"Kari Gunter-Seymour's A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen does what journalists and J.D. Vance failed to do: it provides an intimate look at a landscape and family from within Appalachia while recognizing that one story does not the region make. That said, the connections Gunter-Seymour creates throughout her book weave the Appalachian and American together, providing a rare glimpse of what unity might look like."
- Jessica Cory CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW
In a time of inflated posturing and relentless self-promotion, Kari Gunter-Seymour’s poems offer a refuge. 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 Appalachians. More than merely commenting, her work dares to search for meaning. She is a recipient of a 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship grant.
Her current collection, winner of the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award and long listed for the Jacar Press Julie Suk Award, A Place So Deep Inside America It Can't Be Seen, is available from Sheila-Na_Gig Editions and can be purchased HERE. Read reviews of the book from Southern Literary Review, Ohioana Quarterly and Cultural Weekly.
Gunter-Seymour is a ninth generation Appalachian and editor of "I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio's Appalachian Voices," funded by the Academy of American Poets and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Women of Appalachia Project™ anthologies, "Women Speak," volumes 1-7 and "Essentially Athens Ohio," an anthology focused on landmarks, tales and experiences of those living in or deeply connected to Athens county. 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. 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. She is the winner of the 2021 Lascaux Prize in Poetry. She is Poet Laureate of Ohio.
Her work was selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to be included in the PBS American Portrait crowdsourced poem, Remix: For My People. Her poetry has been featured in The NY Times, World Literature Today, Verse Daily, and appears in many fine publications. Her chapbook “Serving” is available from Crisis Chronicles Press. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. She teaches a monthly workshop series and has worked with incarcerated men, women, teens, and women in recovery housing.
She is the founder, curator and host of Spoken & Heard, a seasonal performance series featuring poets, writers and musicians from across the country, sponsored by Stuart's Opera House, Nelsonville, OH.
Her award winning photography has been published nationally in The Sun Magazine, World Literature Today, Light Journal, Looking at Appalachia, Storm Cellar Quarterly, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Vine Leaves Journal and Appalachian Review.
Gunter-Seymour 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).