Writer Odana Chaney of Culloden selected as 2024 New River Gorge Creative-in-Residence

Odana Chaney of Culloden, West Virginia has been selected as the 2024 New River Gorge Creative-in-Residence. A writer, Chaney will spend the entire month of January living and working at Lafayette Flats, a boutique lodging property in downtown Fayetteville.

For the past nine years, Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals has hosted the New River Gorge Creative Residency, a program that supports the development of creative people by providing a unique opportunity for at least one creative person each winter to live and work on an artistic project at Lafayette Flats.

Chaney is a sixth-ish generation Appalachian and storyteller from Culloden, West Virginia. She has been finding poetry and building homes in the blank spaces of early mornings and late nights outside her day jobs for over a decade. Her work appears alongside many powerful contemporary voices in the Women of Appalachia Project’s anthology Women Speak Volumes 3 and 6, About Place Journal Vol. V Issue II, and
elsewhere– including wrapped around Rolling Pepperoni’s pepperoni rolls. She studied Writing at the University of Pittsburgh where she found her voice, but forgot to graduate. She writes about dirt, duality, and dearness.

“We are so very pleased to host Odana for this year’s residency,” says Lafayette Flats co-owner Shawn Means, who with wife Amy McLaughlin, came up with the idea of hosting the residency in their vacation rental. “We find her writing to be moving, and exactly in tune with our mission of providing an alternative narrative of contemporary West Virginia.”


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