The Book of the Dead

The Book of the Dead cover

The Book of the Dead

By  Muriel Rukeyser , Introduction by  Catherine Venable Moore
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Written in response to the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel disaster of 1931 in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, The Book of the Dead is an important part of West Virginia’s cultural heritage and a powerful account of one of the worst industrial catastrophes in American history. The poems collected here investigate the roots of a tragedy that killed hundreds of workers, most of them African American. They are a rare engagement with the overlap between race and environment in Appalachia.
Published for the first time alongside photographs by Nancy Naumburg, who accompanied Rukeyser to Gauley Bridge in 1936, this edition of The Book of the Dead includes an introduction by Catherine Venable Moore, whose writing on the topic has been anthologized in Best American Essays.
 

Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980) was a prolific American writer and political activist. In 1935 her first collection of poetry, Theory of Flight, won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, and she went on to publish twelve more volumes of poetry. She received a National Institute of Arts and Letters award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Levinson Prize for Poetry, and the Shelley Memorial Award, among other accolades. Rukeyser’s writing consistently emphasized and utilized cinematic and graphic techniques, and she explored various connections between the visual and literary aspects of art. She originally intended The Book of the Dead to be published with multiple photos by Naumburg.
 
Catherine Venable Moore is a writer and producer in Fayette County, West Virginia. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Montana, Moore is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Highlander Center, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and others. Her nonfiction has recently appeared in Best American Essays, Oxford American, VICE, Columbia Journalism Review, and Yes! She is also an honorary member of the United Mine Workers of America. Currently, she is at work on a collection of essays. 
 

ISBN: 9781946684219

ISBN-10: 9781946684219

Publisher: West Virginia University Press

Publication Date: 02/01/2018 - 12:00am

On Sale: 02/01/2018 - 12:00am

Pages: 144

Language: English

Categories

Poetry

Social Science / Disasters & Disaster Relief

History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)

Political Science / Civil Rights