Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Art studio/incubator plans open house

Wyoming's new art studio/incubator, Works of Wyoming, will hold an open house at its Laramie location from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2.

According to the Wyoming Small Business Development Center newsletter:

The mission of WOW is to foster entrepreneurship as a long-term sustainable income source for Wyoming artists and craftspersons. The Laramie center currently offers equipment, work space and educational opportunities for textile artists. Future plans include expansion to other artistic disciplines and an online, juried marketplace for artists of all types. Drop by for refreshments, demonstrations and activities. Laramie Civic Center, 710 E. Garfield, Room 271 (Northwest corner.)
For more information about WOW, contact Wyoming Women's Business Center, 307-766-3084,

Celtic holiday concert in Rock Springs

Colcannon, the Celtic musical group from Colorado, will return to Rock Springs with a holiday concert on Monday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. in the Rock Springs High School Theatre. A school performance will be held earlier in the day.

Get tickets by calling the Community Fine Arts Center at 307-362-6212.

This performance was made possible through support from the City of Rock Springs, Sweetwater BOCES, and the Wyoming Arts Council.

"Christmas Carol" comedy at Casper College

Inspecting Carol: The “Christmas Carol” Comedy, will be performed Dec. 6, 7, 8, 11-15 on the McMurry Main Stage in the Gertrude Krampert Theatre at Casper College.

The play, by Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, is being directed by Richard Burk.

Dorothy Allison visits Laramie Nov. 12

Lesbian writer and activist Dorothy Allison will come to the University of Wyoming this month as part of the MFA Visiting Writers Series. She will read from her work at 5:10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 in Classroom Building 310. A Q&A session and book signing will follow.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m., which partially explains the 5:10 start for the event.

Dorothy Allison describes herself as "a feminist, a working-class storyteller, a Southern expatriate, a sometime poet, and a happily born-again Californian."

"What I am here for is to tell you stories you may not want to hear," says Allison. "What I am here for is to rescue my dead. And to scare hell out of you now and then."

Her novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, was published in 1992 to wide acclaim — and occasional controversy, for its graphic depictions of poverty and child abuse. The New York Times Book Review proclaimed the novel "as close to flawless as any reader could ask for" and praised Allison’s "perfect ear for speech and its natural rhythms."

Allison’s best-selling second novel Cavedweller (1998) won the Lambda Literary Award. Among her other books are the short story collection Trash (2002), a memoir, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (1996), a book of essays, Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature (1995), and two books of poetry. She is at work on her third novel, She Who, due out in 2009.

Read an article of Allison's from last Sunday's New York Times Magazine food section at:

The writer's visit to Laramie is made possible by an endowment from the state of Wyoming, and supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Spectrum, UW’s LGBT student organization, and by the Rainbow Resource Center of the Office for Multicultural Affairs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Help wanted: BBHC seeks conservator

From an AP story in today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle:

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody has secured funding to hire a conservator to care for the center's collections.

"We're delighted with the generosity of our donors who have made this position possible," said Robert B. Pickering, deputy director for Collections and Education. "A conservator will allow us to enhance the care for our collections, especially those objects which are made of perishable materials that can deteriorate over time.

"The funding totals $1.6 million and provides an endowment, the income from which will permanently fund the conservator's salary and related expenses.

"Conservators really understand the physical properties of art and artifacts -- what is the ideal environment in which to preserve them," Pickering explained. "Many of our collections' objects were simply never meant to last. This is why within the conservation field there are specialists in paper, textiles, watercolors, sculptures and the like. With the breadth of our collection, we'll need a 'big picture' person."

The historical center, which boasts world-class exhibits of historic firearms and western art, will launch a national search and hopes to have a conservator in place by early 2008.

Robert Bonner resurrects Buffalo Bill

From a press release:

History professor and author Robert E. Bonner will be at the Wyoming State Museum at 11:30 a.m., November 8, to present a lunchtime lecture and sign his new book, "William F. Cody’s Wyoming Empire: The Buffalo Bill Nobody Knows."

The book chronicles Cody’s accomplishments as land developer and town promoter. Bonner examines Cody’s efforts as president of the Shoshone Irrigation Company to develop the Big Horn Basin through large-scale irrigation and town development. This meticulously researched account shows a Buffalo Bill preoccupied with making a buck and not at all shy about using his fame to do it.

Cody spent huge sums of money, bullied partners, patronized state officials and exercises his charm in pursuit of developing the high plains east of Yellowstone National Park. His efforts helped shape the city of Cody and the big Horn Basin.

With the famous Irma Hotel as a cornerstone, he built the first infrastructure of the Cody-Yellowstone tourist trade and connected his little Wyoming town with the wealth of the East through personal hospitality and travel.

Bonner’s book features engaging anecdotes and more than 20 photographs.

Bonner is professor emeritus at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as the "Western Historical Quarterly" and "Montana, The Magazine of Western History."

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. For more information about this and other Wyoming State Museum programs, please call 777-7022.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Ask a Mexican" author in Jackson

Teton County Library and Planet Jackson Hole team up to present "¡Ask a Mexican! An Evening with Columnist Gustavo Arellano" from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 in the library’s Ordway Auditorium. Arellano will read from his book "¡Ask a Mexican!" –- a collection of his columns published this year by Simon & Schuster –- and answer questions. The program is free and open to the public.

Arellano is an investigative journalist and food critic for the OC Weekly in Orange County, Calif. He started the irreverent "¡Ask a Mexican!" column in 2004 after an editor suggested the cultural Q&A as a one-time spoof. The column featured the question: "Dear Mexican, why do Mexicans call white people gringos?" Arellano responded with: "Dear Gabacho, Mexicans don’t call gringos gringos, only gringos call gringos gringos, and Mexicans call gringos gabachos."

The column inspired an instantaneous reaction. Questions immediately flooded in, so Arellano kept responding. Arellano says the weekly column aims to shine a light on Mexican-American relations in a way that’s both entertaining and factual.

The column has inspired both adoration and hate mail –- nationally and at Planet Jackson Hole, which prints the column. Arellano explained why he thinks his prickly column generates such a polarized response in an in-depth interview with Planet Editor Rich Anderson published earlier this year. Read it at

"Since the beginning of this country, immigration has always been a sensitive subject, a divisive subject, so whenever you write about immigration, you will receive feedback from both sides," Arellano told Anderson. While some readers consider Arellano’s approach flippant, others find it refreshing, Arellano says.

FMI: Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135 or

Friday, October 26, 2007

For writers...join the big literary conversation

Subscribe to the Writer's Chronicle by October 31, 2007 and receive the Writer's Chronicle 40th anniversary issue free. Each issue has great advice for writers with insights into the art of writing that are varied, accessible, pragmatic, and idealistic. The writer's chronicle is a publication of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, a nonprofit organization of writers, writers' conferences, and colleges and universities, and each issue features essays by authors who are also expert teachers--those who can clearly convey their experience and discoveries for you benefit. The chronicle also publishes tributes to writers and extensive interviews with authors so that readers may benefit from authors' insights into the literary life. Wally Lamb, Rita Dove, Andrea Barrett, Marilyn Chin, Andre Dubus, Jane Smiley, and Charles Simic are just a few who have graced the pages of the Chronicle. (The above information was taken from promotional materials)

The Writer's Chronicle offers a choice of subscriptions and rates. Call (703) 993-4301 for more information. Also access the AWP website at

Jon Lodge exhibit at Northwest College

Through November 16, 2007, John Lodge's Theme & Variation is on display at the Northwest Gallery in the Cabre Building.
Two pieces are described:
Circular Circulation -- acrylic, carbon colloid substrate, graphite on aluminum;
Circular Circulation, Permutation No. 1 is tissue with residual carbon colloid substrate.

