Colleen Anderson

Essayist

Colleen Anderson owns Mother Wit Writing and Design, a creative studio in Charleston. In addition to essays, she writes poems, fiction, nonfiction, and songs. Two of her essays for West Virginia Public Radio have earned national awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRINDI). See more of Colleen’s work by visiting her website.

This Week in West Virginia History

The West Virginia Humanities Council, publishers of e-WV, and West Virginia Public Broadcasting have created two-minute radio segments for "This Week in West Virginia History" to introduce listeners to important people, places, and events in Mountain State history. Each daily segment is keyed to the actual date in history on which it occurred. The radio scripts, drawn from the content of e-WV, were written by historian Stan Bumgardner and produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Operations Director, Bob Powell. Our composer, Matt Jackfert, composed the original theme music for the program.

Author and storyteller Colleen Anderson serves as the on-air voice. "This Week" airs Monday through Friday, both morning and afternoon during the news.

Essay
3:38 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Charleston (The Town for Extreme Tourists)

Credit Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

Like many others, I’m distressed and angry about the chemical leak that fouled my city’s water supply and turned off the taps for three hundred thousand taxpayers. But I can’t sustain my outrage without a dose of laughter now and then. And it occurs to me that Charleston may want to consider looking for a niche in the extreme tourism market. So, with the help of my co-writer and accompanist, George Castelle, I’ve put my thoughts into a song:

Charleston—the town inimical

Hip, historic, cool and chemical

Yes, there's sludge, and it could spill

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Essay
4:52 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Nesting

Credit Colleen Anderson

When my elderly parents moved to a retirement community in West Virginia, at my request, it was a tough transition. To lifelong flatlanders, my cherished mountains seemed oppressive, not protective. The roads were narrower and much twistier than those in Michigan. Their tiny new apartment was a poor substitute for the comfortable home where they’d lived for more than sixty years. And, even though they’d grown too frail to do much gardening, the hanging flower basket on their new balcony was nothing like a whole yard with trees, flowers, squirrels, and birds.

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