But it's not all idyllic. There are some strange laws in West Virginia.Whistling underwater is prohibited, so watch yourself. And do not walk your lion, tiger or leopard -- even if it's leashed -- in the city of Alderson.
West Virginia's state poet laureate is Irene McKinney, who has held the position since 1994. There's a wonderful interview with her here. It gives McKinney's background and she speaks about the writing process.
She's a fitting PL for the Mountain State, who's motto is "Mountaineers are always free."
Don't you love that quote? For me, it shows McKinney's connection to another woman who wrote what she wanted to, convinced nobody cared enough to listen. Here is McKinney's portrait of Emily Dickinson.
The Only Portrait of Emily Dickinson
The straight neck held up out of the lace
is bound with a black velvet band.
She holds her mouth the way she chooses,
the full underlip constrained by a small muscle.
She doesn’t blink or look aside,
although her left eye is considering
a slant. She would smile
if she had time, but right now
there is composure to be invented.
She stares at the photographer.
Read on! The rest of the poem is at the Poetry Foundation.