GAA DEADLINE EXTENDED: The postmark deadline for applications for the 2006 Governor’s Arts Awards has been extended until Oct. 10. The guidelines for the 2006 Governor's Arts Awards are available on the Wyoming Arts Council web site. For 25 years, the Governor’s Arts Awards program has honored Wyoming residents, organizations, and businesses that have made extraordinary contributions to the arts. The roster of awardees includes writers and editors -- Gaydell Collier, David Romtvedt, Charles Levendosky -- and writing organizations, notably Wyoming Writers, Inc. More nominations like these are welcomed, especially by me. The WAC board will select up to four awardees at its November 2-3 meeting in Dubois. The WAC makes the official announcement later that month. FMI: WAC, 307-777-7742.
KELLEY, MOORE WIN B/D FELLOWSHIPS: Chavawn Kelley of Laramie and Bo Moore of Green River have been selected as winners of the 2007 Blanchan/Doubleday competition. Kelley receives the $1,000 Neltje Blancan Memorial Award for nature writers with her short story, "Estrella, Extrano." Moore wins the $1,000 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award for women writers for her creative nonfiction entry "Sleeping with Dogs." Honorable mentions in the Blanchan category go to Susan Marsh, Jackson, for her creative nonfiction piece entitled "Populus," and to Hulett’s Renee Carrier, author of the nonfiction entry, "A Singular Notion." Doubleday honorable mentions go to poet Joan Puma Bennet of Sheridan and her manuscript "Om-ing in Wyoming," and to Diane Wolverton of Laramie, author of the play script "Bring Back my Body." Judge for the competition was poet and essayist Laurie Wagner Buyer of Woodland Park, Colo. She adjudicated 54 manuscripts and said that the experience "left me humbled, enlightened, and impressed by the quality of the writing." The Blanchan/Doubleday fellowships have been awarded by the Wyoming Arts Council since 1989 and are funded by an endowment from Neltje of Banner, Wyo. E-mail me for more info.
JENTELIANS SHOWCASED OCT. 3: From Lynn Reeves, Jentel Artist Residency Program: North to south, east to west and interesting places in between, this month’s residents at Jentel have traveled from all around the United States to gather in Banner for a month of creativity and reflection. “Jentel Presents,” a free community outreach program that features slide presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 5:30-7 p.m., at Sheridan Stationery 206 N. Main, Sheridan. Refreshments will be served. Presenters include:
- Miquel Arzabe, Albuquerque, N.M., a mixed-media artist, who has lived in four states, earned two degrees, traveled over ten countries, backpacked over 1,000 miles and eaten his fair share of bacon and doughnuts;
- Deni Bechard, Montreal, a novelist, whose work, “Vandal Love,” explores French-Canadian immigration into the US. He recently finished a memoir about his father, a criminal in 1960s Nevada and California;
- Peggy DeBell, Hot Springs, N.C., a fiber artist, who sits on the porch of her tiny cabin and transforms fabrics through quilting and embroidery into a rich and varied surface, much like the Blue Ridge Mountains before her;
- Linda Kantner, St. Paul, Minn., an essayist, writes stories of human connection that remind us of our own moments of quiet courage;
- Yvette Molina, Oakland, Calif., a painter of oils on aluminum, finds inspiration in the incredible variety, beauty and perversity of the plant kingdom.
The Jentel Artist Residency Program accepts applications twice a year from visual artists in all media and writers in all genres for a one month residency. A Residency includes a comfortable accommodation, common living, dining and recreation areas, a private workspace and a $400 stipend to help defray expenses during the program. FMI: Lynn Reeves, 307-737-2311.
"THE EQUALITY STATE" EXPLAINED: Author Teresa S. Neal will discuss her book, Evolution Toward Equality: Equality for Women in the American West, on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3-5 p.m. in the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center Stock Growers' Room in Laramie. A book signing will follow the presentation. Evolution Toward Equality analyzes why Western women received voting, property, and legal rights long before their Eastern counterparts. In the book, Neal proposes three stages that made this possible: rejection of traditional role models, finding new and often unexpected role models, and integrating women into the public sphere. Neal earned B.A. degrees in English education and American studies from UW and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Southern California. The Wyoming native lives in Colorado and teaches classes at Lakewood High School.
