Main Line Books in downtown Elkins is set to host a book-signing event from 4 to 6 p.m. today with author Erin Ann Thomas.
From Northern Virginia, Thomas has published poetry in Kalliope, an essay in Dialogue and poetry and essays in other literary journals and newspapers. "Coal in our Veins" is her first book publication.
In "Coal in Our Veins," Thomas employs historical research, autobiography and journalism to intertwine the history of coal, her ancestors' lives mining coal and the societal and environmental impacts of the United States' dependency on coal as an energy source. In the first part of her book, she visits Wales, native ground of British coal mining and of her emigrant ancestors. Then Thomas moves to the coal region of Utah - where they witnessed the Winter Quarters and Castle Gate mine explosions, two of the worst mining disasters in American history - and the history of coal development in Utah form the second part.
Then Thomas investigates coal mining and communities in West Virginia, looking at the Sago Mine collapse and more widespread impacts of mining, including population displacement, mountaintop removal, coal dust dispersal, stream pollution, flooding and decimation. The book's final part moves from Washington D.C. - and an examination of coal and the national energy policy - back to Wales and the closing of the oldest operating deep mine in the world, and then to a look at energy alternatives, especially wind power, in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
If you go
When: 4 to 6 p.m. today
Where: Main Line Books, 301 Davis Ave.