Appalachia: The Foxfire Books and Magazine

 

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The Foxfire Magazine and the Foxfire series of books are some of the most fascinating works you will ever read on the culture and traditions of Appalachia. The Foxfire Magazine was started in 1966 in Rabun County, GA and was the result of a writing project by one of the teachers at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in that county. The students were challenged by their teacher to interview local people about Appalachian customs and write an article about what they discovered. What happened was a phenomenon. The stories told to the students about different bits of Appalachian culture were so fascinating that by 1972 they were gathered together in book form and published. It became a bestseller and brought attention to the Appalachian region and the Foxfire project.

Before the books came the Foxfire magazine. It was a compilation of the stories told to the students assigned this project in Eliot Wigginton’s English class. This magazine has been in publication continuously since 1966. The name “foxfire” came from a naturally occurring bioluminescence in fungi in the mountains of North Georgia.

Gradually, there were so many stories about crafts, folklore, recipes, Appalachian history, and culture, that a series of books were developed. The first book was an immediate bestseller when it was published in 1972. Other books were published and the proceeds were used to develop the Foxfire Project. There are now eleven companion volumes to the original Foxfire book.

The Foxfire Project has been able to build an Appalachian Heritage Center in Georgia. It is the repository of material having to do with Appalachian culture and, of course, the Foxfire books and magazines. It also is a source of learning for teachers about experiential teaching and learning, which is what allowed the Foxfire Project to be born. Much later than 1966, experiential education became commonplace in high schools and colleges.

The Foxfire Project, books, and magazines are true Appalachian treasures. You can find how to subscribe to the magazine and donate to the project at FoxFire Project. You can find the fascinating Foxfire series of books wherever books are sold. #foxfire #amwriting #writing #blogging

 

 

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