GYPSY AT CLTP OCT. 5-22: Even award-winning Broadway musicals start on the printed page. A release from Troy Rumpf of the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players notes that the first play of its 77th season, Gypsy, is based on a 1959 book by Arthur Laurents. The story was taken from the memoirs of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee. The Broadway musical teamed up Laurents, Jerome Robbins, and Stephen Sondheim, who earlier had collaborated on 1957’s West Side Story. Originally conceived by Robbins (who directed and choreographed) as a twist on Romeo and Juliet using Jews and Catholics (and called East Side Story), it was transformed by Laurents and Bernstein into the tale of Polish-American Romeo and Puerto Rican Juliet, while their respective gangs fight a street war. Gypsy runs Oct. 5-22 at the CLTP’s Mary Godfrey Playhouse in Cheyenne, with performances Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$18. FMI: 307-638-6543.
GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED FOR WWI CONTEST: Wyoming Writers, Inc., seeks entries for its 2007 writing contest. All residents of Wyoming and non-residents who are members of WWI are eligible to enter pieces in the following five categories: adult fiction, adult non-fiction, fiction written for children, free verse poetry, and traditional poetry. Writers are welcome to enter more than one piece in these categories. Each entry should be accompanied by a $10 fee for members and $15 per entry for non-members. Each entry must be accompanied by an "Affidavit of Authorship" (available from the contest chair) and a cover sheet. All work must be original, unpublished and not previously submitted for publication. Entries cannot exceed 3,500 words for prose or 40 lines for poems. Critiques are available for an additional $10 fee per critique. Postmark deadline is January 31, 2007. Entries should be mailed to Myra Mumma, WWI Contest Chair, 1610 Big Flat Rd., Missoula, MT 59804-9222. FMI: Myra Mumma
LITLETS WANTED: From the Wyoming State Library’s Outrider newsletter: The Wyoming Center for the Book invites young readers in grades 4-12 to submit their entries to Letters About Literature (LAL), a national writing contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target. To enter, students write a letter to an author, past or present, describing how that author's work somehow changed the student's view of the world or of himself/herself. Guidelines, entry forms and teacher resources are available on the WCFB web site. Deadline is Dec. 8, 2006. FMI: Susan Vittitow at 307-777-5915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EQUALITY STATE BOOK FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 19-21, 2006
Featuring Annie Proulx, Gerry Spence, C.J. Box, Linda Hasselstrom, Tim Sandlin, and many, many more WYO authors
Workshops by the UW M.F.A. Creative Writing Program faculty
Teen poetry slam
Old cowboys reading books to literate horses
DELACORTE RELEASES RYAN’S FIRST NOVEL: Wyoming native Amy Kathleen Ryan has just published her first novel for young adults. “Shadow Falls” (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, ISBN 0385731329) is set in Jackson and the Tetons and focuses on Annie, a 15-year-old girl trying to deal with the death of her brother Cody in an Andean climbing accident. The School Library Journal notes that the book “focuses on mountain climbing -- which is an interesting and fairly unexplored topic in young adult literature.” Amy now lives in New York but may be coming to Wyoming in 2007 for some book events. You can contact her through her web site.
WRITE THE ZONA ROSA WAY: Savannah, Georgia, memoirist and poet Rosemary Daniell will be conducting one of her Zona Rosa writing workshops at Casper College on Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-noon as part of the Equality State Book Festival. She also has agreed to drop into Cheyenne on Wednesday, Oct. 18, to lead a shorter version of her workshop from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Cheyenne Family YMCA. The Cheyenne event is free and open to the public, with a book signing to follow. Rosemary’s latest book is Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (and Sisterhood) Can Change Women's Lives from Owl Books of Henry Holt & Co. As one of my favorite writers, Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides, The Great Santini), says on the book’s cover: “Rosemary Daniell is one of the great writing teachers I have seen at work in the country.” FMI: Chris Shay, 307-634-9622.
JOURNALISM SERIES IN SHERIDAN: The Center for a Vital Community at Sheridan College is holding a series entitled “Conversations of Journalism.” All sessions are on Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., in C-TEL at the college. Sept. 21: “The Role of Media in U.S. Society;” Oct. 5: “Media Literacy: What Makes News News;” and Oct. 19: “The Future of the Media: Citizen Journalism Online.” Free and open to the public. FMI: CVC, 307-674-6446 ext. 4201.
