WSCC to host 13th annual Mildred Haun conference

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2023

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Walters State Community College will host the 13th Annual Mildred Haun Conference on Feb. 3-4 on the Morristown Campus. The conference is a celebration of Appalachian literature, culture and scholarship. The name honors Mildred Haun, a Hamblen County native and the author of “The Hawk’s Done Gone.” Published in 1940, the work is considered a classic in Appalachian literature.

This year’s theme is “Appalachia Remembers: Mining for Memories.” Events are free and the public is welcome to attend one or all events. Events will be held in the R. Jack Fishman Library.

Pauletta Hansel is the keynote speaker. Hansel’s “Palindrome” received the 2017

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Weatherford Award for poetry. Her newest collection, “Heartbreak Tree,” explores the intersection of gender and place in Appalachia. Hansel was born and raised in southeastern Kentucky and was a founding member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. She was the first Poet Laureate of Cincinnati.

Hansel will speak at 2:15 p.m. on Friday.

Registration begins on both days at 8 a.m. and continues throughout the day.

Following is a list of activities during the two-day event:

Friday, Feb. 3:

9-10:30 a.m. – Fiction Workshop with Susan O’Dell Underwood

10:45-11:30 a.m. – “Set Your Shoes Together: The Importance of Folk Traditions in Appalachian Culture,” scholarly presentation by Lauren Fowler

12:30-2 p.m. – Nonfiction/Memoir Workshops with Wayne Thomas

2:15-3:30 p.m. – Keynote Speech with Pauletta Hansel

3:30 p.m. – Mildred Haun Award of Excellence Presentation and book giveaway

Saturday, Feb. 4:

9-10:30 a.m. – Songwriting Workshop with Marci Nimick (Instruments are welcome.)

10:45-11:45 a.m. – “Embodying History: Overcoming Intersectional Oppression in Annette Saunooke Chapsaddle’s ‘Even as We Breath,’” scholarly presentation by April Conley Kilinski and Jason Mead

10:45-11:45 a.m. – “Mining for Appalachian Information: Where and How to Access Facts, Stories and Histories Online and In-Person” scholarship presentation by Julie Lewis

12:15-2:15 p.m. – Poetry Workshop with Melissa Helton

2:30-3:15 p.m. – Session to be announced.

In addition to the sessions, Appalachian books will be available throughout the


For more information and to register in advance, visit or contact Gayle Nelsen at 423-585-6922 or


Pauletta Hansel is the keynote speaker for the 13th Annual Mildred Haun

Conference, planned for Feb. 3-4 at the Walters State Morristown Campus. (photo credit:

Kentucky Rose Photography)