The Ludlow Massacre in History and Poetry

Two years ago we were very fortunate to have on campus Thomas Andrews, author of the amazing book Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War, published by Harvard University Press. The book, based on his Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Wisconsin, won pretty much every single award a history book can win when it came out, including the Bancroft Prize, given to the best work of history published in a given year. Andrews gave a wonderful talk to my Theory and Methods of History (Hist 4800) course and to some other courses in various other departments (one from Anthropology, one from Sociology) that sat in that evening.

Andrews’ book is a deep history — environmental, social, political, and cultural — of the entire history of coal in Colorado leading up to the events of April, 1914, when nineteen miners, their wives, and children were killed in what came to be called the “Ludlow Massacre.” It was an epochal moment in the history of Colorado and in the history of American labor, one written and argued about since that time.

This month, our local public radio station, KRCC, is featuring the current poet laureate of Colorado, David Mason, reading from his poetic account of the Ludlow Massacre, Ludlow, a “verse novel” which tells the story of the miners and their families. Mason’s readings will air each Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on KRCC, 91.5 FM, through the month of September.

Here is a blurb from KRCC’s website with some more information:

We’re very pleased to announce that, after many months of recording and editing, our collaboration with Colorado College Professor and Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason will come to fruition this Saturday, September 3 at 1 p.m. on KRCC as we air the first installment ofLudlow. An epic verse-novel about the union disputes in the coal fields of Southern Colorado that resulted in a tragic massacre and ignited the U.S. labor movement, Mason’s book deftly blends fact and fiction to bring this pivotal moment in regional and American history to life.

We hope you’ll join us this Saturday and each of the following Saturdays through October 1, and here at KRCC.org for archived installments and extra features.

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This entry was posted in History Books to Read, History Department, History in the News. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Ludlow Massacre in History and Poetry

  1. Craig says:

    David Mason is currently serving as the Poet Laureate of Colorado, in your post you state that he is the former Poet Laureate.

  2. uccshistory says:

    Thanks — I meant to correct that mistake before posting, it’s fixed now. Going to enjoy hearing these readings all month, thanks for all the work that went into it.

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