Zak Pullen Drawing Workshop in Casper

Zak Pullen will host a free presentation on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m at the Casper Artists' Guild, 1040 W. 15th St. in Casper. He will be conducting a two-day drawing workshop on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost is $25 per day for school students, $40 for Casper Artist Guild members and $60 for adult non-guild members. This is an intensive drawing workshop presenting quality drawing as the basis for quality painting. Bring own drawing materials and any medium you feel comfortable with. Zach will be demonstrating in water-based oils. Bring only odor-free turpentine.

Zak lives in Wyoming. His character oriented illustrations have been seen in numerous publications including The New York Times Book Review, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and The Wall Street Journal. His first picture book, The Toughest Cowboy or How the Wild West Was Tamed, received a starred review from the "School Library Journal" and was placed on the Texas Blue Bonnet Master List for 2006-2007. His second book, The Greatest Game Ever Played also received a starred review.

Top illustration: I Cannot Hide My Lies (published in The Progressive, 2005)
Bottom illustration Blackout 2003

Broadway dancing at Ark

The Creative Arts Program at Ark Regional Services presents Dance Steps! A Celebration of Broadway on November 2 and 3, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at Ark's new Creative Arts Center at the corner of 4th and Shield Streets. Seating is limited.

FMI call 742-6641, ext. 135 for reservations. Admission is free!

The Creative Arts Program at Ark Regional Services was a 2007 Governor's Arts Award recipient.

2007-2008 Centennial Community Theatre season

Performances take place at the Trading Post Dinner House in Centennial. Enjoy great theatre and a fine meal!

October 26-28, and November 2-4 and 9-11 -- The Ripper Show; and How They Wrote It by Hatherly with music by Jeremy Barlow. Just in time for Halloween, it's a musical thriller.

March 29-31, and April 4-6 and 11-13 -- An Evening of One Acts: Five delightful and varied one act plays

May 30 and 31, June 1, 6-8, and 13-15 -- The Foreigner: a comedy by Larry Shue

Season tickets are $32/$30 for seniors and students. Reservations are required.

FMI call (307) 460-0496 or (307) 742-7731

Alison Brown Quartet in Pinedale

On Thursday, November 1, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pinedale Auditorium, the Alison Brown Quartet, led by Grammy-nominated banjoist Alison Brown, offers up an astonishingly original instrumental sound that blends jazz, bluegrass, latin and folk music and takes the banjo far from its stereotyped hillbilly roots. Since 1994, the Quartet has been touring the globe.

FMI, go to or call (307) 367-7322.

"Making the arts an accessible and integral part of EVERYONE'S life in Sublette County." The Pinedale Fine Arts Council is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the NEA, which believes a great nation deserves great art. PFAC is also supported through donations as well as grants from Sublette BOCES, the Town of Pinedale, Sublette County School Districts No. 1 and No. 9, Sublette County Recreation Board, BSA Arts of Wyoming and the Western States Arts Federation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Jentel Presents" at Sheridan College

From a press release from Lynn Reeves at the Jentel Foundation:

Current residents at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner will be featured in an event open to the public at Sheridan College, Tuesday, November 6th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. "Jentel Presents" is a community outreach program that features slide presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include:
  • Catherine Chung, Rockville, Md., novelist. Catherine is at work on her first novel. She has received grants from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation and Lannan Foundation, and has work forthcoming in The Journal
  • Susan Grabel, Staten Island, N.Y. A sculptor, Susan’s art is her activism. It is an expression of her concerns about social issues, such as consumerism, homelessness, alienation and most recently, aging women’s bodies
  • Alexis Granwell, Philadelphia. An installation artist, Alexis recently received her MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She works with installation, printmaking and drawing. Her work often diagrams emotional geographies based on current psychoanalytical writing.
  • Lisa Kriner, Lexington, Ky. A fiber artist, Lisa is an associate professor at Berea College in Kentucky. She likes to swim in the ocean, ski and hike. And often wonders why you would be inside when you could be outside.
  • Gail Panske, Oshkosh, Wisc. A printmaker, Gail came from humble beginnings in Oshkosh. She slowly became a subversive print artist. How did this happen? Cheese, brats and beer.
  • Mary Ann Larkin, Washington, D.C. A poet, Mary Ann feels that matter is what we call god so she loves flesh and the earth. This belief may be rooted in her Irish background. She just returned from 6 weeks in Greece. In the 1970s, she co-founded the Big Mama Poetry Troupe, a performance group of feminists.

For anyone looking for a stimulating evening, come join the crowd at Sheridan College Student Services Art Gallery. There is no admission charge for "Jentel Presents" and refreshments are available.

The Jentel Foundation offers dedicated individuals a supportive environment in which to further their creative development. While at Jentel, visual artists and writers have the opportunity to experience unfettered time to allow for thoughtful reflection and meditation on the creative process in a setting that preserves the agricultural and historical integrity of the land.

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 stipend to help defray expenses during the program.

FMI: Lynn Reeves, 307-737-2311

Bush and Bin Laden meet in Hix poems

From a University of Wyoming press release:

President George W. Bush and al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden have never had a conversation.

Until now.

In his latest book, "God Bless," released this month by Etruscan Press, UW English Professor H.L. Hix pits excerpts from Bush speeches against arguments from bin Laden in a unique poetic dialogue that embraces politics, literature, language and culture.

"These are two people who ought to be talking but aren't, so I'm going to make up a dialogue between them," says Hix, who also serves as director of UW's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. "I think there's important dialogue that hasn't happened, and I'm trying to generate that dialogue."

In his book, Hix, a finalist for this year's National Book Award, creates poems using Bush's own words from speeches, executive orders and other public statements. He also constructs poetry from the letters, speeches and other discourses of bin Laden.

"God Bless" also includes candid interviews with a diverse panel of experts, ranging from M. Javad Zarif, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, to CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen.

"It's a weird book. It was even a weird book for me," says Hix, whose previous 10 books were poetry, philosophy or literary criticism. "I've never done anything like it before, and I don't think I'll ever do anything like it again."

He laughs and adds, "I don't know how it started happening, I just sort of found myself doing it."

As part of his research for the book, Hix says he read more than 8,000 pages of speeches by the president, obtained from the official White House Web site, and "pulled out language usage that I thought was interesting."

He then studied bin Laden's words and wrote what he called "interleaves" that use both direct quotations and reconstruction.

Unlike his previous books, Hix believes "God Bless" could receive mainstream media attention because of uniqueness and subject matter.

But, he says, "I have absolutely no idea what to expect because my previous books are philosophy, literary criticism and poetry and those types of books have tiny audiences, very few sales and very small press runs. In my 'fantasy life,' I hope it gets some real play and will be a prompt for dialogue."

"God Bless" is available for purchase at local bookstores or through Etruscan Press. The cost is $19.95.

Moments in time from the Wyoming Arts Summit

Banners at the Wyoming Arts Summit represent every county in the state. Representatives from each county brought in each banner.

