Archive for October 10, 2009

On Coal Mountain Elementary

Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009) by Mark Nowak is one of those books I really want to write about, but have a hard time doing so.   It’s not so much a book of poetry, but a collage of words and photographs.  The book is a collection of reports and mini-memoirs of mining disasters in China juxtaposed against the memories of those involved in the Sago Mine Disaster here in the United States.  Nowak also includes poems based on lesson plans involving coal mining history and communities.  Regular readers of this blog know my fascination and allegiance to workingclass people.  Coal mining, of course, is part of this world.  I used to pride myself on my knowledge of coal mining, but Nowak’s book humbled me. 

Tonight I discovered that Mark Nowak has now started a blog that provides updates on mining disasters.  For my readers who are interested in such issues, take a look at his site.  It’s a fascinating resource.