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Richard Peake, author of Moon's Black Gold, Jack, Be Nimble, , and Birds and Other Beasts

Emeritus Professor at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, Peake has lived in the coalfields of Virginia for forty years. He participated in efforts to obtain legislation regulating surface mining in the 1960's and 1970's. He has published several volumes of poetry and an academic satire, Jack, Be Nimble.

Peake's two novels deal with murders, attempted and actual. All of Peake's work, both fiction and non-fiction—especially his Birds and Other Beasts (poetry)—shows his long-standing interest in the natural world. An active amateur field ornithologist for over fifty years, he served the Virginia Society of Ornithology as board member, foray leader, and President.