Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

E-Book depicts Tuscaloosa after tornado


A picture of Tuscaloosa both before and after the tornado has been put together in the form of an E-Book.

“The next day, the weight of what had occurred settled on our chests: the residential areas of Forest Lake and Alberta City decimated, people missing, friends without roofs,” is the set up given on the website by the E-Book’s creator Brian Oliu.

Oliu is a creative writing professor at The University of Alabama who brought together a group of authors to publish the book called “Tuscaloosa Runs This.”

“In one sense when everything happened we didn’t know what to do, but we knew that we needed to do something,” Oliu wrote on the website. “And so, we played to our strength – our counseling, our writing.”

The E-Book is a compilation of works from 44 authors, some written before the tornado and others written after. Oliu describes the works in the anthology as “attempts to capture what it is we love about this city and what it means to us to repair and rebuild our home.”

The book is free and can be downloaded from the book’s website at as well as viewed in Issuu, a program that allows you to read the book as you would if you had it in your hand.

Kori Hensell, a contributing writer to the E-Book, submitted a piece called “Tuscaloosa.” The piece, which was written after the storm, expressed her emotions towards this city she has grown to love calling it “absurd but endearing.”

Hensell got involved with the project after being asked by Oliu because she thought it was a great creative outlet that unified the writers in Tuscaloosa.

“There is an amazing amount of talent here in Tuscaloosa and it was also an opportunity to showcase that talent in a way that could help our city,” she said.

Lauren Smith, another contributing writer, wrote a piece called “Location: 33° 12’ 24” N, 87° 32’ 5” W.” She said her piece is in the fashion of a long form haiku that expresses the beauty of nature and that sometimes beauty can be disastrous. She said that while everyone has his or her own personal story with the tornado, this is hers.

The lines “How everything that has vanished will be remembered, will be carried by thought and other hands. Open your eyes. Know your city breathes,” end her poem and encourages the readers, and it also leaves them with the hope that pre-tornado Tuscaloosa will not be forgotten.

“Tuscaloosa Runs This” offers both fiction and non-fictions pieces that stir emotions, uplifts and unites readers just as it did its authors. All of the contributors hope that readers will make donations on the website that will go towards Recover Tuscaloosa.

“All of the writings are about Tuscaloosa – the people, place and things that we love,” Oliu said.

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