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Rose McLarney, an associate professor creative writing in the Department of English, is a recipient of this year’s Weatherford Awards for the best books about Appalachia.

The Weatherford Awards honor books deemed as best illuminating the challenges, personalities and unique qualities of the Appalachian South. Granted by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association for 50 years, the awards commemorate the life and achievements of W.D. Weatherford Sr., a pioneer and leading figure in Appalachian development, youth work and race relations, and his son, Willis D. Weatherford Jr., Berea College’s sixth president. These winning authors will be recognized at the 2020 Appalachian Studies Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, on March 13.

Rose McLarney’s Forage delves into the intimate and threatened interconnection of the land and its waters, people, animals and terrain.

“Forage is a haunting and intricate collection that beautifully represents the complexity of our region in remarkably crafted poems,” wrote one Weatherford judge.

The collection’s final poem, “Fresh Tracks,” relates the tale of a new dog-coyote-wolf hybrid that comes “from cold forest cut and no more, from trees, / from all we’ve made fall like trees.” They roam “Into the unheralded havens of highway sides, into the unclaimed / kingdoms of park corners.” For no matter how civilization sprawls, “life persists / despite the end of one form.”

McLarney is the author of three poetry collections and has won the National Poetry Series, the Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry, among other prizes. She is co-editor in chief and poetry editor of the Southern Humanities Review.

For more about McLarney, go to