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00:00:03 - Her play "Braids" and the unique method of writing for the stage

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Partial Transcript: I, is that the sa--in England we say, um, "What you gain on the roundabout you lose on the turn."

Segment Synopsis: Lyon and the interviewer Gurney Norman discuss the difficulties of writing for the stage as opposed to other forms, as well as the plays that each of the writers were working on at the time.

Keywords: Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Appalachia; Appalachia Region; Kentucky--In literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Playwriting.

00:03:50 - Norman's plan for Appalachia-centered interviews / Lyon's past experience with interviews and working as a journalist

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, um, since we know that we get to, uh, read all this and scratch it out and add in much better words, then we can kinda quit worrying about this, uh, tape business.

Segment Synopsis: Norman discusses the structure of the interview itself and then explains a plan he has for a project of Appalachia-centered interviews. From there they discuss Lyon's personal experience with interviews, including working as a journalist back in Harlan during college.

Keywords: Female writers; Harlan (Ky.); Journalism; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Lexington (Ky.); Literature; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Journalism.; Kentucky--In literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

00:11:16 - Social structure in Harlan, Kentucky as perceived by Lyon / resulting development of her morality

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Partial Transcript: Well, what was your side of the line?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon discusses her relative privilege while growing up in Harlan, and the resulting guilt she felt from a young age, which led to the development of her own morality.

Keywords: Coal mines; Coal mining; Female writers; Harlan (Ky.); Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Women writers

Subjects: Appalachian Region; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Coal mines and mining--Appalachian Region; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-

00:20:04 - High school life / wanting to be a folk singer during the mid-1960s / choosing to go to Centre College

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me a little more about, uh, the moment of going--leaving your community and your grade school classmates and going into Harlan High School. How did--did you have a good time in high school?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon discusses her boredom during high school and how she initially didn't want to go to college as a result. She talks about how she wanted to go to Columbia "en route to Greenwich Village" to be a folk singer--her own "secret culture," but her parents wanted her to go to a more local college at first, and so she went to Centre College.

Keywords: Female writers; Harlan (Ky.); Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Nineteen sixties; Vietnam War; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Kentucky--In literature.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Nineteen sixties.; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

00:23:20 - Exposure to twentieth century art

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Partial Transcript: And so, um, in the fall of '67 you went to Centre College as a freshman?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon discusses a class she had her first semester at Centre, an "integrated studies" course in twentieth-century fine arts that introduced her to new forms of art, including non-representation art, and changed her life.

Keywords: Art; Centre College; Danville (Ky.); Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Modern art; Women writers

Subjects: Art.; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

00:26:56 - Creating revolution in Danville, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: But, through those years, '67 to '71, there was a real transformation, uh, at Centre.

Segment Synopsis: Lyon discusses the revolutionary impact on Danville, Kentucky by her generation at Centre College, ranging from simple refusal to do silly traditions to protesting war and segregation.

Keywords: Centre College; Danville (Ky.); Student activism; Vietnam War

Subjects: Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:30:22 - The rallies and marches they planned / the realness of the political issues

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Partial Transcript: What was your part?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon talks about a rally that she helped plan involving spending three days reading the names of people killed in the Vietnam War. She also discusses how the war felt to them, how personal it was.

Keywords: Centre College; Danville (Ky.); Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Nineteen sixties; Student activism; Vietnam War; Women writers

Subjects: Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Nineteen sixties.; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:35:01 - More on the integrative studies courses / the influence of the teachers who taught them

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Partial Transcript: Um, it, um--but it does make Centre College sound, um, uh, special.

Segment Synopsis: Lyon elaborates on her experience in the "integrative studies" twentieth century fine arts course, and the impact of those teachers based on their enthusiasm for both the content and the teaching.

Keywords: Art; Centre College; Danville (Ky.); Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Women writers

Subjects: Art.; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Literature.; Lyon, George Ella; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

00:37:55 - Her own life teaching

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Partial Transcript: I want to, um--I like the kind of chronological line that we have running through our conversation and I will come back to it just in a minute but...

Segment Synopsis: Lyon talks about her own experience as a teacher. She talks about what she enjoys about teaching and what she does not like.

Keywords: Education; Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Education.; Kentucky--In literature.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

00:41:48 - The impact of cultural shifts on teaching

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Partial Transcript: And I think, that really, the major, the major problem is that, is that students have this attitude, and it--I mean it's, it's practically the, the fulcrum of society, that there should be this immediate gratification.

Segment Synopsis: Lyon and Norman discuss a perceived cultural shift towards a need for instant gratification, a shift towards looking for results rather than enjoying the process, and how that impacts their teaching experiences.

