Bestselling Kentucky writer and Laurel County native Silas House was recently inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers in a ceremony held in Chattanooga, Tennessee during the SouthWord Festival, a biennial conference for the Southern Lit Alliance and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
House was one of only five writers inducted into the Fellowship this cycle. The Fellowship was founded by writers such as Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and others to encourage literature in the South and to recognize the writers from the region who are making the biggest impact. It is currently composed of about fifty active members. The only other Kentuckians in the Fellowship are Wendell Berry, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Maurice Manning.
Manning, a poet and 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist, inducted House at the ceremony and praised his “attention to the natural world, working class characters, and the plight of the rural place and rural people,” pointing out that House is involved in a number of efforts to promote social justice for all people and the environment. “I am moved today because I happen to be inducting one of my dearest friends,” Manning said.
House also appeared in a sold-out public conversation with Berry, Tim Gautreaux, and Manning, called “Stories of the Southern Wilderness” in which the writers discussed the interplay between literature, advocacy, and environmental consciousness.
House is the author of six novels, including Southernmost, which will be published in June 2018. His books include Clay’s Quilt (2001), A Parchment of Leaves (2003), The Coal Tattoo (2005), Eli the Good (2009), Something’s Rising (2009, with Jason Howard), and Same Sun Here (2012, with Neela Vaswani). He is the winner of many honors, including the E.B. White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Nautilus Prize, and the Hobson Medal for Literature. He was recently selected as the inaugural winner of the Spirit of Kentucky Award, given by the Daughters of the American Revolution. House’s work is frequently included in The New York Times and Salon and has been published in Oxford American, Newsday, Sojourners, Narrative, and many other places. He has been anthologized in New Stories From the South: The Year’s Best, Best American Food Writing, and many other journals and books. He is a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and was a contributing editor for No Depression. House is the recipient of three honorary doctorates in the arts and humanities and in 2016 was invited to read at the Library of Congress.
A native of Lily in Laurel County, House was educated at Eastern Kentucky University and Spalding University. He is the son of Donald and Betty House of Lily. He currently serves as the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at Berea College and on the fiction faculty at Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Presently he lives in Berea.