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) 333-3606


FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art, the Fairmont State University Department of Language and Literature and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a two-day Celebration of Issue 35.

Ten Kestrel contributors will be on campus to participate in a panel discussion, as well as give readings from their own work.

On Friday, Sept. 23, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in Jaynes Hall 304, Dr. Elizabeth Savage will moderate a panel discussion on the topic, “Accessibility,” featuring visiting writers. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will officially open a new exhibition, “From Mountain Roots….” in its Ruth Ann Musick Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

Admission to the opening reception and the exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view through mid-February 2017. For more information, call (304) 367-4403.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will host “Film & Fiction Italian Family Style: An Afternoon of Italian Heritage” from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.

Diana Pishner Walker will read from her children’s books, and her sister Anna Pishner Harsh offer a premier screening of “La Danza-Bridging Time Through Dance,” an Italian dance documentary. Walker and Harsh’s paternal grandparents were from Caulonia, Italy, (Reggio Calabria), and their maternal grandparents were from San Giovani in Fiore, Provence of Cosenza, Italy.

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