Former Newswoman Shows Her Appalachien Roots in Poetry

Author Joan Berry speaks of her Appalachian roots in her recently released book of poetry and prose. Her poetry has appeared in numerous poetry reviews, literary magazines, anthologies, and newspapers and now appears as a collected work in "Poetry & Prose from an Appalachian State of Mind," in which a variety of topics are put to verse. The book cover features “Red Start Morning,” a painting by Ms Berry.

Hamilton, OH, December 12, 2008 --( Ms Berry was born and reared in southern West Virginia. Her father built the log house in which she was born. Her ancestors are among the earliest settlers of the state. She began writing for publications in the mid 1960s and continues to this day, along with nature photography and painting. She also uses her skills as a quilter to design and make quilted wall hangings.

Her family moved to Florida in the early 1960s where she married and had her children, but she returned to West Virginia after the death of her husband and worked as editor, writer, and photographer for three southern West Virginia newspapers where she won several awards. In Florida, she also was recognized for her work in newspaper and magazine articles, books and photography.

“I write poetry because I love the literary form. Each poem is a complete story told in its briefest form. Since the mid 1960s, I have written poetry, some good and some not as well written. There have been magazines, literary publications, and anthology publishers along the way who saw fit to publish most of it. Some of the poetry was written as experimental forms in a creative writing class in college. Readers sometimes have the idea that every poem has something to do with the poet’s personal life. Poems have a voice, but it is not always the personal experience of the poet speaking. Some poetry is truly very personal, but many times it tells of the experience of someone else -- real or imagined. Remember a poem is a story. I may have resided elsewhere for awhile, but my heart was always where I was born and reared in West Virginia and I believe many of my poems reflect that sentiment,” Ms Berry said.
Joan Berry is retired from a 40-year career in award-winning journalism and is currently enrolled as a nontraditional university student to further her studies in Humanities and History, seeking a degree in both of them.

Poetry & Prose from an Appalachian State of Mind, ISBN 978-0-557-0306-9 may be ordered online at or Ms. Berry may be contacted at Also recently released is another book by Ms Berry: The Homesteaders: Early Settlers of Nokomis and Laurel, Revised Edition, ISBN 978-0-557-03154-2. This book, now in its fifth printing, presents the history of an area in southwest Florida.

Joan Berry