Barbara Kingsolver, will give the keynote address for the 2022 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence awards ceremony at the Frank Center auditorium on the Shepherd University campus (Thursday, September 29, 7pm).
“Writing followed me until I finally accepted it” said Kingsolver, as she spoke on earlier in the week, on Wednesday, to a packed auditorium on the Shepherd University campus about how she came to be a writer — and why she continues to be excited about writing every day. “It feels good to do this work, when I write about things I think are important. Its how I earn my place on the planet.”
“I’m a writer, but it really started with reading,” she explained about her adventures with books growing up in a small Kentucky town, reading every book in her house (including her father’s medical books). At the library, she recalls “pulling down the books from the highest shelf I could reach.”
During the Wednesday event, Kingsolver took questions from the audience. Responding to a question of how to encourage a child who likes to write, she emphasized “make sure it remains a joyful process, not just a goal.” She also remarked that she remains confident about the audience for books despite the competition of so much pervasive online content — “there are still readers and people are still buying books. There is a great diversity in publishing with small and independent publishers, so many voices.” As for worrying about the next generation of readers and writers, she struck an optimistic note. — “When I joined Instagram, I found out I was already a hashtag — #BarbaraKingsolver — and there’s a thing called ‘bookgramming’ where people take pictures of the books they’ve read.”
By Steve Pearson