Saratoga’s Lori Van Pelt will be signing copies of her new book, Capital Characters of Old Cheyenne (High Plains Press) at Copperfield Books in the Mall, Scottsbluff, Neb., on Thursday, Sept. 21, 7-9 p.m. Lori says that this bookstore, located near her hometown, continues to be very supportive of Wyoming authors. FMI: Amy at Copperfield's, 1-800-658-4249.
SOYINKA TO VISIT UW: From a press release: Nobel Prize-winning poet, novelist, and playwright, Wole Soyinka, will deliver a free public lecture on “The Politics of Art” at the University of Wyoming, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 4:30 p.m., in the Wyoming Ballroom. Soyinka is the first black writer to win the Nobel Price for Literature. His 1986 award represented recognition of Soyinka’s “large and richly varied literary production” as well as his “moral stature” as a critic of political oppression in Africa, including his Nigerian homeland. Educated in his native Nigeria and in England, Soyinka is the author of more than 20 works of drama, fiction, poetry, and autobiography. Soyinka’s work tends to reflect his heritage through the mythology of his Yoruba people, as well and his experiences as a political prisoner during the Nigerian Civil War of the 1960s. Beginning his writing career as a playwright, Soyinka’s comedies include “The Lion and the Jewel,” “The Trial of Brother Jero,” and “Madmen and Specialists.” His dramas include “The Swamp Dwellers,” “A Play of Giants,” and “Requiem for a Futurologist.” Collections of Soyinka’s poetry include “Poems from Prison,” “Ogun Abibiman,” and “Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems.” Soyinka is the author of two highly-regarded novels. “The Interpreters” relates the experiences of six Nigerian intellectuals; “Season of Anomy” is based on Soyinka’s nearly two years imprisonment on charges of collaboration with Biafran rebels. An active academic, Soyinka has taught at several Nigerian universities and has served as visiting professor at Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale Universities. He now is Elias Ghanem Professor of Creative Writing at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and serves on the executive board of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine.
The guidelines for the 2006 Governor's Arts Awards are now up on the Wyoming Arts Council web site. For 25 years, the Governor’s Arts Awards program has honored Wyoming residents, organizations, and businesses that have made extraordinary contributions to the arts. The roster of awardees includes writers and editors -- Gaydell Collier, David Romtvedt, Charles Levendosky -- and writing organizations, notably Wyoming Writers, Inc. More nominations like these are welcomed, especially by me. The application deadline is October 1. The WAC board will select up to four awardees at its November 2-3 meeting in Dubois. The WAC makes the official announcement later that month. FMI: WAC, 307-777-7742.
BOOK TRADE SHOW IN DENVER: The very-busy Candy Moulton of Encampment will be host for the Western Writers of America booth at the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association Trade Show Sept. 15-17 in Denver. Other Wyoming writers and friends who are expected to attend include Terry Del Bene, W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, Page Lambert, W. C. Jameson, Laurie Wagner Buyer, John Nesbitt, Jon Chandler, Johnny D. Boggs and Cotton Smith. They will split time among booths for the WWA, Women Writing the West, and Wyoming Writers, Inc.
UW REMEMBERS “RED SCARE:” The University of Wyoming will celebrate Constitution Day 2006 with a presentation "Conversations about the Constitution: Banned Books" at noon on Monday, Sept. 18, in the Wyoming Union Gardens. Phil Roberts, UW associate professor of history, along with Rick Ewig, associate director for the American Heritage Center (AHC), will lead Monday's discussion. They will discuss censorship efforts and book banning on the UW campus in the 1940s, along with recent issues related to book censoring and banning.
"In 1947, the university Board of Trustees tried to ban or censor some textbooks on campus in an effort to minimize communist influences," Ewig says. "The board, reflecting American mentality of that time, feared the influence of communist-based thoughts and theories. Banning certain texts and censoring many others was their way of protecting the students from the second 'Red Scare.' " The "protection" however, took its toll on free speech and academic freedom, he adds.
Participants will have a chance to see banned books from past and present in displays at Coe Library and the Wyoming Union. "Our main goal for Constitution Day 2006 is to provide the information to start conversations about the Constitution that are relevant to everyone on campus -- students and faculty alike," says Kristi Wallin, Wyoming Partnership for Civic Education (PCE) project director.
Nationally, Constitution Day is in its second year. In 2004, Congress passed a federal law stating all schools that receive federal funds are required to hold an educational program to memorialize the Constitution every year on its anniversary. The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787. Its contents are important in many aspects of daily life including: privacy laws and the public health system; trade regulations and agriculture; religious practices; and the First Amendment, Wallin says.
