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Wednesday February 08, 2023

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Mildred Haun Conference Scheduled for Feb. 3-4
January 5, 2023

Walters State Community College will host the 13th Annual Mildred Haun Conference 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 Judge William H. Inman Humanities Complex.
Pauletta Hansel is the keynote speaker. Hansel’s “Palindrome” received the 2017 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. 

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

In the photo: 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)