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WVU Humanities Center and WVU Press host launch event for Muriel Rukeyser's The Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead cover with Muriel Rekeyser's name and 'The Book of the Dead' title on it.

WVU Press and the Humanities Center will host an event to celebrate the new edition of Muriel Rukeyser's collection of documentary poems, “The Book of the Dead” Thursday (Feb.1) from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Colson Hall 130.

In 1930, the Union Carbide plant in Alloy commissioned the Hawks Nest Tunnel, creating work conditions that eventually killed as many as 700 workers, mostly African American migrant workers. Activist poet Muriel Rukeyser traveled to nearby Gauley Bridge and other workers' communities to document the debilitating effects of silicosis, poverty, and disenfranchisement of those affected. Now, almost 80 years later, WVU Press is releasing these poems in their own volume with an introduction by Catherine Venable Moore. The volume is supported by a grant from the WV Humanities Council.

The event will feature a reading from West Virginia writer Catherine Venable Moore as well as talks from Johanna Winant (English), Bradley Wilson (Geography), and Hal Gorby (History) on the history and contexts surrounding the Hawk's Nest disaster.

For more information visit The Book of the Dead Facebook page.