Year of Publication
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Arts and Sciences
A small-town Appalachian deviant confronts the frequent, recurrent grief of the opioid crisis and its mortal, psychological, and communal consequences. This collection endeavors to explore substance use, addiction, geopolitical exploitation of Kentucky, central Appalachia, and surrounding areas, while also celebrating the lives of individual loved ones lost to deaths by suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism. Here, the common narrative of depravity surrounding addiction is challenged through the rendering of full characters capable of love, trust, friendship, humor, mental health management, and personal growth. Time and place factor fundamentally into the stories told here—whether based in central Kentucky or central Appalachia, these essays reflect their home soil, a region profoundly shaped by the opioid crisis that has ravaged communities for decades, a place that, of necessity, has led the way in implementing Narcan programs and special training for medical professionals confronting the use of powerful opioids like Fentanyl and Carfentanil, a powerful tranquilizing agent originally intended for use on massive animals like elephants. These essays aim to foster solidarity and community action—a rallying call for those waxing and waning when faced with profound grief.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Shields, Clay, "STICK WITH ME: ESSAYS" (2023). Theses and Dissertations--English. 161.
Available for download on Tuesday, May 27, 2025
Appalachian Studies Commons, Fine Arts Commons, Literature in English, North America Commons, Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority Commons, Nonfiction Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons