KNOXVILLE, Tenn.: Barbara Kingsolver joined Grammy-award winning singer Kathy Mattea for “A View from the Mountaintop,” an evening of spoken word and song at the Bijou Theatre on March 11. The two celebrated their shared Appalachian heritage and cast a spotlight on mountaintop removal mining. The controversial practice has destroyed more than 500 mountains across Appalachia and presents a looming threat to Tennessee’s mountains on the Cumberland Plateau.
Kathy Mattea, a native of West Virginia, has won two Grammys and has twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association. Her recordings intertwine Celtic, gospel, and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have always served as her artistic anchor. Her most recent CD, the Grammy-nominated, Coal, celebrates the culture of Appalachia.
The evening was sponsored by LEAF (Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship), a non-profit, non-denominational fellowship of Tennesseans whose faith leads them to take action for Tennessee’s environment. LEAF seeks to protect Tennessee’s highest ridgelines by working for the passage of the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act that is currently under consideration by the Tennessee Legislature. For more information on mountaintop removal and its impact in Tennessee: www.tnleaf.org.