A Look Back at the First Year of 'Appalachian Places'


Photo by Ron Roach

In August 2021 we launched Appalachian Places: Stories from the Highlands. Appalachian Places is a nonprofit publication dedicated to telling the stories of people and places in the Appalachian mountains and other highland regions. The magazine is published by the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services.

This new digital magazine continued the tradition of Now and Then: The Appalachian Magazine, which the Center published for more than 30 years. In our first issue, we noted that the name of our new publication was chosen to reflect the strong sense of place in our region, describing both the power of the mountain landscape and the strong attachment that highland people have for the places they call home.

Appalachian Places was also founded to help support the ETSU mission to improve the quality of life for the people of the region, and so we determined to publish quality articles, poems, reviews, photos, and other works that provide thought-provoking commentary on the Appalachian region and related mountain places.

Looking back over our first year, we believe that Appalachian Places has lived up to its name and mission. The range of stories, poems, and photo-essays we have published in the first year reflects the many different expressions of places and placemaking across Appalachia and in other highland regions.

This successful first year of Appalachian Places was made possible by our dedicated editorial team: poetry editor Jesse Graves, photographic editor Charlie Warden, assistant editor Becky Parsons, and our new editorial and graduate assistant Skylar Baker-Jordan. They have done incredible work to launch and sustain this publication in its first year.

We also owe a huge debt to the talented writers and photographers who have submitted content to this new publication, as well as to the communities that have allowed us to tell their stories. Thank you and please continue to send us your stories, photos, and poems.

We are excited about continuing the good work of Appalachian Places, with a long list of future story ideas and many more that are as yet unknown. As we look ahead, we reproduce here the photo from our first editor’s note, depicting a rough stone staircase above Edinburgh, Scotland, to represent our continuing quest to explore and connect the many places and stories of mountain regions around the world.

We invite you to join us on our continuing journey, pursuing what we can learn from one another about the places we call home and how we might contribute to a better quality of life for people in Appalachia and on other mountains around the world.


Ron Roach

Chair and Professor, Department of Appalachian Studies.

Director, Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services.

Rebecca Adkins Fletcher

Associate Professor, Department of Appalachian Studies.

Assistant Director, Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services.


Mark Rutledge

Managing Editor