Title

Confessions of a Coalminer's Granddaughter

Presenter Information

Amelia Kate Rutland

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The genre of creative nonfiction writing can be best described as fluid. To tell a true story depends largely on how we connect to our experiences and how they shape us. This is especially true when collecting and retelling folklore, a genre rich in perspective and perception. During a summer-long creative research project sponsored by the McNair Scholars Program, I explored the folklore of one small town in Kittitas Valley: Roslyn, Washington. Most know this town as the fictional Cicely, Alaska, from the TV show Northern Exposure. Few know of Roslyn’s coal mining roots. When I began the project, I did not know what I would find. But after a summer spent mining the small-town-America culture of Roslyn, I discovered that I was more connected than I originally expected. I explored these revelations through the creative nonfiction genre and compiled a short collection of vignettes, entitled Where Coal was King, that capture the spirit of Roslyn as well as how the stories of mining became a part of my own. One important aspect of the creative nonfiction genre is the element of sharing. By presenting my results, I will continue the folklore tradition and share how the mining history of Roslyn connected me to my own grandfather, a man I had never known.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lisa Norris, Ian Buvit

Additional Mentoring Department

English

Additional Mentoring Department

McNair Scholarship Program

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May 16th, 4:30 PM May 16th, 4:50 PM

Confessions of a Coalminer's Granddaughter

SURC 137A

The genre of creative nonfiction writing can be best described as fluid. To tell a true story depends largely on how we connect to our experiences and how they shape us. This is especially true when collecting and retelling folklore, a genre rich in perspective and perception. During a summer-long creative research project sponsored by the McNair Scholars Program, I explored the folklore of one small town in Kittitas Valley: Roslyn, Washington. Most know this town as the fictional Cicely, Alaska, from the TV show Northern Exposure. Few know of Roslyn’s coal mining roots. When I began the project, I did not know what I would find. But after a summer spent mining the small-town-America culture of Roslyn, I discovered that I was more connected than I originally expected. I explored these revelations through the creative nonfiction genre and compiled a short collection of vignettes, entitled Where Coal was King, that capture the spirit of Roslyn as well as how the stories of mining became a part of my own. One important aspect of the creative nonfiction genre is the element of sharing. By presenting my results, I will continue the folklore tradition and share how the mining history of Roslyn connected me to my own grandfather, a man I had never known.