PROSE VISITS UW: The University of Wyoming Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series has announced a visit by Francine Prose. She will read from her work in the meeting room of the Albany Country Public Library (310 South Eighth St.) on Monday, Oct. 2, 5 p.m. Prose has been named "one of our great cultural satirists" and is the author of fourteen books of fiction, including the novels "Blue Angel" (a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award) and "A Changed Man" (2005). Her stories, reviews and essays have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. Among her many honors are Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, two NEA grants, and a PEN prize for translation. Prose has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities such as Harvard, Iowa, and Columbia. Her newest work, "Reading Like a Writer," offers an inside look at how professionals read and write, taking the reader on a guided tour of the tools and tricks of the great masters. The reading is free and open to the public.
UCROSS CELEBRATED IN MUSIC: Renowned Montana pianist and composer Philip Aaberg will perform his new “Continental Harmony” piece, “Pop. 25,” at the WYO Theater in Sheridan on Saturday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Performing with Aaberg are fellow members of the Montana Trio: Tracy Silverman (Turtle Island String Quartet) and cellist Eugene Friesen (The Paul Winter Consort). This is a celebration for the Ucross Foundation's 25th Anniversary. Joining the trio will be the Sheridan County Youth Chorale and Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt. Aaberg wrote the composition after spending a lot of time around Ucross and talking to residents of the region.
POETRY FOR LIBRARIANS: From Poets House in NYC: "On the weekend of Oct. 27-28, librarians from across the country will gather in Poets House's acclaimed library for the fourth Poetry in The Branches National Institute. Spend a weekend immersed in the rich world of poetry! Here at Poets House you will find resources for developing your library’s poetry collection, explore our 45,000-volume collection, and hear poetry from and connect personally with our guest poets. Learn how to reach out to and empower your patrons through poetry. Leave the weekend with a practical poetry plan for your library and lots of nuts-and-bolts information to help make that plan a reality. At night, eat and drink with your colleagues and experience the wealth of cultural events that New York City has to offer. You will go home refreshed and inspired!" Sounds good to me. I could hang out at Poets House for days and days.
NOTED SCHOLAR SPEAKS AT UW: On Thursday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m., the University of Wyoming American Studies Program in Laramie and Amnesty International present a free presentation by Timothy B. Tyson. He will read selections from his work, Blood Done Sign My Name, in the College of Business auditorium. Tyson teaches Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently visiting professor of American Christianity and Southern culture at Duke Divinity School and senior scholar of documentary studies at the Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. His book Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (1999) won the OAH James Rawley Prize and was co-winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize.
RESERVE ROOMS NOW FOR BOOKFEST: Laurie Lye, chair of the Equality State Book Festival, sends us this: "I've been asked to send you a message regarding reserving rooms in a Casper area hotel for the Oct. 19-21 bookfest. Rooms are going fast because we have other events happening simultaneously in Casper during those dates. We were alerted today by the Super 8's East and West that they can only hold the block of rooms we asked them to hold for our conference participants until Sept. 14. So please be sure to plan ahead so you don't miss out. And remember to mention to them that you are attending the Equality State Book Festival to get the special rate shown on the registration information page on the web site."
ROMERO READS AT LCCC: Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a free public reading by Levi Romero on Thursday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., in the Union Pacific Centennial Room at the Center for Conferences and Institutes. Romero is a bilingual poet from New Mexico and author of "In the Gathering of Silence."
SOLDIER’S EYE VIEW OF IRAQ WAR: The "The War Tapes" opens Friday, Sept. 1, at the Starz Film Center in Denver. The 97-minute film won "best documentary" at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. While "The War Tapes" is directed by Deborah Scranton, it features photography (with mini-DVD cameras) and commentary by Zack Bazzi, Mike Moriarty, Stephen Pink, Duncan Domey, Brandon Wilkins, and other soldiers of Charlie Company, 3rd of the 172nd Infantry (Mountain) Regiment. According to an article in The Denver Post, "[Stephen] Pink is the film's most literary soldier. He's now splitting his time between carpentry and writing a memoir due to his publisher in March." At the Q&A session after the film’s Tribeca premiere, audience members asked what they could do to help soldiers. Brandon Wilkins, a soldier of few words, said: "Get to know one."