Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund board holds open forum discussion Oct. 7 in Lander

The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund Board retreat will be held October 7-8 at the Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander.

No formal business will be conducted during this meeting, however the board will host an open forum discussion on October 7 from 1 -5 p.m. Board discussions will continue on October 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The mission of the WCTF is to serve the citizens of the state by supporting Wyoming’s culture and heritage through grant funding of innovative projects for the enjoyment, appreciation, promotion, preservation and protection of the state’s arts, cultural and historic resources. The program will also look to support and invest in Wyoming institutions that support the state’s culture and heritage.

For more information about this meeting or the Cultural Trust Fund program, please contact Renée Bovée, administrator, at 307-777-6312.

Writers "speed-date" Wyoming librarians, talk e-books

The Wyoming Library Association meets this week. During one of yesterday's sessions, an assortment of Wyoming writers "speed-dated" librarians, talking about their favorite writerly topics. Writers included Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale; John Nesbitt, Torrington; Mike and Kathy Gear, Thermopolis; and Mary Gillgannon, Cheyenne. Mary is writer and librarian and sees these topics from several angles. Here's the beginning of a post on her blog:
I spent last evening “speed dating” with Wyoming librarians. Six other authors and I went around the room and spoke to small groups of librarians about writing and publishing.  Since I don’t have a current book to promote, I mostly discussed e-books and changes in the market.
Read the entire post at

Deadline Oct. 15 for publishing seminar in NYC

The Center for Book Arts in New York City is now inviting applications for its upcoming Letterpress Printing & Fine Press Publishing Seminar for Emerging Writers (November 10-14). Deadline is Oct. 15.

Participants will attend lectures from printers, fine press publishers, book artists, and dealers to get a practical overview of letterpress printing and fine press publishing. They will learn the basics of letterpress printing, both traditional typesetting and options with new technology, by collaboratively printing a small edition of broadsides or other projects. This free workshop is most suitable for those with little or no previous letterpress experience.

Those selected must attend the entire five-day workshop. For further details and an application, click here.

"Literary Connection" Oct. 8-9 at LCCC

The Laramie County Community College Foundation presents "Literary Connection" on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, in the LCCC Health Science Building, Room 111/113, Cheyenne.

The Literary Connection each year features guest authors who talk about the skills of writing and the process of literary development, present guest lectures, answer questions and sign copies of their books. This year's presenters are Rick Bass, Robert Caisley and Sasha Pimentel-Chacón (shown above).

Friday, Oct. 8
Free. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Continental breakfast will be provided.
8:30 a.m. – Participant Check-in
9:00 a.m. - Welcome
9:15 - 10:15 a.m. – Author Presentation
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. – Author Presentation
11:45 - 12:45 p.m. – Author Presentation
1:00 p.m. - Conclusion

Saturday, Oct. 9
$40 per person before Sept. 1; $50 per person after. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
9:30 a.m. – Participant Check-in
10:00 a.m. – Welcome
10:15 – 11:00 a.m. – Author Presentation
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. – Q/A
11:15 – 12:00 p.m. – Author Presentation
12:00 – 12:15 p.m. – Q/A
12:30 – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Author Presentation
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Q/A
2:45 – 3:00 p.m. – Conclusion
3:00 – 3:45 p.m. – Book Signing

You may register online for this event. Go to

Call for entries: Serendipity Poets journal



The deadline for submission is October 31.

Original poems with a creative or western theme will be given priority
though no subject is excluded.

A short biography of the poet must be included.

There is no charge for submissions.

Copies of previous journals 1996 through 2009 can be found in the poetry section of Laramie County Library.

FMI: Ed Warsaw,, (307) 635-4725

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What are your plans for National Arts & Humanities Month?

Each October, Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., asks arts communities nationwide to host arts events and make them part of National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) by posting events on its web site and sharing pictures and stories with peers nationwide. Add your event to the NAHM Calendar. Find out what arts groups and their partners are doing to celebrate and use other available NAHM tools to promote your events and to advocate for the arts at

Next "Poetry Box" discussion group Oct. 15 in Casper

From the Natrona County Public Library in Casper:

Do you enjoy reading or writing poetry? Join the “Poetry Box” discussion group just for poetry lovers at the Natrona County Public Library the third Friday of each month. This month we will meet on Friday, October 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the library. The group will discuss published and original poems and do creative exercises for poetry writing. Poets of all skills levels are welcome and should bring a favorite poem to share with the group. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library. For more information, call 307-577-READ ext 2.

