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Kentucky's Poet Laureate describes an Appalachian mother as her special day draws near

Silas House with his mother Betty
Silas House
Silas House with his mother Betty

In just a few short days mothers across Kentucky will be honored. Kentucky’s Poet Laureate offers his thoughts about an Appalachian mother’s recognition.

Silas House said he can only speak for his Appalachian family experience near Corbin. His mother Betty has lived in that community for around 50 years. And the well-known author and poet said how to mother is not an exact science.

“When we think about Mother’s Day there’s so many different ways of mothering and so many people who do mother and so, I think it’s a day to honor all those people, no matter what form they take for us,” said House.

House said it’s been difficult to convince his mom to sit still and let others do. House will be at his homeplace Sunday in southeast Kentucky.

The southeast Kentucky native said those living outside Appalachia may think of male-headed households, but it’s more likely to find the mom with that leadership role.

“The women are the main ones who carry the stories and, in my experience, in families, they have the final say. They’re the ultimate..the ultimate respect is paid to mothers within Appalachian culture,” said House.

House said his mother taught him to work hard and love hard. He noted it’s been difficult for his mother to let others serve on her day. As House puts it the only time she’s been still is if it concerns her grandchildren or at church. The state poet laureate added she does enjoy her porch more now.

Here's more with Kentucky Poet Laureate Silas House:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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