Here’s what’s up in the December 2021 issue of WestVirginiaVille.com. This’ll be the last one for awhile as we go on hiatus until March 1, 2022, as I attend to some long-form projects. Be sure you’re free subscribed to our newsletter for news and updates: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com. | Be well —and in a writer pal’s sage words: ‘Look out for one another.’ Peace. ~ Douglas John Imbrogno, editor
Wandering the byways, backroads, and skyways in the zone of Lost River WV, back up in the Hardy County hill country and flatlands of eastern West Virginia, while trying to write a sorta memoir. An imagistic journey.
READ ON: Losing Yourself in Lost River
Don’t Go Slow, Joe
Here’s the thing on climate change. We can keep partying like its 1999. We can burn through buckets of pixels on the latest manufactured outrage. We can generate more of the delay, distraction, and despair described in “The New Climate War.” But the tsunami of climate impacts is hitting now, with more tidal waves on the way. So let’s pull out the stops for climate action — even if it means mass-serenading Joe Manchin.
The Art of Doing Dishes
I often find guest essays perusing social media, noting well-stated posts, then bugging folks: ‘I’d love to make that a WestVirginiaVille piece, yeah?!’ It’s a way to lift up wise words that will soon get washed away by cat videos, dinner porn, and grandbabies. (Not that there’s anything wrong with grandbabies.) Here’s an example: a re-worked Facebook post from the frontlines of the sink.
‘BLACK BY GOD: The West Virginian’ is a publication any serious person in West Virginia, Appalachia, and America should read and support. (You un-serious people — get help.) Founder Crystal Good’s attempt to raise up worthy stories of Black existence, striving, flourishing, and unheralded (often suppressed) history in a society built on I-beams of white privilege and bigotry is an essential narrative and counterpoint.
Someone suggested we imagine screaming, attention-hungry kids melting down in stores as their parents wheel blithely down the aisle. And then note: those kids are all grown up in the won’t-shut-up-shapes of Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and Marjorie Taylor-Greene. How we raise children raises up the world to come. Advocatus Peregrini has thoughts on that.
Here’s a chatty survey of the paragraphs, images, articles and links that pinged our brain’s radar and got us thinking in the last 30-odd days. And they have indeed been odd. Or maybe we’re just odd. It could be both.
A Shot Across the Bow
Beginning January 2022, it will be significantly easier for West Virginians to claim exemptions from employer COVID-19 vaccination mandates. That raises all sorts of red flags.
Write This Way
I’ve gathered a syllabus of insight, encouragement, and ponderings on the excruciating, glorious, essential act of writing. Or — more often — trying to write. Or talking about trying to write. Or fretting on how much we talk about trying to write. Two words: Write. On.
The fight for clean water is central to the new book “Desperate,” which tells the story of coal mining communities in southern West Virginia battling Massey Energy and Don Blankenship for something you’d think would bea human right.
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Leave comments below, or at the bottom of stories, or via our contact form. For e-mail notice of future monthly issues, free subscribe at: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com. However you mark the holidays — even if not at all — be well and get back in balance after getting knocked out of true.
DECEMBER 2021 ISSUE | WestVirginiaVille.com
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PICTURE/SHOW: Losing yourself in Lost River
VIDEO: Harmonically urging Joe to back Build Back Better
ESSAY: The sink as a refuge of solitude & solidarity
RE/PRINT: Multifest still a beacon of the need for the Black press
ESSAY: Teach your children well — but not what to think
READ/UP: What we are reading—or what is reading us
RE/PRINT: ‘Desperate’ highlights clean water fight in WV coalfields
ROUND/UP: Storytelling from campfires to computers
RE/PRINT: State’s new vaccine law opens door to politicizing health
EDITORS/NOTE: Allen Ginsberg & Bonfires | The Sky & Eternity | Manchin & Byrd and more: November 2021 Issue WestVirginiaVille.com: If this November 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 flavors.
EDITORS/NOTE: It’s a Character Thing: October 2021 Issue of WestVirginiaVille.com: Charly Jupiter Hamilton speaks for himself in a three-part farewell to the beloved West Virginia artist that involves hippos and painted coffins. Plus, Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline on the tricky art of listening. And two famous character studies, imprisoned separately by booze and prison bars.
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EDITORS/NOTE: Look this way: September 2021 Issue of WestVirginiaVille.com: Here is looking at you, Thomas, West Virginia. Plus, how a COVID test saved Jeff Seager’s heart and maybe his life; a Crystal Good essay on Black miners and Blair Mountain; new poetry and prose by James Cochran from “I Am Appalachian,” and how to get kids talking climate change before it’s too late.