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Marshall’s Departments of Graduate Humanities and English create anthology of students’ written works

Marshall University’s departments of English and Graduate Humanities have teamed up with Mountain State Press to publish an anthology of works by Marshall students, faculty and alumni. The anthology is entitled “We Are Appalachia!” and was edited by Brooke Hypes, a 2023 Marshall graduate and a contributor to the book.

“ ‘We Are Appalachia!’ is a collection of stories, poems and essays to speak to myriad visions and perspectives on Appalachia,” said Cat Pleska, a fulltime instructor in Marshall’s Department of English and Graduate Humanities program. “It showcases voices not heard before as well as many who are well-known. Contributors include students in the English Graduate program and Graduate Humanities Program.”

The anthology is “a powerful illustration of how diverse experiences of a place can yield examples and dynamic understanding of Appalachia often glossed in popular imaginings of what it’s like to live here,” said Eric Luke Lassiter, a professor and director of the Marshall University Graduate Humanities Program.

The collection was the result of a class Pleska taught for the Graduate Humanities program, cross-listed with Graduate English students in the spring of 2022. It was called Publishing Appalachia: Mountain State Press, and the student contributions in the anthology come from creative work the students produced for the class. It’s a showcase not just for Marshall students’ work, but it also demonstrates the importance of providing students with real-life experiences, concrete skill-building, and collaboration on projects resulting in a public format, Pleska said.

“Fourteen Marshall students contributed to the collection (10 graduate and 4 undergraduate), as well as three retired faculty, two current faculty, three from the community,” Pleska said. “A student intern from Marshall graphic arts program, Morgan Barchett, created the cover art and prepared the book for printing — and even the proofreader is a former Marshall English professor. President Brad Smith graciously wrote the preface and has a poem included.”

The publisher, Mountain State Press, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1978 that serves as a traditional, literary press in West Virginia with a mission to publish West Virginians and Appalachians. It is currently housed in Corbly Hall, and Pleska serves as a volunteer board member, president and editor-in-chief for the nonprofit. The press created this collection/anthology in collaboration with Marshall.

The book is currently available through the Press’s website: and through Amazon.

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