In-Migrant by Ben Lathrop

On July 7, 2021, the day that two semis arrived at the ramshackle 1889 three-story home we’d purchased in Attica, Indiana (pop. 3,100), carrying all the belongings our family of seven had accumulated over the past 17 years, the family across the street—Randy, Ann, Susan, and Alex—showed up with a pan of homemade lasagna (allContinue reading “In-Migrant by Ben Lathrop”

Terena Elizabeth Bell | Teaser

Sometimes when I’m doing these talks, there’s part of the discussion that I really want to include but I’m not sure how to fit it in. This time it was just too good not to share, so I’ve made my first teaser. Sitting down with Bell was like chatting with an old friend from wordContinue reading “Terena Elizabeth Bell | Teaser”

Guest Post | A rural out-migrant’s kinship with displaced people

By: Jennifer C. Mann I am so excited and grateful for this week’s guest post! I started this blog hoping it would be a place where folks would do the very thing Jennifer Mann is doing here–reflecting on how their rural upbringing and identity are intertwined with their identities as teachers (and/or students). I identifiedContinue reading “Guest Post | A rural out-migrant’s kinship with displaced people”

Work & (Un)Learning (Some) Rural Values

Lately I’ve been thinking not only about the things I learn from my work but also what I realize I need to unlearn. I have started to notice things and ask questions about certain ideologies and behaviors that I don’t think I would’ve otherwise. Why I do what I do? And is it good? AContinue reading “Work & (Un)Learning (Some) Rural Values”

Preserving Rural History & Lifeways | Tipton County Library

In April of 2017, Mamaw gave me a book that contained a chapter written by her mom, my Granny (Garnet Pryor). I was still relatively young when my Granny died, and as is usually the case, hadn’t thought to ask her about her growin’ up years. Instead, I played with her homemade dolls, ate herContinue reading “Preserving Rural History & Lifeways | Tipton County Library”

Guest Post | Gretchen Schroeder

I’m so excited for this guest contribution! I’ve written on here quite a bit about my own efforts to work through and understand my identity as a rural person who is now an out-migrant. I’ve also discussed my analysis of the tensions in rural identity in Nora Shalaway Carpenter‘s short story “Close Enough”. Which reallyContinue reading “Guest Post | Gretchen Schroeder”

Rebuilding Our Worlds Again: Part 3

While interviewing the out-migrant teachers who participated in my dissertation study, those of us with children talked about the tensions we felt around how our kids were growing up differently than we did. That they were removed from rural living and their rural family members which meant that they didn’t have access to the oralContinue reading “Rebuilding Our Worlds Again: Part 3”

Building Our Worlds Again: Part 2

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”

Why We Need More Rural Voices In Publishing

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”

Building Our Worlds Again: Preserving Rural Stories and Culture

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”

The Whippoorwill Book Award for Rural YA Literature

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”

Our First Guest Contribution!

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!”

What Is (My) Rural Language Variety?

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?”

Who Gets to be a Hillbilly?

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?”

“Can I be your friend?”

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?””