Professor, Writer Shines Spotlight On LGBTQ Appalachian Authors


On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll learn about the name of the town of Odd, West Virginia in Raleigh County. Also, in this show, we hear a conversation with a professor in Appalachia who works to lift the voices of LGBTQ authors in rural spaces, and we hear this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week brought to us by the John Pizzarelli Trio.

Matthew Thomas-Reid grew up in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, where being queer wasn’t exactly easy. But today, as a former public-school teacher-turned-professor at Appalachia State University, he recognizes the importance of being a voice for the LGBTQ community in the region. In his contribution to the newly released anthology “Storytelling in Queer Appalachia: Imagining and Writing the Unspeakable Other,” Thomas-Reid reflects on his childhood and his family stories of grappling with being queer. He spoke with 100 Days in Appalachia’s Jesse Wright via a Zoom call about his writing, his childhood and the impact that lifting the voices of LGBTQ authors in rural spaces can have on the next generation.

In this weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear another story in our ongoing segment called “What’s in a Name?” It’s where we explore how a river, mountain, road or town got its name. Have you ever been curious for the story behind Odd, West Virginia? Our southern Coalfields reporter Caitlin Tan has been digging into this to learn more about Odd and where it got its name.  

This week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week is a playful number from the John Pizzarelli Trio called “Save the Bones for Henry Jones,” with Mike Karn on bass, Konrad Paszkuozki on piano, and John Pizzarelli on guitar and vocals. The song appears on Pizzarelli’s latest, “For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole.”

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our Appalachia Health News project is made possible with support from CAMC and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Glynis Board, Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Kara Lofton, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Brittany Patterson, Eric Douglas, Corey Knollinger, Emily Allen, and Roxy Todd.

Dave Mistich produced and hosted this show.

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