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Author returns to native W.Va.

June 11, 2003|by KATE COLEMAN

"It's always good to come back and visit old friends," says actor, playwright and poet David Selby, who is heading to the Eastern Panhandle part of his home state of West Virginia next week.

Selby will be in Martinsburg, W.Va., following his stop at a June 16 and 17 Leadership Symposium in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Selby will talk about the ideas and leadership qualities of Abraham Lincoln, the man who was president when West Virginia became the Union's 35th state in 1863. He also will read from his play "Lincoln and James," which tells the story of the conversation between James, caretaker at Washington D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial, and the statue of Lincoln that comes to life. The play, which had a reading at the Apollo Civic Theatre and a performance at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C., several years ago, is being adapted for film.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, Selby will introduce people in the area to another side of the man who is known for his roles on television's "Falcon Crest" and "Dark Shadows."


Selby will present "An Evening of Poetry" at 224 W. King St. in Martinsburg, the home of the old YMCA, now the offices of Inc. Proceeds will benefit Main Street Martinsburg, a program designed to help revitalize the city's downtown commercial district through historic preservation.

Selby, a native of Morgantown, W.Va., who lives in California, has published two books of poetry. He wrote his first, "My Mother's Autumn," after his mother's death in 1998. "It was my way of coming to terms with her passing," he says.

"Happenstance," Selby's second collection, includes poems about how things come into our lives and how it's important not to close our eyes to them. "It's just where life takes us," he says.

Lately, life has taken Selby to the filming of "Surviving Christmas," which stars Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara. He also recently sat in on a Charleston, W.Va., casting session for another play he wrote. "Final Assault" is about a woman who is trying to save her mountain.

Copies of "Happenstance" and "My Mother's Autumn" (book and CD) are available at on the Web.

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