(l to r) Evangeline Bratton and Marirose Morris of the Wyoming Arts Council man the registration table at the Wyoming Arts Summit

Fellowship winners

(l to r) John Nesbitt, fellowship judge Nick Flynn, John Sutton

Halloween Fun in Laramie

Take a ghoulish hayride through the streets of Laramie and a candlelight tour of the Wyoming Territorial Prison, as the Ghost Tours of Laramie City will be held every Friday and Saturday through October 27.
Tickets for the 90-minute tours are $13 for adults and $10 for those 17-and-under. Please call 307-745-6161 for reservations and information. An evening of tours begins at 7 p.m., with a new tour beginning each half hour until 9:30 p.m.
The ghost tours are divided into three parts. The first is an introduction with ghostly tales in the Horse Barn Theater. The second part is a hayride through frontier town and historic Laramie. The tour concludes with a tour of the convict-filled Wyoming Territorial Prison.
During the tour, visitors will hear “true, documented” ghost stories dating from 1870 to 1900.
Tours start at Happy Jack, the Wyoming Territorial Prison visitors’ center, located at 975 Snowy Range Road, in Laramie.

Artists Communities conference

The Alliance of Artists Communities annual conference takes place November 7-10, 2007 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Maryland.

It’s not too late to register for Creativity in Context: Building a Framework
Highlights include:

Keynote address by Liz Lerman with performance by members of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange

Freedom to Create Pre-Conference Forum with keynote address by Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

Diversity in Practice with Donna Walker-Kuhne, author of Invited to the Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community

Art Without Borders: The Role of Artists' Communities in a Global Dialogue with panelists from Santa Fe Art Institute, Exploratorium, ISLAND (Institute for Sustainable Living, Art + Natural Design), and Art Omi

From Nice to Necessary: Advocacy in the Public Sector with Jonathan Katz, CEO of the National Assembly of State Art Agencies

Supporting Artists: Innovations in funding with speakers from Mid-Atlantic Art Foundation, United States Artists, and Center for Creative Research

Events at Pyramid Atlantic, American Film Institute, Roundhouse Theatre, Katzen Arts Center at American University, G Fine Art, National Press Club, and Library of Congress

For more information, visit

Janice Hamilton teaches watercolor at AVA

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WAC events -- in print, audio and video

Click this image to
  • read about the ten folk artists featured in the current Wyoming Arts Council Gallery Show in Cheyenne

  • see videos of those artists at work in their studios around the state -- from Ethete to Elk Mountain

  • hear podcasts of talks by some of the nationally-known presenters at last weekend's Wyoming Arts Summit in Casper

Any questions? Call the WAC at 307-777-7742.

Western Folk Arts Fest in Cheyenne Nov. 3

Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum presents its 2007 Western Folk Art Festival on Saturday, Nov. 3, in Cheyenne.

Three performers/performing arts groups from the Wyoming Arts Council roster are in the line-up. Here's the entire schedule:

9-10 a.m.: Opening brunch (tickets $10), chuckwagon display and catered breakfast. Tickets $10. Includes opening remarks by the WAC's Annie Hatch. Followed by awards ceremony.

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Kevin McNiven, "America’s Cowboy," cowboy yodeling and music performance.

1-2 p.m.: Allison Sage – Arapaho music and culture performance

2-3 p.m.: Las Flores De Colores – Mexican folkloric dance performance (pictured above)

Throughout the day (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), there will be ongoing demonstrations and information booths by exhibiting artists including weaving, beading, silver-smithing and leather-tooling.

FMI: Aimee Reese, CFD Old West Museum,

Monday, October 22, 2007

"You Can't Take It with You"

The Actors’ Mission in Rock Springs presents “You Can’t Take It with You” on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 2-3 and Nov. 8-9, at the Elks Lodge in Rock Springs. The play is directed by Nina Kessner. Free food will be served at 6 p.m. Curtain rises at 7 p.m.

This production is partially funded by Sweetwater BOCES.

This play, first produced in 1936, revolves around the eccentric Sycamore family. Alice Sycamore has fallen in love with her boss's son. When his rich parents are invited over to meet the Sycamores, chaos and hilarity ensue. Frank Capra transformed the play into a 1938 film with Jean Arthur, James Stewart, and Lionel Barrymore.

FMI: Kirsten Mundschenk, 626 A Street, Rock Springs, WY 82901. Phone: 307-371-6992.

Longfellow Poetry Out Loud: "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls"

Last Thursday at the Wyoming Arts Summit in Casper, Dana Gioia opened his keynote speech with a poem. This is only right, as Gioia is a poet when he's not at the helm of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He chose a classic poem from the on-line vaults of Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation project co-sponsored by the Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation. "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls," is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In his introduction, Gioia noted that the U.S. is celebrating the bicentennial of Longfellow's birth this year (see Oct. 11 wyomingarts post). In celebration, Gioia recited the poem POL-style for the audience. Here's the text:

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Note to Wyoming students in grades 9-12: You can participate in Poetry Out Loud this year. Advise your English or drama or speech teacher to contact Mike Shay or Camellia El-Antably at the WAC and sign up. It's free, and students whose recitations win their school competitions are eligible to compete in the state finals in Cheyenne in March 2008. Winner of that contest goes on to the national finals in D.C. Big prizes!

So brush up on your Longfellow or Zora Neale Hurston or e.e. cummings for the 2007-2008 session of Wyoming Poetry Out Loud.

FMI: Mike Shay at 307-777-5234 or

WWCC presents "Beauty and the Beast"

The Western Wyoming Community College Theater and Dance Department in Rock Springs will present the musicial "Beauty and the Beast" on November 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17. All shows at 7 p.m.

For more info, or to order tickets, go to

A reminder: Grant Writing Workshop at UW

The Grant Institute's Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop will be held at the University of Wyoming, December 3 - 5 , 2007 from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly. All participants will receive certification in professional grant writing from the Institute. For more information call (888) 824 - 4424 or visit The Grant Institute at

The Grant Institute's Grants 101 course is an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing. This course is characterized by its ability to act as a thorough overview, introduction, and refresher at the same time. In this course, participants will learn the entire proposal writing process and complete the course with a solid understanding of not only the ideal proposal structure, but a holistic understanding of the essential factors, which determine whether or not a program gets funded. Through the completion of interactive exercises and activities, participants will complement expert lectures by putting proven techniques into practice. This course is designed for both the beginner looking for a thorough introduction and the intermediate looking for a refresher course that will strengthen their grant acquisition skills. This class, simply put, is designed to get results by creating professional grant proposal writers.

Grants 101 consists of three (3) courses that will be completed during the three-day workshop:

(1) Fundamentals of Program Planning
(2) Professional Grant Writing
(3) Grant Research

$597.00 tuition includes all materials and certificates.

Each student will receive:
*The Grant Institute Certificate in Professional Grant Writing
*The Grant Institute's Guide to Successful Grant Writing
*The Grant Institute Grant Writer's Workbook with sample proposals, forms, and outlines

FMI please go to the above mentioned website; call (888) 824 - 4424 to register by phone; or
by E-mail - Send an e-mail with your name, organization, and basic contact information to

Antarctica Talks Culminate in Film Screening

On October 22, writer Christopher Cokinos will speak on The Fallen Sky: A Private History of Shooting Stars, an account of his experiences as a meteorite hunter in the polar regions. There will be a book-signing and reception immediately following his talk. This program is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing MFA Program and the Haub School and Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources. The talk is scheduled for 7 pm.

On October 29, former director of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, Guy Guthridge will present ANTARCTICA: Artists, Writers, and the “Continent for Science”. For 50 years, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program has been sending artists, writers, and scholars to Antarctica to research and create their work and to help document America’s Antarctic heritage.

