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

Pat Musick
Pat Musick
, Interim Director
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
(304) 367-3606


FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Students from Fairmont State University’s “The Art of Storytelling” course have the opportunity to present storytelling programming for the community.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a special event on Friday, Nov. 6, saluting traditional country and bluegrass music and a renowned scholar.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The One-Room Schoolhouse, a Fairmont State University campus landmark, remains a visible symbol of the University’s continued focus on teaching and learning. Located near the Bryant Street Entrance to main campus, the museum is a significant artifact of regional and educational history.

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