West Virginia and Its Writers
The front of the map is dedicated to the oral literature that came before as exemplified in the works of Ruth Ann Musick, West Virginia folktale scholar: The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales (1965); Green Hills of Magic, West Virginia Folk Tales from Europe (1970) and Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales (1976).
The map highlights 35 authors from the 35th state, writing during the time period 1863-2003, plus a West Virginia site often associated with them or their work along with a literary distinction. These authors and their works offer samples of some of the most significant imaginative literature written by authors of the state. In the printed version of the map the book symbol (see below) identifies the 35 authors selected for the front of the map; an asterisk * is used to identify them on this website.
The reverse side of the map is dedicated to three literary collaborators, each an essential link in preserving and promoting the literary history of West Virginia: Shirley Young Campbell, author, editor, playwright, poet, and catalyst for the founding of West Virginia Writers, Inc.; Jim Comstock, author, editor, historian, journalist, and publisher of West Virginia Hillbilly, The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, and more; and William Plumley, author, editor, educator, and poet.
In addition to the 35 authors selected for the front of the map, all listed on the reverse side further represent the findings of a statewide key-informant survey and other determining methods. The authors are also representative of those writing from 1863-2003 in six genre categories [children's/young adult literature, drama, fiction, memoir, poetry, and screenwriting]. In most cases, only one genre, title, and award are listed per author. However, most of the authors write in many genres and have numerous awards and honors.
The title phrase on the map is from Louise McNeill's memoir The Milkweed Ladies. Pittsburgh, PA: The University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985, p. 8.
On the reverse side the map's intent is summarized with a Pearl S. Buck quote, "...and there were generations of us there, all belonging together."
- Pearl S. Buck from My Several Worlds. NY: John Day Company, 1954, p. 51.
Phyllis Wilson Moore, Author
= the book symbol used on the printed map