Educated in the liberal arts, Guthridge spent his career developing the communication of science, engineering, and polar activities. He began his association with Polar Regions in 1970 when he joined the National Science Foundation to edit Antarctic Journal of the United States. Later, he managed the Polar Information Program -- the clearinghouse and source of information regarding Antarctica that has included scientific, technical, and public publications, translation services, and the world's premier polar bibliographic service. He also managed the Foundation programs for field participation in the United States Antarctic Program by artists, writers, youths, and teachers. Guthridge retired in 2005 and now lives aboard a boat, writing about science and societal issues about the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. His talk begins at 7 pm.

At 9 pm, a pre-release screening of Werner Herzog’s film on Antarctica, Encounters at the End of the World (Discover Films) will be shown. The documentary, which has not been released to the general public, chronicles a hidden society at the end of the world. 1000 men and women live together under unbelievably close quarters in Antarctica, risking their lives and sanity in search of cutting edge science. Now, for the first time, an outsider has been admitted. In his first documentary since Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog, accompanied only by his cameraman, traveled to Antarctica, with unrestricted access to the raw beauty and raw humanity of the ultimate Down Under. Encounters at the End of the World is Herzog’s latest meditation on nature that explores this land of fire, ice and corrosive solitude.

Herzog (given name Werner H. Stipetic) was born in Munich and grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria. He didn’t see any films or television nor had a telephone as a child. He started traveling on foot from the age of 14. He made his first phone call at the age of 17. During high school he worked the nightshift as a welder in a steel factory to produce his first films and made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than forty films, published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas. “Herzog's cinema is a landscape of unbound passions and coded obsession,” writes Ian Penman for The Guardian. Encounters at the End of the World promises to be as compelling and emblazoned as his other documentaries.

Antarctica and this series of programs have been funded by an anonymous sponsor with additional funding from the FMC Corporation, ExxonMobile, the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum and the Wyoming Arts Council through the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts which believes a great nation deserves great art.

Each program is free and open to the public.

Bringing the world of art to Wyoming, the Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours for the Museum and Museum Store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, please call the Art Museum at 307-766-6622 or visit

Define-a-thon featured at Utah Bookfest

For Wyomingites who attended the Wyoming Book Festival last month and the Casper College Literary Conference last week and are still yearning for more Rocky Mountain region literary activity:

You are invited to the Utah Humanities Book Festival’s Define-a-thon and Utah Literary Awards Ceremony at The City Library's Nancy Tessman Auditorium, 210 East 400 South, on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Schedule includes the Utah Literary Awards from 5:30-6:45 p.m. It honors the winners of the Utah Center for the Book Awards, the Utah Arts Council's Original Writing Competition, and the May Swenson Poetry Award. The Define-a-thon will be held from 7-8 p.m. The Define-a-thon is "a fun, competitive word game of vocabulary strength hosted by Steve Kleinedler from Houghton-Mifflin Publishers."

Stay for the reception from 8-9 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

FMI: or 801.359.9670.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lit Conference readings highlight Thursday

I missed hearing Dana Gioia tonight at the opening reception for the Wyoming Arts Summit in Casper. Gioia, the poet who heads the National Endowment for the Arts, was due to speak some time between 6 and 6:30 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum. I dropped in at 5 to help fellow WAC staffers prepare for the onslaught of guests. Nic Director Holly Turner and her staff greeted guests, which by the time I departed at 5:45 included WAC board members Bruce Richardson, David Neary and Dave Kathka; former board member Susie Dowler; State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Milward Simpson; and Cultural Resources Director Sara Needles.

I left early because, as a member in good standing of the Casper College Literary Conference planning committee, I needed to be at our reception and reading at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse a couple miles to the east. Rattling the rafters of the log clubhouse was the Jeff Finlin Band of Colorado, which included Casper's Amy Geiske on bass. The reading began at 7 in front of an SRO crowd. First up was Casper College sociology prof Chad Hanson who read the title story of his collection, "Swimming with Trout." In it, the main character invents the new pastime of "swimming with trout," which is a lot like swimming with dolphins although there's little chance of being attacked by sharks. The character dons a wetsuit, mask and snorkel to swim the North Platte and admire the fish. Later, he plunges into a local creek to "count coup" on trout. A great story. I could see why it sets the tone for the rest of the volume.

Belarus poet Valzhyna Mort's reading was on the theme of "six love poems -- and one about a dead man." Her most powerful one was not the one about the dead man -- that got laughs. But a love poem called "Utopia." This one focuses on Molvina, a little girl with blue hair, which is basically the Belarus version of Pinnochio.

Nick Flynn first read several passages from his memoir, "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City," then read a section from his newest memoir, "The Year of the Monkey." It centered around events in 2004, which is The Year of the Monkey on what we used to refer as the Oriental Calendar but not sure what it's called now. One of those events was the release of the photos of prison torture at Baghdad's Abu Garaib Prison. Nick tied in a youthful memory of a house fire, Plato, and Vice President Dick Cheney into the piece.

Ekiwah Adler-Belendez wrapped up the evening with poems about the recent protests in Burma by the monks, his ordeals with surgery for spinal problems (Ekiwah travels in a wheelchair), and finished with a long and powerful love poem called "Cyberspace Blues."

Afterwards, I bought too many books and had them signed by the authors. I may be able to take part in some of the events tomorrow, but more than likely I'll be at the WAC Arts Sumiit all day. That's when I can hear Mr. Gioia as he opens the day's proceedings at the Casper Events Center. Gioia delivers the keynote at 9 a.m. For full schedule, go here.

--Michael Shay

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On stage tonight: WAC fellowship winners

Come on out to tonight's free reading by the Wyoming Arts Council's 2008 creative writing fellowship winners. The event starts at 7:30 in the Aley Fine Arts Center's Durham Hall at Casper College. Refreshments provided. Book signing to follow.

The WAC's lit guy, Mike Shay, will serve as emcee. He will introduce the competition judge, Nick Flynn, and fellowship recipients John Sutton and John D. Nesbitt.

John Sutton teaches English and works at the Learning Center at Sheridan College in Sheridan. He grew up in Indiana and lived in California and New York before moving to Wyoming. His winning manuscript is “Writing Floyd,” an excerpt from the book about his family history entitled Becoming White: A Family’s Journey from Slavery to Ku Klux Klan.

John D. Nesbitt is the author of numerous novels and short stories set in the American West. His most recent publications include a western novel, Raven Springs, and “Blue Horse Mesa,” a short story featured in the anthology Lost Trails. He lives in Torrington and teaches English and Spanish at Eastern Wyoming College. He received a 1988 WAC creative writing fellowship. His winning submission includes two chapters from a memoir, “Boy from the Country” and “Dunville.”

Chavawn Kelley of Laramie, this year's third fellowship recipient, will be unable to make the reading as she's in Spain working on a new book.

Nick Flynn is a poet and the author of the award-winning memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He grew up in Boston and now divides his time between New York City and Houston, where he teaches creative writing each spring at the University of Houston.

This event is part of the Casper College Literary Conference.


Schedule change for literary conference

Due to flight delays, Ekiwah Adler-Belendez was unable to make it to Casper for Wednesday afternoon's writing workshop, "The Inner Witness: Poems from Within." He's will fly into Casper tonight, so his workshop has been rescheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.-noon in the Strausner Center at Casper College. Ekiwah also will participate in the panel discussion at noon Thursday in the Adminstration Building's Doornbos Lounge and will be at that evening's reception from 5-7 p.m. and the reading from 7-9 at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at Fort Casper.