Keywords: Education; Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Nineteen eighties; Women writers

Subjects: Culture.; Education.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Nineteen eighties.; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

00:45:55 - Impact of contemporary cultural shift on young people in Appalachia / running poetry workshops in the mountains

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Partial Transcript: Can you make a leap from that very point, this solipsistic image you've set up, uh, to the way it is with young people in the mountains now?

Segment Synopsis: Norman inquires about the impact of (then-)contemporary culture on teaching literature to young people in the mountains. Lyon then talks about a grassroots poetry project workshop series she and other Appalachian poets were running, and how people reacted to those.

Keywords: Appalachia; Education; Female writers; Jim Wayne Miller; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Lee Howard; Literature; Oak Ridge (Tenn.); Poetry; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Appalachia; Appalachian Region; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Education.; Howard, Lee, 1952-2003; Kentucky--In literature.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Miller, Jim Wayne; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Poetry.

00:54:53 - The importance of teaching local literature

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Partial Transcript: And when I went into Clay County, for instance, uh, and, and re--and had a tape of Lee [Howard], and uh, some other people, and students would come up and say, "Is that really somebody from here?"

Segment Synopsis: Lyon and Norman discuss the importance of Appalachian students learning about Appalachian literature, so they can learn that they can become successful in part because of their heritage, rather than just "in spite of." Lyon also talks of her personal experience developing her "Appalachian consciousness."

Keywords: Appalachia; Female writers; Harlan (Ky.); Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Women writers

Subjects: Appalachia; Appalachian Region; Art.; Education.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

01:02:24 - More on the Grassroots Poetry Project

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Partial Transcript: I would like to, um, back up a little bit and ask you to, um, tell, um, a little more, in more detail, the structure of the Grassroots Poetry Project.

Segment Synopsis: Lyon elaborates on the structure of the Grassroots Poetry Project that she ran in eastern Kentucky and some of the issues she faced.

Keywords: Education; Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Poetry; Women writers

Subjects: Education.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Poetry.

01:08:02 - Hopes for the Grassroots Poetry Project / the importance of dialect

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Partial Transcript: So, um, uh, the first visit to the schools was with teachers.

Segment Synopsis: Lyon explains what her hopes were for the Grassroots Poetry Project, which leads to a discussion of the policing of language and suppression of native dialects, as shown in the dislike of Appalachian poetry with nonstandard grammar.

Keywords: Accents; Appalachia; Dialects; Education; Female writers; Imperialism; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Linguistics; Literature; Poetry; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Appalachia; Appalachian Region; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Dialects; Imperialism.; Kentucky--In literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews

01:16:56 - Rest of college experience and graduate school

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Partial Transcript: Uh, subjects to, to be, um--where's your watch?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon talks about her graduate school life and how she came to combine her experiences with daily life in Appalachia and her interest in modern writing, particularly Virginia Woolf.

Keywords: "Mountain experiences"; Academia; Arkansas; Bias; Centre College; Indiana; Newspapers; PhD; Poetry; Summer jobs; Virginia Woolf

Subjects: Appalachian Region; Education, Higher; Harlan (Ky.); Higher education

01:20:32 - Further discussion on the combination of life experience and study of literature / her career as a poet

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Partial Transcript: Uh, when the, the word "Appalachia" began to mean something to you, when, when did that develop?

Segment Synopsis: The same subject as the previous segment, the combination of Appalachia (i.e. traditional life) with modern literature, is discussed in more detail and with a focus on Eudora Welty's novel "Delta Wedding." She also discusses her early poetry career.

Keywords: Eudora Welty; Female writers; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Literature; Poetry; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Education.; Kentucky--In literature.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Poetry.; Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001

01:26:54 - Being part of a generation of Appalachian poets

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Partial Transcript: When did you begin to realize then that you had, um, um, uh--that other people were having similar experiences?

Segment Synopsis: Lyon discusses her introduction to and involvement with the circle of Appalachian writers, as well as the difficulties of publishing and becoming a successful writer.

Keywords: Appalachia; Appalachian Journal; Female writers; Harlan (Ky.); Jim Wayne Miller; Kentucky female writers; Kentucky women writers; Kentucky writers; Lee Howard; Lexington (Ky.); Literature; Poetry; Women writers

Subjects: American literature--Kentucky.; Appalachia; Appalachian Region; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Howard, Lee, 1952-2003; Kentucky--In literature.; Literature.; Lyon, George Ella, 1949-; Miller, Jim Wayne; Norman, Gurney, 1937-; Norman, Gurney, 1937- --Interviews; Poetry.