Book Look and Talk

what’s coming up

Join me on March 5, 2023 at 3:00pm EST to spend some time in the world of Linney Stepp. I will be in conversation with poet and novelist, Diane Gilliam about her new work. THE BOOK CANOPY, a collective of women writers who read, discuss and promote books by women writers, will present an online conversation with the author.

I came to know Diane Gilliam as a poet, author of the collections, One of Everything, Kettle Bottom, and Dreadful Wind and Rain
When I read her deft, lyrical poems of Appalachian people and culture, I knew Diane and I shared a desire to represent people often stereotyped if not forgotten in the American historical past. In “Linney Stepp,” an ordinary girl becomes extraordinary as she chooses her life’s trajectory in the face of the loving bonds of her close-knit family and Appalachian culture. Sometimes it is more difficult to wrestle individuality from loving, but rigid structures mandated by class and geography than to run from tragic circumstances and start over.

The voice of Linney Stepp

Once I met a doe in the woods in that starving time right between the end of winter and the breaking through of spring. Not a bit of green nowhere, the whole world brown and dry as an old creek bed. The doe looked at me, the purest look you could ever imagine. There wasn’t no asking in it, nothing like that. Liked to broke my heart. I went to get her a cabbage out of the cellar, even though there was only four left and I knew Mama would know somebody’d took one. But the doe was gone when I got back.

The voice of the author:

I was always a girl with a book. I carried my favorites around with me and read on the way to and from school. I wrote my very first novel in third or fourth grade, about an indentured servant named Anastasia who ran away–so I did think I could be a writer when I was very young. As I got older though and people started asking what I wanted to “do,” writing was not the best answer and over the years my answer changed to “teacher,” then “scholar.” – Diane Gilliam

I have a few questions to ask Diane about character, setting and representation. Join us on Zoom under The Book Canopy.


photo by Julie Rockefeller

Come up to Hobart! Come and celebrate the work of women writers for Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2023. We are in-person in Hobart, New York, the Reading Capital of New York State for Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2023 on

JUNE 16TH, 17TH & 18TH

We’re presenting a great lineup of Participating Writers offering workshops, readings and panel discussions. Mark your calendar and don’t miss it!

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