Under The Watchful Eye
“James Deahl is one of the ten or twenty finest poets writing in the English language today.”
— Michael Wurster, Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange
“In his precise articulations of landscape, we get such a highly charged evocation of place — be it a steel town or the Appalachians — that it is as if the reader were the first person to stand there.”
— Sandra Nicholls, Books in Canada
The Under The Watchful Eye series is inspired by a selection of James Deahl’s poetry, most written in West Virginia and Virginia. An engrossing exploration of several of the threads that run through James Deahl’s poetry, the videoand book follow him into the land of his boyhood, probing subjects that matter to him: coal mining, beehive coke ovens, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the American Civil War, and the death of the steel industry in Pittsburgh.
In David Greens’s video, The Under The Watchful Eye: An Atlantic Odessey (Silver Falls Video, 1993) Deahl’s poetry is presented in a powerful integration with music and visuals that capture the haunting beauty of the Appalachian mountains and the often dark human history they held. In addition, other writers, artists, scholars, coal miners and steelworkers speak on these subjects and Deahl’s poetic treatment.
The book Under The Watchful Eye: Poetry and Discourse is a prose and poetry exploration of the personal and socio-political-history of the poet’s heritage within the landscape of Appalachia. Some discourse in the book also responds to questions raised in the video.
Poetry and Music from Under the Watchful Eye captures James Deahl reading the ten poems featured in the video and book backed with original music written by D.C. Fitzgerald, along with more of D.C.’s music available nowhere else. D.C. works in the folk and blues traditions, and has recorded and performed throughout the US for the past quarter-century.
About the Author
James Deahl was born in Pittsburgh and grew up among the hills and rivers of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He moved to Cannada in 1970 and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. He has served as President of the Canadian Poetry Association, has authored and edited numerous books, and has been poetry editor of The Spectator daily paper in Hamilton, Ontario.
Under the Watchful Eye: Poetry and Discourse
Broken Jaw Press
July 1995 / 64 pp
ISBN 0-921411-30-8 (tp) / $15.95
Poetry and Music from Under The Watchful Eye
James Deahl (poems); D.C. Fitzgerald (music)
Broken Jaw Press
September 1995 / 60 minute audio cassette
ISBN 0-921411-32-4 / $14.95
Under The Watchful Eye: An Atlantic Odessey
by David A. Greene
Silver Falls Video
60 minute Hi-fi stereo VHS video
SF-93-501 / $26.95
(also available from Silver Falls Video, 283 Carpenter Lane, North Huntingdon PA 15642)