Call and Response

Call and Response: Nathan Armes and Noah Davis

  Nathan Armes . March 15, 2014. Kingston, Roane County, Tennessee. My grandfather's truck sits under I-40 where the highway crosses the Clinch River in Roane County. The smokestacks of the Kingston Fossil Plant, managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Kingston, have dominated the small town's skyline since the 1950s. The plant burns about 14,000 tons of coal a day.

Nathan Armes. March 15, 2014. Kingston, Roane County, Tennessee. My grandfather's truck sits under I-40 where the highway crosses the Clinch River in Roane County. The smokestacks of the Kingston Fossil Plant, managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Kingston, have dominated the small town's skyline since the 1950s. The plant burns about 14,000 tons of coal a day.

The Lottery

The trailer sits on cinder blocks by the river. An air conditioning unit coughs in the bedroom where a little girl naps and dreams of huckleberries. The red truck outside is brown with rust, and where water flows from a pipe at the mill, fish swim sideways, tumors on their stomachs and zinc coating their gills. The man sitting in a pick-up eats the silver fish from the river, and a dollar bill in his pocket listens to the ball growing in his stomach, white and ridged against red insides. After driving the gravel road to the convenience store, he asks the woman behind the register for a pack of Pall Malls, turns and pushes a dollar into the lottery machine. Inside the electric box, the bill falls next to fives, tens, even twenties, crinkled and torn. Some smell of alcohol, or perfume, while his is blotched with the blood of a deer he shot in a farmer’s field at night.  He remembers the animal green eyes transfixed by the truck’s high beams, brown velvet of its body unable to move as the bolt slid the bullet into the chamber, flash of gunpowder sparking, orange and yellow and black. 

Noah Davis. Altoona, Pennsylvania.


Call and Response is a photo-literary exploration devoted to the relationship between photographs and words. Using photographs from the Looking at Appalachia project, writers are encouraged to respond narratively to a single image in 1,000 words or less. We hope to use this platform to expand our community and encourage collaboration between photographers and writers. Learn more about how to submit here.