I've written before about the horrors of mountaintop removal, the coal industry's current profit-taking weapon of choice against the people and environment of Appalachia. I was brought to consciousness about this outrage by Ann Pancake's wonderful novel Strange as this Weather Has Been, which tells the story of a West Virginia family and community whose lives are devastated by the wreckage of mountaintop removal.Photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices
Now my friend the West Virginian novelist Meredith Sue Willis has sent me a heads-up about the upcoming second annual New York Loves Mountains Festival.
The festival takes place May 29-31 at various sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It features theater, music, readings and a rally. Among those taking part will be authors Silas House and Jeff Biggers, playwright Sarah Moon and cellist Ben Sollee with surprise musical guests. The whole thing is presented by Headwaters Productions; this is from artistic director Stephanie Pistello's news release:
New York's connection between Appalachia and the Catskills dates back to Washington Irving's 1819 classic, Rip Van Winkle. ... In the spirit of Irving's great tale, the NY Loves Mountains Festival features the first national-touring original production based on a mountaintop removal family saga and Thomas Edison's first coal-fired plant in New York City.Get all the details here.