UW Art Museum will host lecture by Warhol scholar David McCarthy on Sept. 30

David McCarthy, professor of history of art at Rhodes College and a pop art scholar, will discuss "American Made, American Masquerade: Andy Warhol's Democratic Portrait Gallery," Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

His talk coincides with the museum exhibition, "Iconic Mass Culture: Andy Warhol's Portraits."

McCarthy will conduct a gallery walk through of the exhibition Friday, Oct. 1, at 10:30 a.m. Both programs are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the UW Department of Art and the UW Art Museum.

"Iconic Mass Culture: Andy Warhol's Portraits presents a selection of Polaroid photographs and silver gelatin prints, with borrowed screenprint works that include the actress/activist Jane Fonda, American Indian war chief Sitting Bull, the artist Joseph Beuys and ballet dancer Karen Kain.

For additional information on exhibitions and programs, call the UW Art Museum at (307) 766-6622 or visit the museum's Web site at or blog at

Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mondays. Admission is free.

State Museum hosts two Canadian authors today at brown bag event

Two Canadian authors, Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst will be featured speakers during a Wyoming State Museum Brown Bag Lecture and book signing, Wednesday (TODAY!), from noon to 1 p.m., in Cheyenne. The event is free and open to the public.

Zwicky and Bringhurst are visiting the state through the University of Wyoming’s Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers series.

Zwicky, an Alberta native, is an author of poetry and philosophy. Her books include “Wittgenstein Elegies,” “The New Room,” “Songs for Relinquishing the Earth,” “Robinson’s Crossing” and “Thirty-Seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences.”

Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Czech, and Serbo-Croatian, and she publishes widely as an essayist on issues in music, poetry, philosophy, and the environment. Since 1986, she has edited poetry for Brick Books.

Bringhurst was raised largely in Montana and Alberta, and spent many childhood summers with his grandmother in Lovell, Wyo. He has published nearly 20 books of poetry including “The Shipwright’s Log” as well as a groundbreaking trilogy of Native American oral literature which included, “A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World” and was chosen as Literary Editor’s Book of the Year in 2004.

Bringhurst and Zwicky will hold a joint residency at the University of Wyoming for several weeks this fall. A selection of their books will be available for purchase and signing at the State Museum Store.

The State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. For information about this and other State Museum programs, please call 307-777-7022.

Sheridan Civic Theater Guild presents Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"

Tough new world that has such publishers in it

Writers are having a tough time figuring out the new world of publishing. It includes print-on-demand, e-books, z-books, Kindles, social networking and all kinds of wild e-stuff. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear of Thermopolis, authors (together and separately) of more than 40 books, are discovering another byproduct of this electronic age.

This comes from their blog:
Yeah, it’s a tough new world. We heard from a couple of you that COMING OF THE STORM didn’t show up in your local news stand rack. For reasons that we still haven’t been able to ferret out, Simon & Schuster shipped fewer copies than normal of COMING OF THE STORM in paperback. Lots fewer. So please note: If you have been waiting to read the adventures of Black Shell and Pearl Hand as they hunt the foul de Soto, you’ve got order on line, or hit your local bookstore. Wal Mart still has copies, but they will be pulled within the next week or two.

So why is it a “tough new world?”

Bookselling is changing by the moment. In February ebooks made up 2% of the market. In July, they made up 11%. We haven’t heard today’s numbers, but they are growing. Prognosticators expect ebooks to top out at around 35% of the market. So, how many print copies does a publisher print? Not just of a Gear title, but of all the other paperbacks they are releasing that month?

COMING OF THE STORM fell into that chasm of uncertainty.

So, here it is: If you want it, you’d better scramble.

