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Inside Appalachia
Sundays at 6pm

Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today.

Host Caitlin Tan and Mason Adams leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture.

Latest episodes of Inside Appalachia
  • On this week’s episode, we begin our journey through Appalachia in the meadows and woods of West Virginia to catch the buzz on beekeeping. We’ll also revisit our interview with Pocahontas County, West Virginia native Trevor Hammons. The young banjo player decided to carry on his family’s traditions of storytelling, wild lore and old time music. Then, we’ll check in with Kentucky artist Lacy Hale, who designed her iconic “No Hate In My Holler” screenprint five years ago. Appalachians are still telling her how much they identify with its message.
  • On this week’s episode, we begin our journey through Appalachia by way of Lviv, Ukraine to learn about their version of an Appalchian dulcimer.We’ll make a roadside stop to revisit the theme park throwback Dinosaur Kingdom II in Natural Bridge, Virginia. And, we’ll swing by Lexington, Kentucky to visit the newly appointed United States Poet Laureate, Ada Limón.
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, amid recent hospital closures, Appalachian women are having to travel farther and farther to give birth. Maternal Medicine In The Mountains We’ll talk with reporter Clarissa Donnelly-DeRoven about maternal health care deserts in western North Carolina and hear a report from Crystal Good, about what options Black families in West Virginia have for finding birth workers that look like them. Appalachian PRIDE Following one of the opinions written in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, State legislatures across the Ohio Valley are considering anti-LGBTQ policies, while people across Appalachia took part in celebrations during LGBTQ Pride Month in June. Katie Myers with the Ohio Valley Resource got reactions and spoke to residents. Indigenous Peoples Gather In W.Va. To Discuss The Environment High schoolers with Indigenous backgrounds came from all over the country to the Eastern Panhandle this summer for a leadership congress. They talked about conservation, Native identity, and the growing effects of climate change. Shepherd Snyder has more. Greyhound Racing Series Continues In 2023, West Virginia will be home to the last two remaining greyhound racetracks in the United States. Reporter Randy Yohe breaks down the government policies that sustain dog racing, and considers its future in the state at a time when it’s dying everywhere else. Canaries Out Of The Coal Mine As old coal mines are restored, they’ve been repurposed for an increasingly broad number of new uses. In Pennsylvania, reclaimed mine land is being used for an art project involving birds. Kara Holsapple and Jacqui Sieber of the Allegheny Front have more. Feeding The Hungry In Appalachia’s Food Deserts Supply chain issues and rising gas prices are making it harder for people to get food. As David Adkins reports, local entrepreneurs are looking to meet the demand. A Ray Of Hope Mountain View Solar, a solar installation company in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, is training and hiring people in recovery from substance use disorder. Shepherd Snyder has more. Serious About Seed Saving During the pandemic, millions of Americans turned to gardening. In Appalachia, people have long saved heirloom seeds that have been passed down for generations. Today, that tradition continues, partly through organizations like seed libraries and community gardens that collect these seeds to save them from being lost. Folkways reporter Rachel Greene spent time in Ashe County, North Carolina — talking to the people giving new life to old seeds.
  • This week, on Inside Appalachia, we visit a cemetery in Bluefield, Virginia, and learn how racial segregation followed some people to the grave. Also, we continue our series on greyhound racing. Most states have closed down their race tracks. So, what’s the future of the sport in West Virginia? And we’ll revisit a conversation with America’s last World War II Medal of Honor recipient — Hershel “Woody” Williams, who died recently at the age of 98. A Conversation With An American Hero Last year, for Veterans Day, Us & Them host Trey Kay talked with Williams about his time in the military. Memorial services were held for Williams over the July 4th weekend, with public visitation held at Capitol Rotunda in Charleston. You can hear the entire Us & Them podcast episode. It’s called “Last Man Honored.” Find it at wv public dog org, or through your favorite podcast app. Reactions In Appalachia About Roe v. Wade The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sent shockwaves across the country — including here in Appalachia. WEKU reporter Stan Ingold brought us reactions from Kentucky. Trouble With Plastic Shell is expected to begin operations this summer at its ethane cracker plant on the Ohio River. The plant will use natural gas to make tiny plastic pellets — which can wind up in waterways. For StateImpact Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant took a boat ride with people surveying the river for plastic. Water Woes Everywhere According to the U.S. Census, more than a million and a half people in the U.S. live without running water or flush toilets. But a recent study found the number was a lot higher. Jessica Lilly recently spoke with George McGraw, CEO of Dig Deep — a water advocacy organization that took a closer look at the numbers. Covering More Ground About Greyhound Racing By the end of the year, West Virginia will be the only state that still has a greyhound racetrack. One of the biggest questions driving the national push to end greyhound racing — is can the sport be run in a humane way? Or is it inhumane by its very definition? Reporter Chris Shulz took us to a veterinarian’s office and a breeder’s farm. Healing Through The Hills Herbal remedies have been experiencing a nationwide renaissance for several years now. But here in Appalachia, those remedies have been a path to wellness and independence for centuries. From Tennessee, Folkways reporter Heather Duncan has more. That story originally aired last summer, as part of our Folkways Reporting Project. The project documents arts and culture across the region. You can hear all of our Folkways stories at wvpublic dot org. Righting A Wrong America has a history of segregating Black and white people — in restaurants, schools, buses … even in death. For decades, graves of the Black residents who helped build the community were neglected in the town’s segregated cemetery. And it might have stayed that way if it hadn’t been for the efforts of one persistent woman, whose family was buried there. Folkways reporter Connie Bailey Kitts brought us this story.