For full schedule, go to Casper College Literary Conference site.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Arts galore in Casper this week

A five-day extravaganza of art comes to Casper this week in the form of the Casper College Literary Conference (Oct. 17-19), the Wyoming Arts Summit (Oct. 18-20), and the Wyoming Arts Alliance Block-Booking Conference (Oct. 19-20).

Thursday evening (Oct. 18) offers the opening reception for the Arts Summit (5-8 p.m.) at the Nicolaysen Art Museum and the "President's Reception" for the Casper College Literary Conference from 5-7 p.m. at Fort Casper's Izaak Walton Clubhouse.

Entertainment at The Nic includes the Impact Dance Company and music by The Tremors. Music will be provided by the Jeff Finlin Band at the literary conference, followed at 7 p.m. with readings by conference presenters Ekiwah Adler-Benendez, Nick Flynn, Valzhyna Mort, and Chad Hanson. These events are free and open to the public.

For more info on the Summit, go to For literary conference information, go to The schedule for the WyAA conference can be found at

Don't forget that ARTCORE offers Frank Ferrante as "Groucho" on Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., at the Natrona County H.S. auditorium.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Portrait workshop in Casper Oct. 18-20

Sam Thiews hosts a portrait workshop at the Casper Artists' Guild, 1040 W. 15th St., in Casper Oct. 18-20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

This workshop is geared to artists who are looking for a strong fundamental approach to portrait painting. All paintings will be done from life.

Cost is $40 per day for members and $60 per day for non-members. Lunch will be on your own.

FMI: 307-265-2655.

Read newspapers with the editors

From Rebecca Huntington at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson:

Teton County Library will pair readers with news leaders during "What's News? Reading the Papers with the Editors," a monthly brown-bag conversation from noon-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Conference Room. Coffee will be provided, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch. The program is free and open to the public.

Local newspaper editors, Rich Anderson from Planet Jackson Hole, and Angus Thuermer, Jr. from the Jackson Hole News & Guide, will guide the discussion, along with occasional visiting journalists and scholars.

"There are no parameters, except that people are encouraged to read," Thuermer says. "We'll discuss whatever people want to about the reports, the practice of reporting, and journalism."

The conversation will focus on five newspapers: Jackson Hole News & Guide, Planet Jackson Hole, Casper-Star Tribune, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Readers can find the newspapers on the rack, online or at the library. No preparation is required.

Jackson resident Walt Thulin discovered an engaging exchange when he participated in a similar news-driven discussion led by a state university. Listening to others share insights and questions about the day's events helped broaden his own interest in and understanding of the news, he says. "What was intriguing about it was here was an opportunity for people to discuss what was going on in the world - locally, nationally and internationally," Thulin says.

FMI: Contact the library's Adult Program Coordinator at 733-2164 ext. 135.

New Boots for the Depot

The Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation hosted the “These Boots Are Made For Talking” Big Boot program in 2004. From these big boots, a licensing program has been initiated through a New York licensing company – King Features – to have products manufactured with the images of the boots.

To increase the number of boot images for the licensing program, the Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation hosted an Images of the West! Artist Competition this spring and summer. Regional artists were invited to submit artwork in the form of a cowboy boot. If the artwork was accepted, the image(s) were submitted into the licensing program. The Artist Competition also offered three prize placements. First prize was a $1,500 cash award, with the second prize at $1,000 and the third prize at $500.

The Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation is pleased to announce the following winners:

1st Prize – Ross Lampshire from Loveland, CO
2nd Prize – Max Larkin from Cheyenne, WY
3rd Prize (Tie) – Rose Burrows from Cheyenne, WY and
Paige Money from Buffalo, WY

These artists will receive their prize packages and will be honored at an Artist Reception and Awards Presentation on Thursday, October 25th.

The Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation is also initiating the 2008 Images of the West! Artist Competition at the Artist Reception. Interested artists are encouraged to contact the Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation at 307-637-3376 or go to the website at for more information.

Friday, October 12, 2007

From "Big Wonderful" to the Great Salt Lake

Kevin Holdsworth of Green River will be reading from his book "Big Wonderful: Notes from Wyoming" at the Utah Humanities Council Book Festival. Holdsworth's presentation, "Growing up in Utah, Finding a Home in Wyoming," will be held on Saturday Oct. 27, 5 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Main Library, 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City. Notice on "Big Wonderful" can be found at the University Press of Colorado web site.

Most of the events of the book festival will take place on Oct. 27 at the Main Library in downtown Salt Lake. Many other regional and national writers will be reading or speaking on panels. The Utah Humanities Council Book Festival, now in its tenth year, was formerly known as the Great Salt Lake Book Festival. For further information, go to

One-day tix available for Arts Summit

By popular demand, the Wyoming Arts Council is now offering one-day tickets for the Wyoming Arts Summit Oct. 19-20 at the Casper Events Center.

While the fee for the entire conference remains at $100, you can choose to purchase a separate ticket for Friday or Saturday's events for $50. Buying a $50 ticket for Friday gets you admission to that evening's Summit Gala featuring music by the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, the UW Jazz Ensemble, the Casper College Collegiate Chorale, and the Cheyenne Chamber Singers. Governor Dave Freudenthal, First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, and U.S. Sen Mike Enzi will deliver speeches. Sometime in there, dinner and dessert will be served.

Saturday's schedule includes workshops and panel sessions with Dan Kemmis from the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Missoula, Mont., Front Porch Institute Director Patrick Overton, and Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt. Lunch will be served during a town hall meeting featuring all the conference speakers.

To register, go to

Playwright Migdalia Cruz visits UW

From a UW press release:

Migdalia Cruz, a director, playwright, poet, teacher and actress, will visit the University of Wyoming in Laramie Oct. 18-19.

Cruz will host a lunchtime discussion Thursday, Oct. 18, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), Room 103 of the Wyoming Union. The event is free and open to the public.

On Oct. 19, Cruz will attend a performance of her play "Telling Tales" by the Riot Act Company from Jackson. The free show will start at 4:15 p.m. in Crane Studio in the UW Fine Arts Building. Cruz will then attend the 7:30 p.m. performance of her play "FUR," directed by UW student Anna Brownsted, in the Fine Arts Center Studio Theater. Following the play will be a discussion with Cruz, the actors, designers and the director.

"FUR" is a re-imagining "Beauty and the Beast" set in a pet shop in the California desert. The play runs Oct. 16-20. The cost is $5 for students and $10 for the public. For tickets call the Fine Arts Box Office (307) 766-6666 or visit the UW web site.

The UW theater department, Chicano Studies Program and Multicultural Affairs host her visit.

For more information about her MRC visit call Prince Amattoe, project coordinator, at (307) 766-6463. For information about her remaining schedule, e-mail Cecelia Aragon at

Albany County elementary students' art show

The "Premier Showing" of Albany County School District #1 elementary student art work is Monday, October 15th. Designs of 77 young artists were chosen by schools in and around Laramie as exemplary work to be displayed in the Centennial Complex Gallery. Kathy Keenan, art teacher at Slade elementary school, spearheaded the exhibition.

"'Premier Showing' showcases our talented elementary art students in Albany County," said Keenan, "plus it exposes adults to their artwork." Years ago, the reception for the artists and their parents were held in the school district’s central office, "but it has been so well attended," said Keenan, "we outgrew the space." The University of Wyoming Art Museum opened its doors to this event. "The art museum has a great space to showcase the art," said Keenan. "Last year we had about 150 people. This year we are expecting between 175 and 200."

The gallery is located to the right of the Centennial Complex’s front entrance at 2111 Willett Drive. The reception begins at 7 p.m. with an introduction of the artists by Dr. Brian Recht, Superintendent of Albany County School District #1. Refreshments will be served. "Arrive early," warned Keenan. "There is expected to be standing room only." The artwork will be at the art museum for about two weeks, then it will go back to the school district’s central office, 1948 Grand Ave, where Dr. Recht has provided an oak lighted showcase to feature the talent.

Bringing the world of art to Wyoming, the Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours for the Museum and Museum Store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, please call the Art Museum at 307-766-6622 or visit

Arts from the hands of folks

An exhibit featuring the work of 10 Wyoming Folk and Traditional Arts practitioners is currently on display at the Wyoming Arts Council Gallery through December 21.

Each artist has received Folk and Traditional Arts grants from the Wyoming Arts Council and is dedicated at preserving and perpetuating their traditional talents. Each artist is recognized for the high quality of his or her art.

The featured artists are:

Jerry Curcio, RivertonOvershot loom weaving
Ed Fowler, Riverton – Bladesmith
Cleo Goggles, Ethete – Beaded buckskin vests
Beatrice Haukaas, Ft Washakie – Shoshone cradleboards
Mary Maynard, Laramie – Crochet and tatting
Kevin McNiven, Lander – Cowboy music and dance
Jack Mease, Lander – Rawhide braiding
Sally O’Connor, Elk Mountain – Baskets and chair caning
Reba Teran, Ft. Washakie – Shoshone saddle & trappings
Kelly Wells, Deaver – Old-time fiddling

The Arts Council Gallery, located at 2320 Capitol Ave. in Cheyenne, is free to the public and is open Monday through Friday during business hours. Call 307-777-7742 for more information.

Congrats on U of A Poetry Center opening

Sometimes we wander away from Wyoming topics to cover important regional literary events --

The University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson will hold is "Housewarming Festival" for its new building on Sunday, Oct. 14, noon-5 p.m. I wish I could just jet down there for the day. Since that's not possible, we'll send good wishes to the Center, its friendly staff, and its many wonderful books and events.

I visited the Poetry Center's old building two summers ago with my son Kevin. He was taking me on a tour of the University of Arizona campus on a lovely July day, the temperature a comfortable 120 degrees in the shade (if you could find any). We stepped into the Poetry Center for some water and AC and the balm that poetry provides. You can just wander around the library and pull books from your favorite poets off the shelf. I hunkered down with a book of jazz-inspired poems by California's Al Young and later read a few of the shorter poems by the late Thomas McGrath. Spotted books by Wyoming's David Romtvedt and Charles Levendosky. Kevin and I were fortified with poetry when we had to re-emerge into the hellish heat.

It should be more temperate on Sunday for the housewarming. It features a cool new (and shady) outdoor stage. Here are some details from the Poetry Center's web site:

Tucson is home to one of the greatest poetry collections in the world and it is now open in a beautiful new library that reflects that distinction. Come celebrate with poets, music, art, performance, bookmaking, acrobats, food, and activities for everyone. The Housewarming Festival features R. Carlos Nakai, Alberto Ríos, Makako, Charles Alexander, Billy Collins, Al Perry, Tucson Madonnari, Typing Explosion, Luna Llena, Ofelia Zepeda, Marianne Dissard and Matt Mitchell, Brenda Hillman, Odaiko Sonora, Jane Miller, Robert Hass, Stories that Soar, Flam Chen, Alison Deming, Sonoran Snow Cones, Steve Orlen, Tucson Slam Team, Richard Shelton, Post & Bind, the Binary Wall Decoding Contest, and abundantly, heliographically more!

--Michael Shay

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Groucho Lives! (on)

"The greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx's material," Frank Ferrante will appear in An Evening With Groucho, Thursday, October, 18, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at the John F. Welsh Auditorium in the Natrona County High School. From Animal Crackers to A Night at the Opera, co-author Morrie Ryskind called him "the only actor aside from Groucho who delivered my lines as they were intended."

Discovered in 1985 by Groucho's son playwright Arthur Marx when Ferrante was attending the University of Southern California Division of Drama, Ferrante went on to portray Groucho from age 15 to 85 in the New York, London and PBS television versions of Arthur's play. Ferrante was 23 years old when Groucho: A Life in Revue opened off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in 1986.

Ferrante played the Groucho inspired roles off-Broadway in The Cocoanuts in 1996 and regional productions of Animal Crackers at Goodspeed Opera House, The Huntington Theatre, Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse and Arena Stage.

Ferrante acts and directs throughout the region, most notably at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre where he directed and developed the premiere of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Old Wicked Songs. There Ferrante starred as playwright/director George S. Kaufman in the one-man play written by Frank entitled By George.

Since 2001, Ferrante performs his improvisationally based comedy in the European style cirque show Teatro ZinZanni playing an outrageous Latin lover named Caesar. In Zinzanni, Ferrante played opposite legendary cabaret star Liliane Montevecchi, Joan Baez, Sally Kellerman and The Motels' Martha Davis. In 2004, he became a question on the television program Jeopardy.

Longfellow's reach a long, enduring one

Join thousands of people across Wyoming this fall who will read, discuss and fall in love with one book: My Ántonia by Willa Cather. It's all part of the Wyoming Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Until November 15, local libraries in 13 counties will have book discussions, living history performances, children's activities, dances, displays and their own book giveaways. Sen. Mike Enzi and his wife Diana, longtime supporters of reading and literacy, are serving as honorary co-chairs of Wyoming's Big Read project.

Here's more info on Big Read:

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation announced that Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is the first grant recipient in a pilot initiative, a component of the NEA's Big Read, to celebrate great American poets and the nation's historic poetry locales. Longfellow's Wayside Inn will receive an inaugural NEA Chairman's Extraordinary Action grant of $15,000 to support a community-wide program to encourage multi-generational reading of the poetry of New England writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and Poetry Foundation President John Barr announced the grant on September 26, 2007, during an evening keynote presentation on Longfellow at Cambridge Forum at the First Parish Church, co-sponsored by the Longfellow National Historic site, the Poetry Foundation, and the Paul Revere House. This marks the second partnership for the NEA and the Poetry Foundation, which jointly present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Now in its third year, this national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country.

"I am delighted to announce this new expansion of the Big Read to celebrate the deep connection between this great American poet and communities in which he lived. It's fitting that we announce this new program in Longfellow's own home in the heart of literary Massachusetts, a state with an extraordinary literary heritage," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Longfellow's poetry has helped to preserve and popularize much of that early heritage, and I look forward to working with the Poetry Foundation on further projects to reacquaint Americans with the depth of our nation's literary heritage."

Poetry Foundation President John Barr said, "Two hundred years of American history and culture found voice, face, and culmination in the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Poetry Foundation is delighted to join with the NEA in celebrating the work of this major American poet."

The Wayside Inn will kick off its Longfellow celebration on February 27, 2008, the poet's 201st birthday, with a keynote presentation. The program will continue through the April 19 Patriot's Day holiday, which commemorates the historic ride by Paul Revere immortalized in Longfellow's poem "The Landlord's Tale" from his collection Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863). The Wayside Inn will host an array of activities throughout those six weeks, including community reading groups, and develop an on-line Longfellow Library with the poet's work and curriculum materials for teachers.

"The Trustees of Longfellow's Wayside Inn are ecstatic about this opportunity that has come from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It is a great opportunity to educate our own community about the importance of the Wayside Inn in Longfellow's life and works and to remind people of his prominence as a poet," said Frederick M. Pryor, President of Longfellow's Wayside Inn's Board of Trustees. "We are working with Project Director Cindy Hall Kouré to provide fun and engaging programming that will reintroduce Longfellow's poetry to as many people and groups throughout Sudbury as possible."

Planned events also include a three-part lecture series with noted Longfellow historians and biographers, a lifelong learning course sponsored by the Sudbury Senior Center, and a musical presentation of Longfellow's poetry. Sudbury public elementary, middle, and high schools will participate by incorporating the poet's work into their curricula, hosting cultural assemblies, and presenting student-created multimedia projects.

The NEA will provide the Inn with supplementary materials -- underwritten by the Poetry Foundation -- similar to those created for the agency's national Big Read program. These materials include reader's and teacher's guides to Longfellow's works and a promotional poster. These materials also will be available to the public at two additional Longfellow historic sites: the Longfellow House (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House (Portland, Maine).

The NEA and the Poetry Foundation expect to announce additional grants for site-based poetry programs this fall. In addition, it's expected that a competitive phase of the program will launch at the conclusion of the pilot phase.

Juan Laden exhibit opens in Denmark

"Passing Memories, Descansos: Roadside Memorials of the West," an exhibition of photographs by Juan Laden of Lander, will be on display at the Skive Bibliotek in Skive, which is on Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. Exhibit dates are Nov. 3-Dec. 29. Juan will depart next week for Denmark to oversee the exhibit and talk about his work.

For those readers fluent in Danish, here's the announcement on the Skive Bibliotek web site:

Juan Laden udstillede på Skive Bibliotek for nogle år siden, og viste da en fremragende og varieret udstilling.

Denne gang koncentrer han sig om ét enkelt emne, nemlig afbildning af mindesmærker for mennesker der har mistet livet langs vejstrækninger i USA.

Fremkomsten af disse mindesmærker er en relativ ny tradition i USA, og med sine sort/hvide fotos opnår Juan mesterligt på én gange at indfange det vemod og den sorg der er forbundet med døden. Samtidig er der noget åbenlyst storslået ved disse øde vejstrækningers natur, og det moment af frihed der ligger i at kunne bevæge sig hvorhen man vil i sin bil.

GTMF holds "StringFest" for students

From a press release:

The Grand Teton Music Festival announced plans today for its annual StringFest for area middle school music students. The unique three-day string clinic brings the orchestra students
of Jackson Hole and Star Valley Middle Schools together with Festival veteran violinist Barbara Scowcroft for an intense collaborative rehearsal and concert experience. StringFest 2007 runs November 13-15 and culminates in a public performance by the young musicians in the Festival's newly renovated Walk Festival Hall, Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, no tickets required. All ages are welcome.

StringFest launches the GTMF in-school programs each year -- the students of Jackson Hole Middle School and Star Valley Junior High School begin working on their music for this performance as soon as the school year begins. The clinician, GTMF veteran musician and Utah Symphony violinist Barbara Scowcroft, will visit the seventh and eighth grade orchestra classes of Vincent Gutwein (Jackson) and Brian Ashton (Star Valley) November 13 and 14 to work with each group separately before they join forces for an all-day rehearsal followed by their combined performance in Walk Festival Hall on Thursday, November 15. A transformative
experience, StringFest helps students learn and indeed participate in the practices and policies of a professional orchestra. On the final day, students work with peers they¹d never met before and play their way though intense rehearsals and finally a public concert. They themselves can hear a marked change in their musicianship over the course of one very intensive and rewarding day.

"It is really wonderful to see the students supporting each other, working together," said StringFest clinician Barbara Scowcroft. "There is such joy in seeing them make new friends through their interest in classical music -- there's this incredible synergy, and that's the ultimate magic of music."

Literary conference features worldly line-up

The 21st annual ARTCORE/Casper College Literary Conference, with the theme of "Spiritual Warriors," features an international line-up of poets and writers Oct. 17-19 in Casper.

Presenters include Nick Flynn, New York City poet and essayist and author of the memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City;" Ekiwah Adler-Belendez (shown at right), a 19-year-old poet prodigy raised in the small village of Amatlan, Mexico, who has captivated his country’s literary scene with three poetry collections; Valzhyna Mort from Minsk, Belarus, whose first poetry collection, "I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes, addresses the upheaval of anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe, when poets became prophets for their nations and when poetry, the only voice of freedom, had to be carefully hidden – because poetry was considered both a sin and a weapon; Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of "Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women Over Fifty" and "Urgent Message From Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World;" Chad Hanson, Casper essayist and fiction writer whose story collection, "Swimming with Trout," was published by the University of New Mexico Press; and Colorado musician and songwriter Jeff Finlin.

Each of them will conduct a writing workshop and read from their work during the course of the conference. There is a fee for the workshops, but the readings are free and open to the public. A free public reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7 p.m., at Casper’s Izaak Walton Clubhouse, followed by a "Spiritual Warriors" panel session and reading by Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Valzhyna Mort, Nick Flynn, and Chad Hanson. Special guest Dana Gioia, poet and chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, will say a few words and introduce the panel. Gioia will be in town to speak at the Wyoming Arts Summit Oct. 19 at the Casper Events Center.

For a full schedule of events, and to register for the workshops, go to <>.

FMI: Michael Shay, Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-5234.

Box gets Booklist stars for "Blue Heaven"

Keir Graff has written a positive review of C.J. Box’s upcoming thriller, “Blue Heaven,” for Booklist Online. C.J., or “Chuck,” as the writer (a WAC fellowship winner) is known throughout his native Wyoming, is the author of seven Joe Pickett mysteries, five of which have received starred reviews on Booklist, considered the Bible of "books to buy" for U.S. librarians. Here’s a clip from the Booklist article:

It takes guts to tinker with a successful formula, but the Wyoming native (recently photographed sans cowboy hat) has done just that. In January, St. Martin’s Minotaur will publish Blue Heaven, his first stand-alone thriller. It’s different from the Joe Pickett books in a number of ways, most notably in the larger cast and the breakneck pacing. Set in north Idaho, dubbed “Blue Heaven” by the California cops who are retiring there, it starts with two kids watching a man get executed–and then things really get hairy. Does Box pull it off? Make that six starred reviews in total.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jeffe Kennedy at Cheyenne YMCA

Jeffe Kennedy, Laramie author of the essay collection "Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel," will talk about all these topics (and more) at a presentation at the Cheyenne Family YMCA on Thursday, Oct. 18, 7-8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. You don't have to be a YMCA member to attend.

FMI: Chris Shay, 307-634-9622, ext. 16.

Hurwitz & Reece team up for CD release

On October 27, 6-8:30 p.m., the Parks Reece Gallery in Livingston, Mont., will hold a reception to unveil Parks Reece's original painting he did for Michael Hurwitz’s new “Cowboy Fandango” CD. Then, at a 9 p.m. in a show at Livingston's Owl Lounge, Hurwitz debuts music from this new CD. He will appear with satirical singer/songwriter and poet Greg Keeler. Keeler and his sonnets appear in Reece’s critically acclaimed book of art “Call of the Wild.” Keeler has received the Montana Governor’s Award in the Humanities.

Hurwitz (pictured above) lives in Alta, just over the Tetons from Jackson. He’s featured on the Wyoming Arts Council Artist’s Roster, and is available for gigs through the Arts Across Wyoming grants program. He is a singer-songwriter with a style somewhere between Western swing and Southern country blues. He has toured extensively for over three decades.

