EDITORS/NOTE: Allen Ginsberg & Bonfires | The Sky & Eternity | Manchin & Byrd and more



If this November 2021 issue were a bag of Tootsie Pops, we’d have all the different flavors, including that rare blue-raspberry-flavored purple one. Dive deep into this month’s magazine and you’ll find lots of variety. PS: If you did not receive an e-mail notice of the issue, free subscribe at: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com. | Douglas John Imbrogno, Editor


It’s a Ginsberg Thing

What do you get when you mix famed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, a bonfire in the Appalachian hills, an interview, and a recording studio? Well, 30 years later you get the music video “I Never Slept With Allen Ginsberg.” Therein lies a tale. Our “Characters” series profile characters living and dead, present or past, with some connection to the Mountain State. The only requirement is that they are a character — and have some, too. Ginsberg certainly fits that bill.

CHARACTERS, PART 1: We hereby present the world debut of “I Never Slept With Allen Ginsberg,” which traces why I, Douglas John Imbrogno, never slept with Allen Ginsberg, missing a chance to be immortalized in an erotic poem, of which he wrote many. Then, check out the backstory along with the lyrics. It’s complicated.
READ ON: PART 1: A music video about how I never slept with Allen Ginsberg

CHARACTERS, PART 2: As part of our BEAT poets-in-West Virginia history, here is a reprint of a chat with Ginsberg when he came to the 1983 WV Writers Inc., conference in Ripley WV. 
READ ON: PART 2: Allen Ginsberg speaks up in West Virginia


Chain of Creation

The new documentary “Where Sky Meets Eternity” profiles a novel artistic happening as a crew of creative West Virginians bounce off each other’s work in unexpected ways. The documentary begins last April with a poem by WV Poet laureate Marc Harshman. It ends 11 art-forms later, as a glass artist responds to his poem, and a photographer to the glass artist. A painter/printmaker reacts to the photo and a digital artist to the painter/printmaker. A poet to the digital artist and a fiber artist to the digital artist. A painter to the fiber artist and an animator to the fiber artist. A writer to the animator and finally a musician to the writer. What resulted is worthy of a show. And got one.
READ ON: Q&A: “Where Sky Meets Eternity” documents an extraordinary artistic hand-off
READ ON: Poem in the series: “Almost” by Marc Harshman
READ ON: Poem in the series: “A Year of Few Apples


The Art of Nature

When it comes to Autumn in the West Virginia outback, nothing could be finer than photographer Al Peery framing the scene from his wanderings back up in the West Virginia wilderness, wandering high to low, from Dolly Sods to the Cranberry Glades.
READ ON: PICTURE/SHOW: The Hills & Dales of Al Peery’s West Virginia


How low can Joe go?

Yes, we here at WestVirginiaVille Central Command are not too proud to resort to doggerel when it comes to the problem of (please set the rest of this sentence to this soundtrack) — how do you solve a problem like Joe Manchin? In rhyming couplets, we hereby compare the legacies of West Virginia senators Robert C. Byrd and Sen. Joe. Spoiler Alert: The legacy match-up is not looking good for Joe, right now.
READ ON: DOGGEREL: The Ballad of Bobby and Joe


This isn’t looking good

Here’s what happened when Joe Manchin showed up at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, a prospective vision of the future served up courtesy of the publication Black by God.
READ ON: CARTOON: A funny thing happened to Joe Manchin on his way to Heaven …


Temperature’s Rising

In three short videos, take the measure of climate change. The climate crisis deepens every day, yet more and more people planet-wide awaken daily to the reality of what must be done to turn down the fever threatening the planet.
READ ON: CLIMATE/CRISIS: Taking the measure of climate change in three short videos


What happened next …

One night in West Texas, taking refuge from a motorcycle ride through buckets of rain, fleeing a broken heart, an empty diner appears ahead. Inside, after a long wait, a beaten-down waitress finally appears. Anything could change.
READ ON: MEMOIR: ‘Memory of a Waitress’


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