“Jimson Weed” Unveils Latest Edition

On November 16 the college’s literary journal hosted its regular Coffee Night event, featuring guest speakers Rita Quillen, Robert Gipe and contributors to the fall edition.

The staff of “Jimson Weed” unveiled the literary journal’s fall 2016 edition Nov. 16 with the help of contributors to the journal and two renowned Appalachian authors.

Rita Quillen at Coffee Night. Photo: Taysha DeVaughan | The Highland Cavalier
Rita Quillen at Coffee Night.
Photo: Taysha DeVaughan | The Highland Cavalier

“Jimson Weed” Managing Editor Shelby Roberts and Assistant Managing Editor Heaven Parridgen, who assumed their duties this fall, hosted the journal’s biannual Coffee Night at UVa-
Wise’s Slemp Student Center Rhododendron Room with approximately 90 guests from the college and surrounding area.

Guest speakers, Rita Quillen and Robert Gipe opened the event with readings from their respective works.

Quillen, Coffee Night’s first featured speaker since its inception, is the author of the collection of poems, ‘The Mad Farmer’s Wife’, and is a full-time writer after her retirement as an associate professor of English at Mountain Empire Community College.

Gipe is the author of the novel ‘Trampoline’, and directs the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Both Quillen and Gipe have been recognized critically and with various awards for their respective depictions of Appalachian life and culture.

Robert Gipe at Coffee Night. Photo: Taysha DeVaughan | The Highland Cavalier
Robert Gipe at Coffee Night.
Photo: Taysha DeVaughan | The Highland Cavalier

Other speakers shared their works published in “Jimson Weed” with the audience through poems, short stories and music.

UVa-Wise adjunct instructor Lavonne Baker performed Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a Changin’’, followed by music from Jerry Stanley and Peyton Kendrick.

Henry S. Keuling-Stout, a regular at Coffee Night, also shared with the audience pieces of work written by his late wife, Frances Keuling-Stout.

Several students, faculty, staff and local residents also read from their work, including Ben Rasnic, Neva Bryan, Michael Samerdyke, Dylan Mabe, Veronica Presley and Victoria Lane.

The night ended with remarks, and puns, from UVa-Wise Language and Literature Department Chairman Dr. John Mark Adrian.

Copies of the latest ‘Jimson Weed’ are available free at display racks across the UVa-Wise campus. Previous versions of the literary journal are also available upon request. Contact ‘Jimson Weed’ faculty advisor Gilliam Huang-Tiller at gch7u@uvawise.edu for more information.

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