Fiction and Poetry



Hearts of Gold, by J. McHenry Jones, ed. by John Ernest and Eric Gardner, 2010
A novel of Black life at the turn into the twentieth century, by J. McHenry Jones (1849-1909), who was principal of the Lincoln School in Wheeling and president of the West Virginia Colored Institute, now WV State University.

Hawk’s Nest,
by Hubert Skidmore, 1941 and 2004.
 Although the largest percentage of victims were African American, the primary characters in this novel are reported to be white.  Other novels cited in the main Wikipedia entry on Hawk’s Nest include
The Miner’s Daughter, by Gretchen Moran Laskas, and Witness at Hawks Nest, by Dwight Harshbarger.




Anne Spencer, A Poet of Many Styles
Anne Spencer (1882-1975) spent part of her childhood in Bramwell, WV.  She was a part of the Harlem Renaissance and later settled in Virginia.


Norman Jordan (1938-2015) was an internationally published poet and the most-published WV African American poet.  His work was widely anthologized, as described on this web page.  He also wrote two books of poetry:  Destination: Ashes (1967) and Above Maya (1971).

Valley Girl, by Crystal Good, 2012
Good’s debut collection of poetry includes themes in quantum physics, Appalachian culture, gender equality, and mountaintop removal.


Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser, ed. by Janet Kaufman and Anne Herzog, 2006.
Includes poem based on the Hawks Nest Tunnel tragedy. Tim Dayton published a 2015 critical analysis, Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead.