Thursday, November 30, 2006
SIGN UP NOW FOR POETRY OUT LOUD: The Wyoming Arts Council is looking for high school teachers interested in “Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest,” co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. According to an NEA release: “Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent boom in poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music. The program encourages the nation’s young people learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence.” Another bonus: you get to learn great poetry by heart, a gift that keeps on giving throughout your life. Last year, 11 schools from throughout Wyoming participated in the program. Kamaria Stephens (shown in NEA photo) from Cheyenne East High School won the state finals and represented Wyoming at the national championships in Washington, D.C. You can get an entry form by e-mailing me or by calling 307-777-5234. Please respond by December 22.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
“BRANDED” ON THE ROAD: A series of readings and photo exhibitions are scheduled for the book “Branded: The Making of a Wyoming Cowgirl,” written by Kaycee’s Deirdre Stoelzle Graves and photographed by Jennifer Gorman: Thursday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m., Metro Coffee Company, 241 S. David, Casper; Friday, Dec. 8, 5:30-7 p.m., Jackson Street Gallery, 130 S. Jackson, Jackson. Dierdre will also hold a book signing on Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Valley Bookstore, 125 N. Cache, Jackson. FMI: dstoelzle@yahoo.com. (Photo by Jennifer Gorman)

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006
SAVE THESE DATES: Tim Sandlin sends word that the 2007 Jackson Hole Writers Conference will be held June 28-July 1. The conference, once sponsored and promoted by University of Wyoming, is now on its own and has an office at the new Arts Center in Jackson. Tim says that he’ll be e-mailing updates about the conference as they become available. Meanwhile, check out the amazing Jackson Hole Center for the Arts and all its offerings.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006
PRONGHORN HOLIDAY CATALOGUE: The holiday catalogue from Pronghorn Press in Greybull just landed in my mailbox. I own a fair number of books on the Pronghorn list, with multiple copies of Deep West: A Literary Tour of Wyoming (of course), both titles in the "Women & Words" series (Moonhorses & the Red Bull, Listening to Stones), Renee Carrier’s A Singular Notion, Cheryl Wright’s "High Country" gardening books, Resolutions by Barbara Victoria, and all of editor Annette Chaudet’s titles. I see that Jo Massey’s book of Alaska stories, Beyond Solitude, is out. Very exciting because Jo once was in my Cheyenne writing group. Looking forward to the 2007 book, Biography of a Bird Dog by Powell’s Garry Wallace. Garry was honorable mention recipient for the WAC creative writing fellowships in 2005. Buy Wyoming this holiday season!

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Friday, November 24, 2006
IRISH LIT CLASS IN CASPER: Stuart Rutten, instructor in the University of Wyoming Honors Program, will teach "Studies in Irish Literature" (ENGL 4600-51) at the UW/CC Center this spring. Offered in Casper and statewide via videoconference, Rutten will focus on Irish mythology, religious works, modern poetry, novels and "rebel" literature from the struggle between the Irish and the English. Students will read the twelfth-century cattle-rustling epic, The Cattle Raid of Cooley or Táin Bó Cúalnge. Queen Medb of Connaught gathers an army in order to gain possession of the most famous bull in Ireland, which is the property of Daire, a chieftain of Ulster. Because the men of Ulster are afflicted by a debilitating curse, the seventeen-year-old Cuchulain must defend Ulster single-handedly. Cuchulain can change shape through superhero-like warp-spasms. According to Rutten: “The class isn't directed only toward history or English majors. Anyone interested in Irish topics should take it.” Rutten personalizes discussions through his photos and stories from his trips to Ireland. FMI: srutten@uwyo.edu; register by calling the UW/CC Center at 307-268-2713.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006
GAA RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED: The 2006 Governor’s Arts Awards’ recipients have been selected. They are Rock Springs’ poet and Western Wyoming Community College professor Barbara Smith; the Cultural Arts Program at Ark Regional Services in Laramie; Razmick Sarkissian, music teacher for the Sheridan County School District; and arts administrator Candra Day of Jackson. They will be feted at the 25th anniversary Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony and dinner on Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, at the Taco Johns’ Center (formerly the Ikon Center) in Cheyenne. Invitations will be mailed next week. This year’s recipients were chosen from a field of 31 nominees from around Wyoming. More info about the awards and the Feb. 2 dinner coming soon to the WAC web site.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
THIS DAY IN WYOLIT HISTORY: On November 21, 1940, novelist and short story writer Ernest Hemingway married war correspondent and author Martha Gellhorn in Cheyenne. Hemingway's friend, noted photographer Robert Capa, shot the ceremony for Life magazine. The Author’s Calendar web site describes the relationship this way: “The first years of their marriage were happy, although Gellhorn was never really attracted to Hemingway, or believed in romantic love. Hemingway taught her to ride, and shoot, and fish. In the afternoon they played tennis.” The couple spent most of the next five years apart, covering various World War II battles for Colliers’ magazine. They were divorced in 1945. Hemingway committed suicide in Idaho in 1961 and Gellhorn continued her life as a war correspondent, covering the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the war in Vietnam, and, when she was 81 years old, the U.S. invasion of Panama. She died in 1998.

Sources: Wyoming Almanac; http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gellhorn.

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Monday, November 20, 2006
WYOPOETS MARKS 30 YEARS: As WyoPoets begins its thirtieth year, President Myra L. Peak (a 2007 WAC fellowship recipient) sends word that the organization has a new web site at wyopoets.org. I took a quick look and was impressed. It’s attractive, user-friendly, and full of info about the organization. Here’s a little bit of history from member Midge Farmer of Gillette: “Did you know we were born in the fall of 1977 as a 'committee' of Wyoming Writers, Inc., with 25 members? Did you know our name was Poets of Wyoming Writers when we joined the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) that year? Did you know we could not call ourselves the Wyoming State Poetry Society because a fly-by-night scam had operated in Wyo. the previous year under a similar name? Did you know we compiled a beautiful book of poetry called WORDWEAVERS published by Wyoming Writers, Inc., in 1986?” If you have historical items about WyoPoets (photos, newspaper clippings, conference fliers, etc.), please send them to Midge Farmer, 1117 Indian Hills Drive, Gillette, WY 82716; 307-682-3488; pfarmer@vcn.com. One more thing: Deadline for entering the WyoPoets chapbook contest is Dec. 12. Go to the cool new web site for more info.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

I don’t often list visual arts events on this blog. But this one is too cool to neglect. And it might provide some ideas for writers looking for unique ways to showcase their work.

“Touchstone Laramie,” is a fine art exhibition and sale of locally produced painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, hand-weaving, and other art-forms by members of The Laramie Artists’ Project, a consortium of Laramie-area professional artists. It takes place on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1-5 p.m., at the Ramada Center Motel located just off of I-80 and U.S. 287 (S. Third St.) in Laramie. The Ramada Center Motel has worked with the 26 artists of the Laramie Artists Project to transform guest rooms into gallery spaces. Visitors will be able to stroll through each gallery, meet and talk with the artists, buy original art, and enjoy a unique cultural event.

Co-chaired by artists Wendy Bredehoft (a former WAC colleague) and Susan Moldenhauer (see photo), Touchstone Laramie will also present the work of Joe Arnold, Alison Arnold, Mack Brislawn, Penelope Caldwell, Cathi Carr-Lundfelt, Ken Driese, Susan Driver, Jerry Glass, John Guthrie, Tony Guzzo, Sandra Guzzo, Daniel Hayward, Linda Lillegraven (doinated cover art for “Deep West” anthology), Jon Madsen, Ginnie Madsen, Debbie Mathew, Toni Mosley, Joanne Ramsey, David Reif, Sara Schleicher, Jeanie Schlump, Bob Seabeck, and Mike and Jeny Stoesz. Many of these artists have won visual arts fellowships from the Wyoming Arts Council.

This is the third Touchstone event. Touchstone 2004, held in collaboration with the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Park, featured the work of Bredehoft and Moldenhauer only, and attracted more than 300 visitors to the three-day event. This prompted Touchstone 2005, which was expanded to include Linda Lillegraven and Joe and Alison Arnold in an open studio format. This year’s partnership with the motel makes it possible to include an expanded roster of Albany County artists.

Touchstone Laramie has been made possible by the support of many businesses, including Wal-Mart, Ken’s Toyota, Two Dogs Guide Service, Uniwyo Federal Credit Union, West Laramie Fly Store, Night Heron Books, Safeway, Northridge Discount Liquors, the Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce, the Albany County Tourism Board, and many others. FMI: David Reif, Reif Artworks & Design Consulting, 3340 Aspen Lane, Laramie, WY 82070-5702; 307-745-3110.

(Artwork by Susan Moldenhauer, "Medicine Bow N.F. (Susan), 2004," quad ink on Somerset Velvet, 11" x 11")
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wind River Wilderness is a large-format book, edited by Roger Chilcote and published by Laguna Wilderness Press, which is (according to its jacket copy) “a testament to one of the most magnificent, diverse, and pristine wilderness environments in the continental U.S. A stunningly beautiful book of photographs and essays in celebration of the Wind River area of Wyoming, the book features the work of regional and internationally renowned photographers, including Henry Holdsworth, Robert Ketchum, Tom Mangelsen, David Muench, Fred Pflughoft, and Jeff Vanuga….Gretel Ehrlich, whose Solace of Open Spaces has become a classic, wrote the introductory essay. Other essays were written by people recognized for their literary work as well as their many years of experience in the area: Merideth Taylor on wildlife and resources, C.L. “Chip” Rawlins on the mountain ranges, Tucker Smith on the artistic legacy, Erik Molvar on the Red Desert, Dennis Sun Rhodes on the Native American legacy, Florence Rose Shepard on the historical context, and Ronald Frost on the area’s geology.”

This book may be just right for that big-city relative who wonders why you live in Wyoming. I have not seen it yet, but plan to soon. And I’ll request that my library order a copy. The book’s photographers have great reps in the West, as do the writers, notably Wyomingites Rawlins, Williams, Ehrlich, and Molvar. Rawlins’ essay in the book is entitled “Wind River Range: An Appreciation,” and is an excerpt from his book “Sky’s Witness: A Year in the Wind River Range.” Chip has won a creative writing fellowship and a Blanchan/Doubleday Memorial Award from the Wyoming Arts Council.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
HOLDSWORTH BOOK BIG, WONDERFUL: Kevin Holdsworth of Rock Springs adds to the rapidly growing list of intriguing first-person accounts of living in contemporary Wyoming. His book, Big Wonderful: Notes from Wyoming (ISBN 0-87081-846-5, $26.95) was just published by the University Press of Colorado. Here’s a description from the UPC web site: “Growing up in Utah, Holdsworth couldn’t wait to move away. Once ensconced on the East Coast, however, he found himself writing westerns and dreaming of the mountains he’d skied and climbed. Fed up with city life, he moved to a small Wyoming town. In Big Wonderful, he writes of a mountaineering companion’s death, the difficult birth of his son, and his father’s terminal illness -- encounters with mortality that sharpened his ideas about risk, care, and commitment. He puts a new spin on mountaineering literature, telling wild tales from his reunion with the mountains but also relating the surprising willpower it took to turn back from risks he would have taken before he became a father. He found he needed courage to protect and engage deeply with his family, his community, and the wild places he loves.” Here’s what Jeffe Kennedy, another chronicler of WYO in the twenty-first century (Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel), says about Kevin’s book: “Holdsworth provides a canny vision of Wyoming and the West, from both sides of the Mormon mirror. What begins with simple observations from a Utah transplant to Wyoming becomes an ode to family and place, and perhaps an elegy for it all.”
Monday, November 13, 2006
READ YOUR WORK AT LCCC: Laramie County Community College’s literary magazine High Plains Register and the English Majors Club presents “The Expressive Element” on Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m., in the college’s Student Lounge in Cheyenne. Bring your original stories, poetry, lyrics and more to read. Prizes will be awarded for best in show, best poem, best fiction and nonfiction, and best open medium performance. FMI: Liz Jackson at ljackson@lccc.wy.edu.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Living and Writing "Between Fences"

The Wyoming Council for the Humanities and the Wyoming Arts Council have announced a call for poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction submissions for their upcoming Between Fences Anthology. The Humanities Council writes: "In Wyoming we live between fences. Although they often go unnoticed, fences frame our homes, ranches, roadsides, schoolyards, cemeteries and even wild lands. We invite your poems, short fiction and short essays about Wyoming fences: How do they divide and unite us? What do we fence in, and fence out? Writers may consider fences in their visible forms on the landscape and/or the invisible fences that separate us on the basis of race, religion and economic status." Wyoming Poet laureate David Romtvedt has agreed to serve as the book’s editor. Deadline is Feb. 10, 2007. Send submissions to: Between Fences Anthology, Wyoming Humanities Council, 1315 E Lewis St., Laramie WY 82070.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
SAVE THESE DATES: The Wyoming Arts Summit will take place on Oct. 18-20, 2007, at the Casper Events Center. The planning committee met in Dubois Nov. 2 prior to the Wyoming Arts Council board meeting and decided on a series of presentations and discussions around the theme of “community development and the arts.” Experienced event planner Ann Larson will be working on the details from her office at the Wyoming Arts Council. She starts on Tuesday, Nov. 14. FMI: WAC at 307-777-7742.
Friday, November 10, 2006
LEE ALLEY AT MUSEUM: Armistice Day will be celebrated at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne with a talk and book signing by Wheatland author Lee Alley. Alley, Wyoming’s most highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, will discuss his book “Back from War: A Quest for Life After Death.” Also known as Veterans Day, the 11th of November is the anniversary of the official end of World War I (Nov. 11, 1918). Alley’s talk will commemorate that event by beginning at 11 a.m., the exact time that the hostilities ceased -- “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” You can hear a podcast featuring Lee Alley by going to the State Parks and Cultural Resources web site.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
BOOKFEST PODCAST ON THE WEB: The Wyoming Arts Council web site now has its first podcast. Sue Castaneda, my colleague in State Parks and Cultural Resources, traveled to the bookfest in Casper Oct. 20 to record the reading featuring this year’s winners of the creative writing fellowships. After some judicious editing of my rambling introduction, Sue put the 55-minute podcast on the web site yesterday. So click on WAC web site, scroll down to the news section, and click on the podcast for the Equality State Book Festival. Settle back, and hear Myra Peak, Jeffe Kennedy, and Jane Wohl read their poetry, followed by a reading from fellowship judge Rosemary Daniell.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The University of Wyoming Creative Writing Program will host award-winning author Anthony Doerr Wednesday, Nov. 15, as part of its visiting writer series. The author will read from his work at 5 p.m. in the Albany County Public Library Meeting Room, 310 S. 8th St. Book signing to follow.

Doerr is the author of two books, a 2002 volume of eight short stories entitled, "The Shell Collector," and a 2004 novel, "About Grace." His first book earned him the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, two O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award, and the Ohioana Book Award. The Washington Post named his first novel one of the Best Books of 2004, and it was a finalist for the PEN USA fiction award. It also won him a second Ohioana Book Award.

Doerr's fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, and The Best American Short Stories. Doerr, who lives in Boise, Idaho, also writes the "On Science" column for the Boston Globe. Next June he will publish his third book, a nonfiction work about living with his family for a year in Italy, called, "Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World."

The Albany County Public Library is co-sponsor of Doerr's visit.

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