See Disclaimer Below.

Posts Tagged ‘language’

The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Bobby Ann Mason Volume III

In Art, Arts & Letters, Book Reviews, Creative Writing, Creativity, Fiction, Humanities, News Release, Poetry, Writing on July 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Allen Mendenhall

Below is a news release for a volume that features my poem “Conversation on a Rail.”

News Release: The third volume of The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Bobbie Ann Mason edition, is now for sale at the Shepherd University Book Store (see  This newest book in the collection  presents a selection of stories, essays, poetry, and photographic art, which provide readers with an extraordinary look at the language, storytelling, cultural traditions and heritage of Appalachians—Appalachians working and living in the region today and yesterday.         

As with each previous volume, a common center is provided by the literary art and talent of the 2010 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University and recipient of the Heritage Writer’s Award—Kentucky writer Bobbie Ann Mason.  Mason’s work brings to literary life the common folk and the everyday working classes—living, learning, and trying to cope and survive in the complex world they find before them.  

The book also contains stories by two winners of the 2010 West Virginia Fiction Competition selected by Mason.  Mason wrote of Natalie Sypolt’s “Save the Lettuce”: “This is a tight, controlled, powerful story.  Nothing is overdone.”  Like Mason’s award-winning novel In Country, Sypolt’s short fiction piece is a powerful story about war without the war.  Read the rest of this entry »

On My Teaching

In Arts & Letters, Communication, Information Design, Pedagogy, Rhetoric, Rhetoric & Communication, Writing on January 10, 2011 at 8:05 am

Allen Mendenhall

Everything is an argument.  I say that not because I’m a lawyer, but because all writing has a rhetorical purpose.  Poets have reasons for writing what they write, just as technical writers have reasons for writing what they write.  Poets have audiences; technical writers have audiences.  What distinguishes poetry from technical writing, or from any kind of writing for that matter, is audience expectation, or, in a word, genre.  Students in my classroom quickly learn that all writing has a purpose that usually, though not always, has to do with audience.  They learn to anticipate audience by contextualizing writing.  A brief for a judge, for example, serves a different purpose than an expository essay, and thus a “good” brief will look different from a “good” creative narrative.  A short story by Toni Morrison may be good writing, but it does not fit the needs of a peer-reviewed academic journal because the audience and genre do not match.  A crucial process of writing therefore involves understanding cultural and social interaction and their relation to discourse communities.  Communication, after all, is participatory and not unilateral.  It is the transmission of information from one source to another through particular media such as language.  The receiver or reader is as important to writing as the sender or writer.          Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: