The Book of the Dead by Muriel RukeyserWritten 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.
The Book of the Dead
Indeed, for Rukeyser, these activities and forms of expression were linked. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation. Back to Previous.
These are roads to take when you think of your country and interested bring down the maps again, phoning the statistician, asking the dear friend,. Or when you sit at the wheel and your small light chooses gas gauge and clock; and the headlights. These roads will take you into your own country. Select the mountains, follow rivers back, travel the passes. Touch West Virginia where. Pillars and fairway; spa; White Sulphur Springs. Gay blank rich faces wishing to add history to ballrooms, tradition to the first tee.
Muriel Rukeyser 's first book of poetry, Theory of Flight , based on her experience of taking flying lessons, was chosen for the Yale Younger Poets Series. A political activist as well as a poet, Rukeyser devoted much of her time and writing to issues of feminism and social justice. She once worked for the International Labor Defense, and wrote for several publications on political issues, traveling to places such as Alabama Scottsboro trial , Barcelona People's Olympiad, which was a alternative to the Nazi-run Berlin Olympics and Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, to investigate ongoing poor health conditions among miners there in the wake of the Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster. The construction of the Hawk's Nest Tunnel, beginning in , during which workers were instructed to mine silica without proper protection, resulted in hundreds of miners, mostly African American men, developing the fatal lung disease silicosis. Rukeyser interviewed victims and their families; her detailed chronicling of the faces and voices of this tragedy resulted in the riveting poem sequence, "The Book of the Dead," which would be regarded as one of her most powerful pieces of poetry. It is a text that could be considered a hybrid work; it is polyvocal, part factual document, part investigative journalism, and part lyric.
In this Book
Indeed, for Rukeyser, these activities and forms of expression were linked. Prose Home Harriet Blog., Last week, the House Freedom Caucus released a list of regulations it recommends that Donald Trump overturn when he gets into office. These regulations include everything from energy efficiency standards on appliances to Net Neutrality.
Muriel Rukeyser December 15, — February 12, was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Kenneth Rexroth said that she was the greatest poet of her "exact generation. One of her most powerful pieces was a group of poems titled The Book of the Dead , documenting the details of the Hawk's Nest incident , an industrial disaster in which hundreds of miners died of silicosis. Her poem "To be a Jew in the Twentieth Century" , on the theme of Judaism as a gift, was adopted by the American Reform and Reconstructionist movements for their prayer books , something Rukeyser said "astonished" her, as she had remained distant from Judaism throughout her early life. From to 32, she attended Columbia University. Rukeyser was one of the great integrators, seeing the fragmentary world of modernity not as irretrievably broken, but in need of societal and emotional repair. Rukeyser was active in progressive politics throughout her life.