Milla van der Have, a Dutch writer, spent 3 weeks in St, Mary's Art Centre in Virginia City. While there she wrote an (unexpected) chapbook about the town and its history, Ghosts of Old Virginny, published by Aldrich Press and available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Old-Virginny-Milla-Have/dp/0692590021/
"In August 2014 I drove up to Virginia City on a rare rainy day. I was on my way to St. Mary's Art Centre in Virginia City, for a 3 week writer's residency. My goal was simple: to finish the first draft of the novel I was working on. I didn't know much about Virginia City but from what I had Googled it looked cool enough. Relaxed, not too distracting. A perfect setting to withdraw and hammer out the 4 final chapters of my novel. But once there, something happened. The Comstock got to me.
I sat on the porch (my favorite writing spot) and when I looked up, wild horses had appeared on the lawn as if by magic. I walked around and a turkey buzzard circled lazily overhead (impressive, because in The Netherlands we hardly ever see anything bigger than an oversized gull). I visited the cemetery, I started reading up on the town's history and I realized I couldn't leave without having done anything with those riches. So in my spare time, when my novel-duties were done, I started writing poems. Poems that took their start in legends, history and nature but used that to reimagine themselves into something new.
Ghosts and horses
In one poem, the tale of Virginia City's christening becomes the story of how a relationship began. In another the journey to the Comstock is also the journey of a couple looking for something new. The hardships of mining are like the hardships of love. There are ghosts, of course and tall tales, like that of the last gunfight in Virginia City. And finally, there's that one thing that never changes. In Silver Terrace Cemeteries Nevada's wild horses roam over the town's graveyards.
I am told that Virginia City's silver strike was kind of a coincidence. The miners were there for gold but when 'damn blue stuff' kept getting in the way, they discovered a lode of silver. In a way, the same thing happened to me. Little did I expect that I would write not just the first draft of my novel but a chapbook's worth of poems as well. These poems turned into a book, that became my first published English chapbook. So if you ask me, the treasures of Virginia City are in no way depleted."