Paybacks are Almost Heaven, West Virginia

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Morgantown West Virginia's Arts Monongahela is receiving all proceeds from the sale of William F. DeVault's book about his experiences growing up in this city.

Morgantown, West Virginia's Arts Monongahela is receiving all proceeds from the sale of hometown boy William F. DeVault's book about his experiences growing up in this city.

When Arts Monongahela helped "The Romantic Poet of the Internet" book appearances into the town where he grew up, they didn't know there'd be a payback, in a good way.

William F. DeVault had contacted this local arts advocacy group for assistance in setting up some stops on his 2002 tour promoting his 4th book, "Love Gods of a Forgotten Religion." ArtsMon set the author up with two local venues, The Blue Moose Cafe and 123 Pleasant Street, and the internationally renowned poet enjoyed the experience so much that he wrote a book of poems largely inspired by what he saw on returning home.

Flash forward three years and his seventh book, "The Morgantown Suite Poems" was released, with the digital renaissance's most mercurial figure announcing all the proceeds of the book will be donated to the organization that had made his personal homecoming so successful.

Today, January 30, 2006, the poet is handing over the first of what will undoubtably be many royalty checks to this brainchild of founder Meghan King-Johnson. Ms. Johnson has since moved on, leaving the organization's future in new hands, but the mission remains the same: Helping regional and local artists to develop their skills, hone their crafts and find their audiences.

The poet, whose weekly poetry podcast is available through Apple's iTunes Music Store and whose books are available through most online retailers, urges all creative artists to follow his path in donating proceeds to organizations such as Arts Monongahela and the Appalachian Education Initiative, whose Art&Soul project he has been a part of, raising money for arts education in regional schools.

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William F. Devault

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