Gurney Norman – Ancient Creek


First recorded as a spoken-word album by Appalshop in 1975, the original live recording of the folktale Ancient Creek by Gurney Norman (read by the author) has been released as an audio CD from June Appal Recordings. It is a companion piece to Norman's recently released book  Ancient Creek: A Folktale (Old Cove, 2012).

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Old Cove Press has published Gurney Norman’s story in book form for the first time as a novella-length folktale telling the story of resistance among “the folks” against an evil King. The story describes a mythic “hill domain” that has been exploited by the forces of a colonizing empire. The hero Jack is the fugitive leader of the people’s revolt and the nemesis of the King. Wounded survivors of the revolution find solace and healing on Ancient Creek where old Aunt Haze is the guiding spirit.

Gurney Norman is the author of the folktale Ancient Creek, the novel Divine Right’s Trip, and Kinfolks, a collection of short stories. He co-edited the essay collections Back Talk: Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes and An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1959, he studied writing as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University with literary critic Malcolm Cowley and the Irish short story writer Frank O’Connor. A former newspaper reporter, he has written and narrated three documentary programs for Kentucky Educational Television that explore Kentucky and Appalachian history, landscape and culture. Three stories from the Kinfolks collection have been adapted as short dramatic films. In 2009, he was appointed Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2009-2010. He has been a member of the University of Kentucky Department of English since 1979.

JA00887D • Total Running Time 71:11 minutes • Appalshop Project Director Elizabeth Barret • Design by Nyoka Hawkins and audio editing for CD release by Doug Dorschug • Audio Preservation and Digital Restoration made possible by Appalshop Archive • Special thanks to Caroline Rubens and Chad Hunter • Featured painting on the CD and book cover by Kentucky artist Pam Oldfield Meade.


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