River of Earth

James Still (1906-2001), was born on Double Creek in Alabama, one of 10 children. For most of his life he lived in a log house between Dead Mare Branch and Wolfpen Creek in Knott County, Kentucky. He enjoyed a long relationship with Hindman Settlement School where he first began work as a librarian and lived in his later years.

His early books – a book of poems, Hounds on the Mountain (1937); his celebrated novel River of Earth (1940); and a collection of stories, On Troublesome Creek (1941) – were all published by The Viking Press. It was not until 35 years later, after Pattern of a Man was first published, that there was revival of interest in his work.

Other books include a novel Sporty Creek; the collection of stories The Run for the Elbertas; The Wolfpen Notebooks; and a number of books for children: The Wolfpen Rusties; Way Down Yonder on Troublesome Creek; Jack and the Wonder Beans; andAn Appalachian Mother Goose. His two later major collections of poems are The Wolfpen Poems and From the Mountain, From the Valley.