Silas House to Serve as Keynote Speaker at SCC's Arnow Conference on Appalachian Literature and Culture on April 7 | SCC

Silas House to Serve as Keynote Speaker at SCC's Arnow Conference on Appalachian Literature and Culture on April 7

Published on Mar 23, 2017

Silas house sitting on chairSilas House, author of five novels, three plays and co-author of a creative nonfiction book about social protest, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Arnow Conference on Appalachian Literature and Culture, on Friday, April 7, at Somerset Community College.

The conference, which is sponsored by the Somerset Tourist and Convention Commission, is named for author and Wayne County native Harriette Simpson Arnow. Events will begin in the Harold Rogers Student Commons on the SCC Somerset Campus, located at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset. The theme of the 2017 conference is “Digging for Our Roots: Exploring and Sharing Our Past.” The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 and includes a light breakfast and lunch.

About Silas House*

Silas House serves as the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Appalachian Literature at Berea College. He is also part of the fiction faculty at Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, a former commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered" and a former contributing editor for No Depression magazine, where he has done long features on artists such as Lucinda Williams, Nickel Creek and many others. He is also one of Nashville’s most in-demand press kit writers, having written the press kit bios for such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Kathy Mattea, Leann Womack, Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) and others. A former writer-in-residence at Lincoln Memorial University, he is the creator of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.

House is the winner of the E. B. White Award, the Audie Award (best narration), the Nautilus Award, a two-time finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Novel of the Year, the Appalachian Writer of the Year, recipient of the Lee Smith Award, the Hobson Medal for Literature, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Chaffin Prize for Literature, the Award for Special Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, The Parents' Choice Award and many other honors. In 2009 the Silas House Literary Seminar was given at Emory and Henry College. For his environmental activism, House received the Helen Lewis Community Service Award in 2008 from the Appalachian Studies Association. In 2010, he was awarded the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Kentucky Council of English Teachers.

House’s work can be found in The New York Times, Newsday, Best Food Writing 2014, Oxford American, Bayou, The Southeast Review, The Louisville Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Wind, Night Train, and others, as well as in the anthologies The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume 3, New Stories From the South 2004: The Year’s Best, Christmas in the South, A Kentucky Reader, Of Woods and Water, Motif, We All Live Downstream, Missing Mountains, A Kentucky Christmas, Shouts and Whispers, High Horse, The Alumni Grill, Stories From the Blue Moon Café I and II and many others.

House was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. He is the father of two daughters and has three dogs:  Rufus, Holly, and Pepper. He divides his time between London and Berea, Kentucky.

House will be joined at the Arnow Conference by other well-known writers, poets, genealogy experts, playwrights and songwriters such as Lee Pennington, Crystal Wilkinson, Gurney Norman, Jonathan New, Sam Gleaves, Kay Spillman, Steve Cleberg and Avery Bradshaw.

To find out more about the 2017 Arnow Conference on Appalachian Literature and Culture, visit