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Trans Poet's Work Included in the Women of Appalachia's "Women Speak" for the Third Time

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

I received my copy of “Women Speak” yesterday, which is Volume 7 of spoken word and fine art selections published by the Women of Appalachia Project. I am extremely grateful that my poem “Blackwater River Canyon” was selected for this edition.

Blackwater Falls near Davis, West Virginia, has been one of my very favorite places since I was a child. My parents took my brother and I there several times, and Marilyn and I also visited. One one trip, I did write a poem with the same title, but it is lost to history. I’m certain the more recent poem is much better. The line about drinking the water out of a spent .22 shell really happened, but it was my brother who did it, not me. I actually have that event on an old 8 millimeter film that has been converted to a disc.

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at Follow her at

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