Join us for an evening of Appalachian story and song with Proal Heartwell and Bahlmann Abbot. This event will be free and open to the public.
A native Virginian, Proal Heartwell lives in Charlottesville where he teaches English at Village School, which he co-founded in 1995. He is the author of a literary memoir, Goronwy and Me: A Narrative of Two Lives; a novel, A Game of Catch; and, most recently, a novella, Divided We Fall. Divided We Fall is based on the 1989-90 strike by the United Mine Workers of America against the Pittston Coal Group and its subsidiaries, a strike that was unique for its emphasis on civil disobedience. Told in multiple voices, this novella details the effects of the strike on the citizens of Southwest Virginia while also exploring the long-term animosity between the miners’ union and coal operators.
A native of southern West Virginia, Bahlmann Abbot has been a practicing architect and musician in the Charlottesville area since the late 70’s. He has produced two CDs, Falling in Place and Chasing Storms. Several of the songs he will perform at the event will address the challenges currently faced by the people of the Appalachian region. “Going, Going, Gone” paints a picture of people coping with mountain top removal mining while “Drink of Water” looks at the personal side of coping in the stalled economy of the mountain region. Bahlmann will also lead the audience in singing few standard mountain songs, music which was the backdrop for the story told in Divided We Fall.