Brandon Kirk, a descendent of feudists from Lincoln County, West Virginia, is an avid scholar of Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. An assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kirk gives daily lectures on Appalachian history and has traveled to schools and historic sites as a guest speaker. In addition to having written more than fifty Appalachian-themed articles for the regionâ€™s newspapers and books, Kirk acted as a contributor for the PBS series West Virginia and a consultant for the History Channel series Hatfields and McCoys.
His diverse career has included working as a library assistant, writing for the Lincoln (WV) Independent and Lincoln (WV) Journal, researching and writing for Hartford Music, Inc., writing and reporting for the Logan (WV) Banner, and teaching advanced placement history at Logan and Lincoln County Schools. He was appointed to the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Civil War Commission and is a member of the honor societies Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Alpha Theta. Kirk was a guest speaker on the Friendly Neighbor Show, a local radio program. A close associate of John Hartford, Kirk co-authored an Ed Haley biography with him and was a chief consultant for the John Hartford documentary.
Kirk graduated from Marshall University with a BA in social studies education and has completed coursework towards a MA in history. An enthusiastic collector and compiler of oral histories, Kirk spends his spare time interviewing his regionâ€™s elderly residents, collecting old photographs, and researching at courthouses and archives. Due to his interest in traditional Appalachian string music, Kirk plays the fiddle and collects music field recordings. When he is not traveling through the American South or visiting old homes, museums, battlefields, antique stores, and music festivals, Kirk studies and preserves the culture of the Guyandotte Valley from his home in Harts, West Virginia.