Not Yay, or Yipee, which can denote sarcasm, but a full-fledged Yeeeeehaw (or maybe Yahooooo would be better, which comes from deeper in the throat and belly when yelled). I got an e-mail from the journal Appalachian Heritage that they liked one of the poems I sent them. "The Night I Met Franklin Graham," will be published this fall. For those who have never heard of the publication, it is an Appalachian regional literary magazine (some people say the Appalachian literary magazine) out of Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. The college was founded on the belief that anyone from the Appalachian region deserves a college education regardless of socioeconomic status, so every one of its 1,500 students admitted gets a 4-year-tuition scholarship. Its programs also focus on preserving and promoting regional culture through literature, history, the arts, and so on. So it's even more of an honor for me to be a part of that, however small that may be.
I'm also excited about next Sunday. Our literary band of varlets, the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative (SAWC), will be having a reading (including little ol' me) at 3 pm at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. Many writers will have books to promote and I believe our latest issue of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel will be available as well, showcasing samples of everyone's work. As I've mentioned before, I'm a little nervous. I'm used to audiences of high school teenagers who usually only pay attention to half the stuff I say. It's a little different reading poetry to a group of adults, when people are trying to catch every word and nuance I utter. I haven't decided what I'm reading yet, either. Maybe I should just break the ice like Carl Sandburg used to -- arrive wearing overalls and a checkered work shirt and play some folk songs on my guitar first (to hell with what Robert Frost said about playing tennis without a net). Now, if only I knew how to play guitar.