Serpent Blog

An Apology and an Oversght 
I apologize to Shelby Lee Adams for posting his photograph, Boy with Serpent Box and Poison Jar, without his permission. Copyright is the only protection an artist has and it should be taken seriously. I did not do that. I wish to express my regret for this oversight. It was not my intention to offend the subject in this photograph nor to exploit Mr. Adams.

I will be taking down the photograph in question as soon as I can contact my webmaster. I have already removed another copy of it from my blog on which I included a caption which the subject may have found offensive. For that I am also sorry.

I tried to write Serpent Box with respect and dignity toward the Pentecostal movement that inspired it. I have tried to portray Holiness people as God-loving, spiritual human beings. I have heard from several Holiness people who have read the novel, and they have told me that I did in fact succeed in doing so. But Serpent Box is a work of fiction. It is not based on any real people, and is not meant to be a documentary about snake handlers. That being said, I was moved by Mr. Adams' photos. His incredible book, Appalachian Portraits (which was ironically stolen from me) introduced me to these people, whose faith in God and Jesus infected me, and provided me with the impetus to re-discover God in my own life. I am truly grateful to him and to his subjects.


It has also been brought to my attention that certain photographs on the site should be credited to Russell Lee with appropriate copyrights attributed to him. These I got from the National Archives and at the time did not see such a credit nor was I aware of the Commons Licensing requirements. This will be corrected shortly.

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