Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok, Professor

Bob Hicok, Professor
Bob Hicok, Professor

Department of English 
215 Shanks Hall

181 Turner St. N
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7739 |

Bob Hicok, a professor in the Department of English, has published ten collections of poetry, including, most recently, Hold, for which he has been nominated for the 2019 Library of Virginia Literary Award for poetry.

Hicok’s first book of poetry, The Legend of Light, received the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year. Other poetry collections include Elegy Owed, a finalist for the 2014 Library of Virginia Literary Award; Animal Soul, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Clumsy Living, winner of the 2008 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt national award for poetry from the Library of Congress.

His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and The American Poetry Review, as well as in eight volumes of The Best American Poetry and six times in the Pushcart Prize anthology.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2003, Hicok received his master of fine arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

  • Poetry
  • Creative Writing
  • MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • Finalist, Library of Virginia Literary Award, 2019
  • Finalist, Library of Virginia Literary Award, 2014
  • Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award, 2013
  • Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Award for Poetry from the Library of Congress, 2008
  • Pushcart Prize
  • Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, 1995
  • Hold (Copper Canyon Press, 2018)
  • Sex & Love & (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)
  • Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon Press, 2013)
  • Words for Empty and Words for Full (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)
  • This Clumsy Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)
  • Insomnia Diary (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004)
  • Animal Soul (Invisible Cities Press, 2003)
  • Plus Shipping (BOA Editions, 1998)
  • The Legend of Light (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995)
  • Bearing Witness (Ridgeway Press, 1991)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2008
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (twice)


Subtitle Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878
Publisher University Press of Kentucky
EAN/ISBN 978-0813161105
Edition Title Reprint Edition
Release Date 2015-02-19
Author(s) Emily Satterwhite
Summary Much criticism has been directed at negative stereotypes of Appalachia perpetuated by movies, television shows, and news media. Books, on the other hand, often draw enthusiastic praise for their celebration of the simplicity and authenticity of the Appalachian region.Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 employs the innovative new strategy of examining fan mail, reviews, and readers’ geographic affiliations to understand how readers have imagined the region and what purposes these imagined geographies have served for them. As Emily Satterwhite traces the changing visions of Appalachia across the decades, from the Gilded Age (1865–1895) to the present, she finds that every generation has produced an audience hungry for a romantic version of Appalachia. According to Satterwhite, best-selling fiction has portrayed Appalachia as a distinctive place apart from the mainstream United States, has offered cosmopolitan white readers a sense of identity and community, and has engendered feelings of national and cultural pride. Thanks in part to readers’ faith in authors as authentic representatives of the regions they write about, Satterwhite argues, regional fiction often plays a role in creating and affirming regional identity. By mapping the geographic locations of fans, Dear Appalachia demonstrates that mobile white readers in particular, including regional elites, have idealized Appalachia as rooted, static, and protected from commercial society in order to reassure themselves that there remains an “authentic” America untouched by global currents.   Investigating texts such as John Fox Jr.’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker (1954), James Dickey’s Deliverance (1970), and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain (1997), Dear Appalachiamoves beyond traditional studies of regional fiction to document the functions of these narratives in the lives of readers, revealing not only what people have thought about Appalachia, but why.

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