ETSU professor publishes second volume of CrossRoads01.07.2006
JOHNSON CITY, TN — The second volume of CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual was recently published by Mercer University Press, which released the first volume in 2004.
The series of books, dedicated to the interdisciplinary study and artistic appreciation of the South and Southern culture, traces its roots to the CrossRoads journal published in the 1990s by graduate students at the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. The periodical featured previously unpublished material by leading scholars, creative writers and artists devoted to interpreting and celebrating the South.
One of the students who organized, developed and edited the original CrossRoads was Dr. Ted Olson, now an associate professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University. Olson serves as editor for the new works, selecting materials for and penning the introductions to the annual volumes. He is currently preparing the third volume of CrossRoads for publication in the fall of 2006.
The second volume contains more than 500 pages of materials exploring cultural life in the South and Appalachia. Among the works from 40 scholars, writers and artists are entries by three ETSU faculty members: Fred Sauceman, senior writer, executive assistant to the president for public affairs, and associate professor of Appalachian Studies, is the author of an essay about the Cherokee use of ramps, "A Smelly Business But Good"; English professor Dr. Fred Waage submitted an essay entitled "Walking These Hills with Hubert: Topography, Inhabitation, and Ecology in the Novels of Hubert Skidmore"; and Dr. Thomas Burton, English professor emeritus, is the author of a short story, "On Checking Out."
The new volume of CrossRoads features works gathered from across the South, Appalachia, elsewhere in the U.S. and other countries, including Canada and Scotland. Entries include previously unpublished letters sent during the 1960s by famed writer Donald Davidson to noted scholar M. Thomas Inge; a reminiscence of another important Southern author, Andrew Lytle, written by Lytle's former student, fiction writer Thomas McConnell; a study of African-American writer Alex Haley by scholar Margaret D. Bauer; an essay on neglected Southern novelist Corra Harris by scholar Peter Schmidt; a study of Cajun music by musicologist Ryan A. Brasseaux; and a memoir from former Grand Ole Opry employee Stephen Newton.
The book also gathers essays by such acclaimed contemporary writers as Donald Edward Davis, Judy Loest, Jeff Daniel Marion, Kathryn Bright Gurkin and Jeff Biggers; short stories by several fiction writers, including R.T. Smith and Laura Payne Butler; poetry from respected poets like David Huddle, Linda Parsons Marion and Tony Morris; and visual artwork from such artists as Suzanne Stryk, Robert L. McDonald, Nathaniel Welch and Bart Galloway.
The second volume of CrossRoads is Olson's fourth book to be published in 2005. The three earlier works included the paperback edition of his award-winning book, James Still's From the Mountain, From the Valley: New and Collected Poems (University Press of Kentucky), which Olson edited; The Bristol Sessions: Writings About the Big Bang of Country Music (McFarland), co-authored by Olson and country music historian Charles K. Wolfe of Middle Tennessee State University; and Olson's newly-edited collection of author Sarah Orne Jewett's best-known works, The Country of the Pointed Firs and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes and Noble Classics). Olson's fifth book this year will be Breathing in Darkness, a collection of his own poetry to be published by Wind Publications.
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