The AWiR post is sponsored by Ashe County Public Library in partnership with On the Same Page. Each author chosen for this residency strives to portray contemporary Appalachia with nuance and authenticity in their work. The AWiR is an integral part of the festival, participating in a number of events spanning the entire week of the festival.
This year's AWiR is Robert Gipe, who won the 2015 Weatherford Award for outstanding Appalachian novel for his first novel Trampoline. His second novel is Weedeater (2018). Gipe is North Carolinian by birth, Tennessean by raising, son of a warehouse supervisor and a registered nurse. He attended college in North Carolina and graduate school up north. He worked as a pickle packer and a forklift operator before landing a job at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky. He is the Appalachian Program Director at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College and producer of the community performance series, Higher Ground.
On his own writing, Gipe says,
"The sound of people telling one another stories is the most precious sound in the world. Trying to catch that sound on the page is my favorite part of writing. As far as the drawings go, I have drawn pictures all my life, much longer than I have written stories, and with more compulsion."
Author Reading • Tuesday, September 17, 3 pm • Ashe County Public Library
Workshop Series • Tuesday & Wednesday, September 17-18, 6:30-8:30 pm • Ashe County Public Library • Registration required
Author Reading • Wednesday, September 18, 10:30 am • Ashe Campus of Wilkes Community College • For students of WCC-Ashe and Ashe Early College
Lunch with an Author • Thursday, September 19, 12:30 pm • location TBD • Registration Required