Winchester resident Jacqueline Kohl contributed a creative non-fiction work, “The Christmas Chair,” to the anthology “Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas: A Wealth of Kentucky Holiday Tales.”
The newly-released anthology spans decades and includes a wide range of pieces written by literary legends and contemporary masters from across the state. As the book’s editor, James B. Goode, writes in his introduction, the selections he chose appealed to him because they covered “a range of themes from those that wax nostalgic to those that examine the dark side of holiday dysfunction.”
“Christmas stories, poems and songs were being written by Kentucky writers almost from the beginning of the Commonwealth in 1792,” Goode wrote.
As Goode was compiling selections for the anthology, he realized “the amount of quality material not anthologized far exceeded expectations,” according to the introduction.
Divided into 12 sections to reflect the holiday’s 12 days, this 230-page collection reflects the wealth of material that Kentucky writers have to draw from during the holidays. Memories of home, history and heritage all serve as inspiration and connect readers with the range of emotions the season can inspire.
The stories, songs, essays and poems gathered capture scenes of great sweetness, sadness, joy, dark humor and everything in between.
Featured writers include Harriette Arnow, Wendell Berry, Sallie Bingham, Irvin S. Cobb, John Fox Jr., James B. Goode, Tammy Ramsey, Jane Stuart, James Still, Allen Tate, Stephen M. Vest, Frank X. Walker, Robert Penn Warren and Crystal Wilkinson.
Kohl will be autographing copies of “Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas” at Court Street Gifts in downtown Winchester from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, as part of the national Shop Small Saturday program, held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to support locally-owned businesses.
She also will read her story at the Crabbe Library at Eastern Kentucky University at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. The event is free and open to the public.
Civic and church groups interested in Kohl reading her story may contact her at email@example.com.
Kohl teaches writing and composition at EKU and the Winchester campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She was awarded the Jesse Stuart Fellowship several years ago while working on her master’s degree in fine arts at Murray State University.
Although she has written for newspapers and magazines, this is her first work published in a book.
Next year, Kohl will portray Appalachian educator Alice Lloyd as part of the Chatauqua program with the Kentucky Humanities Council.