Here’s some info from a press release about how Michael Hurwitz and artist Parks Reese collaborated on this project (courtesy of Robin Hoggan Ebinger):

Wyoming singer/songwriter Michael Hurwitz saw the art and satirical humor of artist Parks Reece and it clicked -- Hurwitz had found the cover art for his upcoming CD "Cowboy Fandango." After Hurwitz and Reece had a long conversation about their similarly strange culinary habits -- from eating porcupines to marmots, pine squirrels to rattlesnakes, and of course the much-loved antelope -- Reece took a road trip across the US with Hurwitz’s previous CDs as his traveling companions. The music made sense and, with that, Reece agreed to do an original painting for "Cowboy Fandango." A relationship was cemented.

It was evident when Hurwitz spoke of his song about dancing badgers that Reece, who considers himself a student of dancing badgers and other bizarre natural phenomena, was the perfect match. Many of the creatures from Hurwitz’s songs and Reece’s imagination appear on the CD, including a centaur cowboy with a striking resemblance to Hurwitz himself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Arts Summit Profile: Stuart Rosenfeld

Stuart Rosenfeld, president of RTS, Inc., in Carrboro, N.C., will conduct a workshop on "Strengthening Rural Economies" on Friday, Oct. 19, 2:45 p.m., for the Wyoming Arts Summit at the Casper Events Center.

Cost for the two-day Summit is $125. Go here to register.

Here's some bio information on Rosenfeld:

Dr. Rosenfeld has over 30 years of work experience in public policy research and analysis, with an emphasis on education and workforce training, rural development, and technology policy. He is principal and founder of RTS, Inc., and started the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance. Stu is known for his work with networks and clusters. He wrote the Guides to Cluster-Based Economic Development for both the National Governors’ Association and the European Union and, in 2004 was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Competitiveness Institute in Barcelona. He has published and spoken extensively on rural development, community colleges, clusters, networks, education policy, and creative economies.

Previously Stu served as Deputy Director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, where he founded and directed the Southern Technology Council and Consortium for Manufacturing Competitiveness. Before that he was a Senior Associate at the National Institute of Education in Washington, DC, where he designed and worked on a Congressionally mandated national assessment of vocational education and co-authored the final report. Rosenfeld has carried out comparative research across Europe and has presented papers to eight international meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and has advised or testified before various panels and committees of the U.S. Congress and National Academy of Sciences on technology and education policies. Other past experiences include directing a private elementary school in Vermont and eight years in manufacturing/operations research at the General Electric Company.

Stu holds an Ed.D. in Educational Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science cum laude in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently is a Senior Policy Fellow with the Southern Growth Policies Board and Senior Research Associate with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Cheney pens "valentine" to old Casper

Reporter Jennifer Frey snagged a rare interview with Wyoming native Lynne Cheney and wrote about her new book in the Oct. 9 Washington Post, reprinted in today's Casper Star-Tribune. Lynne Cheney's book, entitled "Blue Skies, No Fences: A Memoir of Childhood and Family," was published by Threshold Editions, the Simon & Schuster imprint directed by Cheney family friend and conservative commentator Mary Matalin.

Here's an excerpt from the Post article:

What Lynne Cheney has written.... is an homage to her childhood, her husband's [V.P. Dick Cheney] childhood and the American West -- specifically Casper -- where they were raised. A place and a time she describes as "heaven for little girls" and "paradise for little boys."

"Is it nostalgia?" she said, balking a bit. "Nostalgia implies to me, a little bit, you've got your rose-colored glasses on at all times. And I certainly do mean this book to be a valentine to the place and time I grew up. But there are also just sort of facts you can look at, and I think the facts form a different pattern then than they do now."

Rumor has it that Lynne Cheney will be conducting a book signing at Casper College on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. Haven't heard any confirmation on that. Any of you wyomingarts readers have any details? If so, e-mail me. We'd like to get it on the calendar.

"Swingtime Canteen" opens with WYO gala

The World War II-era musical, Swingtime Canteen, opens with a gala on Saturday, Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., at the WYO Theater in Sheridan. For $75, you get a ticket to the show, drinks, and heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Encores will be staged Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 25-27, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. Tickets for these performances are $18 adult, $16 senior & military, $10 Student, $8 12-and-under. Call the WYO Box Office at 307-672-9084.

Here's a description from the WYO Theater web site:

Swingtime Canteen is by Linda Thorsen Bond, William Repicci, and Charles Busch.

It's London, 1944. Join MGM star Marian Ames and her all-girl band from the Hollywood Canteen for the rip-roaringest canteen show of them all. Swingtime Canteen, the "Star Spangled Musical Hit", enjoyed over 300 performances Off Broadway before beginning a London production. It has since become a staple of musical theatres across the country. The show takes its inspiration from the films and personalities that helped to define the national consciousness know as "the war effort".

In the new millennium, Swingtime Canteen fondly looks back to a time universally heralded as America's finest hour. Featuring the real hits of 1940s swing, Swingtime Canteen brings a USO show right to the stage of the WYO Theater. The local cast and band of Sheridan's most talented performers are led by Directors Marva Craft and Tami Davis. Special appearances by Kelly Miller Smart, Mary Jo Johnson, and Julio and Suzanne Quintana.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Student's work at ASUW Gallery

Art paintings by University of Wyoming senior Travis Ivey will be on display Oct. 11-16 at the ASUW Gallery in the Wyoming Union

The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. An opening reception is scheduled Friday, Oct. 12, from 5-7 p.m.

Ivey's project, titled "Booms and Busts," portrays several sites across Wyoming that have been significantly altered by industry and commerce and examines the impact on the landscape.

Flynn offers more bewilderment, less B.S.

On Thursday, October 18, 2-5 p.m., writer Nick Flynn will conduct a workshop on “Bewilderment” at the Casper College Literary Conference. Nick is the author of “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” (Norton, 2004) which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir and has been translated into 10 languages. Nick grew up on Boston’s South Shore and spent six years working at a Boston homeless shelter. In “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City,” he recounts a tumultuous childhood and family life – with the uncanny trajectory that ultimately led his homeless father to seek shelter at the Pine Street Inn while Nick worked there. Poet Mark Doty states, “Nick Flynn has given us one of the most terrifying families in American letters, though he approaches each character in this ferocious, inventive memoir with an almost radical sense of compassion, as if all that any of us could do were to stumble ahead with the burdens we are given. The result is a book so singular, harrowing and loving as to be indelible.”

Nick, making his first foray to Wyoming, describes his Oct. 18 workshop this way:

Participants will be asked to consider bewilderment and how it gets acted out in our writing – either through syntax, access to the duende, leaps into the unconscious, or simply circling around what is unsaid, unknown, unrealized. Or, as Aristotle puts it, "The mind in the act of making a mistake. . . ." Participants will be asked to read classmates’ work with an eye toward bewilderment, marking and naming those places they see it enacted or embodied. During the workshop, the group will try to find ways to push a little further into this shadow world. In “Robert Frost, a Life,” Jay Parini writes, “as in so many of his dramatic poems, Frost dwells on points of miscommunication, the fathomless depths of isolation inherent in all acts of utterance, the gaps that cannot be bridged by words. As Frost said at his readings: 'Poems are about what you don’t mean as well as what you do mean.' "

If Nick's session doesn't strike your fancy, try a songwriting workshop with Jeff Finlin (of Casper favorite, the Jeff Finlin Band); or maybe a "Women's Story" workshop by Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. All these -- and more -- will be offered as part of the "Spiritual Warriors" literary conference Oct. 17-19 at Casper College.

Click here to register for workshops.

Kathy Coe, 307-268-2533 or 1-800-442-2963