From A Place Called Solid - West Virginia and Its Writers

 Louise McNeill’s words, “from a place called solid” frame the working theme for the first West Virginia literary map. The design includes listings of various writers from the state and the genres in which they write. The front illustration addresses the scope of content from the general “sense of place” to the specific details of published titles.
The honor of being placed on the front design was given to those writers who have received national recognition, have become the “spirit voices” of our regional culture, have effected social change through the power of their words, or have implanted a lasting imprint on the psyche of our regional and national soul.

  Portrait images of specific monumental writers, all who now “belong to the ages,” were chosen carefully and include Booker T. Washington, Pearl S. Buck, Louise McNeill, Rebecca Harding Davis, and David Hunter Strother. Literary figures and characters--Chief Logan, John Brown, William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, John Henry, the legendary Tony Beaver, and the symbolic coal miner stand in the shadows of the writers.

  Stretching out into the vast representation of place are the images representing our culture, history, and imagination of the writers. Place names, real and fictional, fix us to the legendary. The mills, coal towns, railroads and tunnels, all represent the taming or the traumatizing of the Allegheny Front.

  The map shape of West Virginia, a most identifying image, was used to represent the geographics of place but as well the dimensional structure and spiritual realm of home, hills, and something everlasting solid. Mountains, majestic rivers from rushing streams, flora, fauna, state symbols of the black bear, rhododendron, and cardinal were included because they are what we are, habitants of a very special country, “from a place called solid.”

     Noel W. Tenney, Illustrator

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu
wvfolklife@pierpont.edu

Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286
jbyers@fairmontstate.edu
jbyers@pierpont.edu


Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Folk Cultural Specialist
   Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
   and Museum Studies Program Coordinator
   Pierpont Community & Technical College
(304) 367-3606 

ntenney@fairmontstate.edu
ntenney@pierpont.edu

FSUNow Stories

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a special event in April honoring the work of acclaimed poet Maggie Anderson and the legacy of former West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three West Virginia writers will read from their new books at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the Fairmont State University main campus. The writers include Michael W. Cox, Jessie Van Eerden and John Van Kirk.

A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs at Fairmont State University and the Department of Language and Literature.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Playwright, author and screenwriter Tom DeTitta has been named the 2014 Artist-in-Residence for Fairmont State University. With a specialty in historical drama, he has written two plays with content closely connected to this area, “Monongah,” which is about an immigrant family affected by the 1907 mine disaster, and “Street of Gold,” which is about a coal mining family in Western Pennsylvania.

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