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, we listen to stories from 2021 that tackle everything from the challenges that came with virtual schooling to using poetry to change public perception. Matriarchal Moonshiners Legend has it Mahalia Mullins once beat 30 men in a wrestling match and sold them all whiskey afterwards. Mullins was born in 1824 into a poor family and died a folk hero. The cabin where she lived has even become a tourist destination in East Tennessee. But who’s the woman behind the myth? We’ll travel to the Mahalia Mullins cabin to learn her story. Appalachia’s Bad Men The summer of 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain — the largest armed uprising in America since the Civil War, and a major event in West Virginia history. A few months before Blair Mountain, the spark was lit with the Matewan Massacre. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren The opioid epidemic is forcing many grandparents, even great-grandparents, to become parents again to a new generation. In a recent episode of the “Us and Them” podcast, host Trey Kay spoke with West Virginia grandparents about the challenges of raising children during COVID-19. If you’re a grandparent or a great-grandparent raising children, we’d like to hear from you. Write us a letter — we’re at Inside Appalachia, 600 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV. 25301. Or send an email to insideappalachia@wvpublic.org. Novel Concludes Robert Gipe’s Trilogy We also hear about another multigenerational family, who are the main characters in Robert Gipe’s illustrated novels, set in Eastern Kentucky. The books combine funny, heartbreaking writing and cartoony drawings. The first book in the series, “Trampoline,” came out seven years ago. That novel introduced Dawn Jewell — a teenager growing up with a mother addicted to pain pills. Robert Gipe spoke with Inside Appalachia just after Trampoline was published in 2015. From Recycling To Musical Instruments Many people have been relying on online shopping these days, but who knew all that leftover cardboard had a use? This week on the show, we learn about dulcimers that are made out of cardboard, and even banjos made out of coffee cans. As part of our Inside Appalachia Folkways series, reporter Rachel Moore spoke to two instrument-makers in Western North Carolina who are carrying on the DIY instrument legacy. Dispelling Stereotypes We all know the stereotypes people use to paint Appalachia as a cultural backwater. But as WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports, a dedicated group of fierce women are using the arts to fight back. We had help producing Inside Appalachia this week from the Us and them podcast, which is supported by The West Virginia Humanities Council and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, we hear from a radiologist in eastern Kentucky who says he’s seeing a rise in cases of black lung among young coal miners. We’ll also the first part of a new series from reporters Randy Yohe and Chris Shulz about the dog racing industry in West Virginia. Then, we’ll travel to Monaca, Pennsylvania where Shell plans to begin operations at its massive ethane cracker plant. Finally, our host Mason Adams speaks with Barbara Ellen Smith -- the author of one of the definitive books on black lung, “Digging Our Own Graves: Coal Miners and the Struggle Over Black Lung Disease.” That and more as we journey through Appalachia.
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow a lot of agriculture on one acre of a former industrial site. We’ll also hear about a podcast that remembers the back to the land movement in West Virginia during the 1970s and 1980s -- as well as a mysterious disappearance. And, we’ll hear about a team of entomologists who documented dozens of new species of millipede across Appalachia. One of them used the opportunity to pay tribute to a surprising influence. That and more as we journey through Appalachia.
  • On this week’s episode, we’re journeying far and wide through Appalachia and beyond. Author Mesha Maren takes us from the hills of West Virginia to the Texas/Mexico border -- the land of the Luchador. We’ll also hear about what West Virginians are doing to help Ukrainian refugees from the war with Russia. And, we’ll learn about what doctors are saying about medical cannabis in the Mountain State, where it is available to over 8,000 patients. We’ll round out our tour of Appalachia with a chat between our host Mason Adams and East Tennessee native Amythyst Kiah, whose 2021 record “Wary and Strange” was released last year.
  • On this week’s encore episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating the show to children's authors. Hear from Cynthia Rylant, author of “When I Was Young In The Mountains,” “Messy Larry” author David J. Perri and storytelling champion Bil Lepp reading from his children's book “The Princess And The Pickup Truck.” We’ll also hear Lyn Ford -- a professional storyteller and children's educator -- telling a story she wrote, called "The Old Woman and Death." We learn that while these stories are written for children, they carry messages for all of us, even grown-ups.
  • Today, we’re dedicating our entire show to the art of telling stories- out loud, in front of audiences. We’ll hear five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Bil Lepp, learn how music duo Anna and Elizabeth met and began performing their harmonies, using something known as a crankie. And we’ll travel to the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough Tennessee to hear a man reminisce about his dear Aunt Eloise.