as a rural out-migrant and hillbilly reader. I discuss how IN THE WILD LIGHT raises questions about the experiences of rural out-migrants as well as the hero narrative attributed to rural folks who choose to leave their hometowns to pursue higher education.
For this episode, I discuss how Cash and Delaney’s out-migration helps us think about how place shapes the way we see and understand ourselves as well as how others see and understand us.
In this episode, I provide a brief summary of IN THE WILD LIGHT by Jeff Zentner and read from the first pages of the book.
In this interview, J.R. and I talk about everything from his rural background and its impact on his writing, building bridges across difference, the importance of translanguaging, and his writing life and advice for aspiring authors. See specific time codes below. 01:26 His rural background and its impact on his writing 07:58 Why he writesContinue reading “RRYAL: Author Talk – JR Jamison”
In this episode, I discuss some ideas for teaching Hillbilly Queer, including an argumentative assignment with a creative writing twist.
In this episode, I talk about my reaction to Jamison’s Hillbilly Queer as a rural reader.
In this episode, I analyze how place functions in Jamison’s memoir. In the talk, I mention my piece on Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday.
In this episode, I give a brief summary of J.R. Jamison’s memoir Hillbilly Queer and read a bit from the first pages.
In this video Nora and I discuss: 01:26 Her rural background and its impact on her writing 06:34 Why she became a writer 11:20 What her writing life is like 14:23 First drafts, failures, and knowing your process 22:49 Finding your unique voice 25:15 What makes a good story 29:38 The importance of audience 34:21Continue reading “RRYAL: Author Talk – Nora Shalaway Carpenter”
This episode features ideas for teaching Rural Voices.
In this episode, I walk through each of the individual pieces in the Rural Voices anthology, discussing what I liked or thought was important about them and share a favorite quote from each. Here are the time codes: 01:05 The (Unhealthy) Breakfast Club by Monica Roe 01:54 The Hole of Dark Kill Hollow by RobContinue reading “RRYAL: Nora Shalaway Carpenter’s Rural Voices Episode 3”
This video discusses Carpenter’s short story, “Close Enough” what it means to be from somewhere, and why folks may or may not claim a place as “theirs”.
This video gives an overview of the types of pieces that can be found in the Rural Voices anthology as well as discusses Carpenter’s goals for the project. You can find more about the individual pieces here. Visit Nora Shalaway Carpenter’s Author Page here.
In this episode, I discuss how the international and historic setting of The Reckless Kind provide opportunities for us to think about rural life in modern U.S. settings.
In this first episode, I introduce the book by providing a summary and reading the first pages,
In this episode, I drop some rapid fire ideas and then talk more in depth about how I would run place-based book clubs that look across Black experiences in rural and urban places. The clubs would serve to offer students an opportunity to explore and think with one another about the similarities and differences ofContinue reading “RRYAL: Kekla Magoon’s Season of Styx Malone Episode 4”
In this episode, I talk about my reaction to Magoon’s story. Representation matters, so I think one of the most important aspects of this book is that it gives readers opportunities to engage with the fact that people of color exist and thrive and experience hardship and joy in rural spaces. That they sometimes wantContinue reading “RRYAL: Kekla Magoon’s Season of Styx Malone Episode 3”
This episode provides a brief analysis of how place functions in the text, especially as it intersects with race. Here’s a well-resourced good start at learning about sundown towns:
This first episode provides a summary of and reading of the first pages of Kekla Magoon’s award-winning novel. **It has come to my attention that I did not pronounce Magoon’s name correctly in this first video. Now that I know better I will do better and get it right in subsequent videos.
In this episode I discuss a few ideas and approaches to teaching Sadie. For more information on teaching place through arts-integration with Sadie For more information on using arts-integration with YAL checkout this excellent book
In this episode, I discuss my reaction to the text as a rural reader and share some things that I appreciated about the book.
This episode discusses and analyzes the role of rurality and place in Sadie.
