In a time of inflated posturing and relentless self-promotion, Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poems offer a refuge where one’s curiosity, intelligence, and awareness of the complexities of contemporary Appalachian female culture take shape. The work is firmly and unapologetically attached to her home soil, and is an examination of the long-lasting effects of stereotype and false narratives surrounding native Appalachians. More than merely commenting, her work dares to search for meaning.
Gunter-Seymour is a ninth generation Appalachian and editor of six anthologies, "Women Speak," volumes 1-5 and "Essentially Athens Ohio." She holds a B.F.A. in graphic design and an M.A. in commercial photography and is a retired instructor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She is the Immediate Past Poet Laureate of Athens, Ohio. A poem she wrote in support of families living in poverty in Athens County, OH, went viral and has been seen by over 100,000 people, resulting in thousands of dollars donated to her local food pantry.
Her poetry appears in several publications including, Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Main Street Rag, Stirring, Still, CALYX and The LA Times. Her chapbook “Serving” is available from Crisis Chronicles Press. Her pieces “I Knew Bad New Had Come,” "Middle East Veteran's Wife", “Serving” and "Everything Tilts", were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the first-place winner of Still: The Journal's 2018 Literary Contest, the 2018 Hocking Hills Poetry Festival competition and the 2017 National Federation of State Poetry Societies BlackBerryPeach Spoken and Heard Competition, a competition that challenges poets to present their original poetry in print and spoken word.
Her award winning photography has been published nationally in The Sun Magazine, Light Journal, Looking at Appalachia, Storm Cellar Quarterly, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Vine Leaves Journal and Appalachian Heritage Magazine.
Kari is the founder/executive director of the “Women of Appalachia Project,” an arts organization she created to address discrimination directed at women from the Appalachian region by encouraging participation from women artists (spoken word and fine art ) of diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to come together, embrace the stereotype, show the whole woman; beyond the superficial factors people use to judge her. (www.womenofappalachia.com).