The spring 2021 Phyllis W. Moore Online Author Series, presented by the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University, kicks off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 9 with a reading by poet Diane Gilliam.
“I’m thrilled that we can continue, even during this pandemic, to offer opportunities for our community to engage in literature and the arts,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President.
In taking on the voice of miners, their wives, children, and sisters, Black families, and Italian immigrants, Gilliam reimagines the coal mine wars of 1920-1921 in her book, Kettle Bottom. Winner of the 2004 Perugia Press Prize, as well as the 2008 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, Kettle Bottom was named an American Booksellers Association Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Book for 2005. It also was the Ohioana Library Association Poetry Book of the Year and a finalist for the Weatherford Award of the Appalachian Studies Association.
This free online event will be hosted on Cisco WebEx and is open to the public at www.fairmontstate.edu/GilliamWebEx.
Gilliam, whose family was a part of the Appalachian outmigration from West Virginia and Kentucky, was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature from The Ohio State University and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.
The theme of the 2021 Phyllis Wilson Moore Online Author Series is labor and the struggles of West Virginia’s working folk. Moore is a graduate of Fairmont State College, nurse, poet and the creator of the West Virginia Literary Map. She donated her research about West Virginia authors to Fairmont State University.
The Phyllis Wilson Moore West Virginia Authors Archive is housed at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center and is available to student and faculty researchers. Although the Center is currently open to Fairmont State University students, it is closed to community visitors. For information about online events hosted by the Folklife Center, call 304-367-4403.