This is the inaugural four-part deep dive that paved the way for all the other episodes. Each subsequent series follows this structure – a summary video and reading of the first pages; an analysis of place in the text; my reaction as a rural reader; and some teaching ideas for folks interested in adding itContinue reading “RRYAL: Courtney Summers’s Sadie Episode 1”
I talk about some ideas for teaching The Serpent King in secondary English language arts classrooms.
I was so fortunate to get this book in my ALAN box. If you are an ELA teacher, librarian, or otherwise YA advocate, you need to know about ALAN aka Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE. Here’s a link to their website for more details about their annual conference and other helpful stuff. InContinue reading “RRYAL: Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King: Episode 1”
Over the past few months, I’ve book-talked eight rural YAL books over the course of 31 videos and interviewed four fabulous authors. In talking with folks who follow the show, I realized that it might be nice for y’all to be able to listen while on the move and not in front of a screen.Continue reading “Introducing the Reading Rural YAL Podcast!”
First, I’ll preface this post with the fact that I am not a trained linguist or sociolinguist. But, I am a speaker of a rural English variety. One that has always been at odds with the Standard Mainstream Upper/Middle-Class English valued in learning spaces. One that I worked hard to unlearn and keep out ofContinue reading “What Is (My) Rural Language Variety?”
Seeing all those Spotify year end posts got me thinking about what my stats for the Literacy In Place and Reading Rural YAL would be. I was curious to see how many rural books I’ve read, how many videos I’ve made, and how many blog posts I’ve done. A disclaimer: Technically this isn’t a wholeContinue reading “A Year(ish) in Review”
First, a story about stories Today, I talked to my dad. True to form he was in his car, parked at the local Moose Lodge, and smoking a cigarette. I suppose in that moment he seemed quite the rural hillbilly stereotype. As we talked, he told me stories of stories. In particular, he recounted oneContinue reading “Tell Us Your Story”
As I was scrolling through Instagram this morning, I came across an opinion piece published in the Washington Post that had been shared by @ReadingAppalachia called “When J.D. Vance called himself a hillbilly, it made me mad. Now I’m upset that he stopped.” by Cassie Chambers Armstrong. In it she discusses her frustration and ire that VanceContinue reading “Who Gets to be a Hillbilly?”
In July, I returned home. For months leading up to that trip, I stared out my kitchen window thinking about it. Because my heart constantly calls for home. Even when doing the dishes. I’ve been thinking a lot about what home is and means and the privilege I have in being able to return toContinue reading “Imagining (a) Home”
A City Exchange A while back, my dad visited me in Austin. Because of our love for Texas singer/songwriters and Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues,” the Texas Chili Parlor (and a Mad Dog Margarita) was a necessary excursion. We decided to make the three-block trip on foot in the heat of August. Now, Dad has aContinue reading ““Can I be your friend?””
First, A Little History: In elementary school, I remember going to a school convocation in Harrison Elementary where a woman taught us about the history of Gaston. All I remember is that the town sprang up in the 1850s because of the natural gas boom. Thus the name Gas-town – Gaston. The pocket wasn’t asContinue reading “Investing in Community: Gaston’s The Barking Cow”
How do you describe someone who has left one kind of population for another when there are no international borders crossed? How do you name and categorize that movement? This question and predicament always reminds me of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. In it Anse Bundren describes knowing that God didn’t intend for men toContinue reading “Out-Migrant”
I’m obsessed with my work. It’s all my favorite things – research, reading, writing, and place-connected people. Which means that I talk about it…a lot. One of the things that always strikes me is the number of folks who ask me about the definitions of some of the terms that I use. I guess becauseContinue reading “What is rurality?”
If this is where I’m from…. And this is where I live now… Am I still rural? It’s this question that started this whole project. Spoiler alert – I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that I’m constantly grappling with it. I am uncertain how to define myself. I feel more ruralContinue reading “Am I Still Rural?”