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
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.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
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts honored its high achieving students during the fifth annual Academic Awards Ceremony at the end of the spring 2015 semester.

Dr. Deanna Shields, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Maria Rose, FSU President; and Bill Holmes of the Fairmont State Foundation Inc. presented greetings and congratulations to the students for their academic achievements.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

In celebration of Fairmont State University’s Sesquicentennial, the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center has created an exhibit titled “On a Hill by a Dream,” which features FSU history, traditions and lore.

The title for the exhibition was taken from a poem by Louise McNeill, West Virginia’s former Poet Laureate who taught history at Fairmont State. The following quote is from her “Chestnut Orchard” (“Paradox Hill: From Appalachia to Lunar Shore”):

“Back through the years beyond time and space,
On a hill—by a dream—we will find that place.”

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will host “A Salute to Old-Time Music: Presenting Two Legendary Fiddlers in Concert” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8.

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