November 24, 2014

Library exhibit merges coal mining poetry, photos

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “The Light That Shatters Darkness,” a special exhibit featuring coal mining poetry and photographs, is coming to Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

The new Special Collections Research Center exhibit can be seen in the library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors whenever the library is open from Dec. 1, 2014, through Feb. 1, 2015.  The exhibit merges poetry by David Bond with photographs by the late C. William “Doc” Horrell. 

Bond, senior library specialist for Library Affairs, worked for more than 17 years as a third-shift warehouse manager for an underground coal mine, seeing for himself what coal mines are all about. He earned his master of fine arts degree at SIU and his poetry has been published in various literary journals. He is the winner of two Illinois Arts Council Award Fellowships, a MacDowell Artist Fellowship and the Friends of Morris Library Delta Award. 

Horrell came to SIU in 1949 and directed the photography services division until 1958.  He was a leader in the creation of the cinema and photography department at the university and taught there until his retirement in 1983. During the 1960s, Horrell shot more than 1,000 black and white photographs at area coal mines. He died in 1989 but his iconic collection documenting the region’s mining history is held in Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center. Some of those pictures are included in “The Light That Shatters Darkness.” 

For more information, contact Bond at or 618/453-2516.