... If you’re a book person, a true bibliophile, welcome to the Tough New World!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo of the week: Russell Schnitzer

"Dusk: Pronghorn," Russell Schnitzer

Wyoming photographer Russell Schnitzer shoots fantastic photos and writes essays to accompany them. In his Sept. 25 blog post, he anticipates the hunting season:

...In addition to its well-regarded palette of colors, autumn brings salmon up the rivers of their origin, calls elk and deer down from the high country, beckons homeowners out to split and stack firewood for the months ahead, and compels gardeners to put up harvest's fruits.

For many, though, the shortening of days shifts attention wholly to hunting. It has been this way for me since my youth. Then, as now, I savored long weekend walks through golden aspens awaiting the heart-stopping clamor of ruffed grouse taking flight, and spent sleepless nights in advance of the opening of deer season. That particular light, the woody scents and that special feeling that accompanies a meal of game after a long day afield... The reasons for sentiment have only sharpened over the years.
Read the rest (and view more of Russell's photos) at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale a big success

The 29th annual Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale was held over the weekend.

Cody sculptor Peter Fillerup won the Quick Draw People's Choice Award for his sculpture of Buffalo Bill as a Pony Express rider.

Read today's Cody Enterprise story about the event at

Obmascik talks about "The Big Year" at Laramie Co. Library Foundation's "Booklovers' Bash"

The sixth annual Booklovers’ Bash sponsored by the Laramie County Library Foundation will be held at Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne on Friday, Oct. 29. No host cocktails will be available from 6 p.m. Dinner served at 7 p.m.

Mark Obmascik, Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver journalist-turned-author and humorist, is the featured speaker. His first book, “The Big Year,” is an assiduously researched and warmly amusing depiction of a year of competitive birding. A movie of “ The Big Year” is currently being filmed with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson (among others) and will be released in 2011.

Obmascik’s most recent book, “Halfway to Heaven,” is an entertaining account of his rigorous obsession to climb all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in one year despite being “fat, forty-four... mortgage ... half gone, but so was my hair...”

Individual tickets are $50. Preferential seating and public acknowledgement is available for those who sponsor a $1000 table for eight. Call the Foundation office, 307 773-7221, for reservations or visit  VISA and MasterCard are accepted. Make checks payable to LCL Foundation and mail to the LCLFoundation, 2200 Pioneer Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001. The deadline for reservations is Friday, Oct. 22.

Jazz artist Stefon Harris performs at UW

From a UW press release:

Grammy-nominated jazz artist, Stefon Harris, will perform Thursday and Friday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Harris will first appear with the UW jazz ensemble Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the College of Arts & Sciences auditorium.

His second appearance, part of the fall Cultural Programs' concert series, is with his ensemble, Blackout, Friday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center concert hall.

Tickets for Thursday's performance cost $10 for the public, $6 for students and $7 for senior citizens. Tickets for Friday's performance cost $25 for the public, $21 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased online at or call (307) 766-6666.

Tickets are also available at the Wyoming Union information desk and Fine Arts box office. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and one hour before each scheduled performance.

UW Director of Cultural Programs Cedric Reverand said, "We are pleased to welcome Harris back in a special residency project." Harris will appear as part of the Cultural Programs' series featuring world-renowned performers.

Harris' first three CDs were nominated for Grammy awards, with the second and third nominated for Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. His first CD was named "Best Jazz CD" of the year by Newsweek.

Haitian art, food and music Sept. 30 in Cheyenne

New show at Rock Paper Scissors Gallery in Cheyenne is:

Helping Hands for Haiti: paintings and drawings by Paula Egan-Wright

RECEPTION Thursday September 30, 5:30 to 7 PM. Traditional Haitian food will be served and music will be provided by the Haitian Quartet

Paula Egan-Wright, an East High School French teacher, spent part of the summer in Haiti helping with earthquake relief at an orphanage. While she was there, she produced beautiful and poignant paintings and drawings of the people, places and the destruction wrought by the earthquake. Full of hope and life moving on, these paintings provide a moving documentary of a country struggling to regain its feet after disaster. Paula's drawings include portraits of children and people, and show the changes to famous places like the President's Palace and the Iron Market. All proceeds will go to support the orphanage in Haiti. Helping Hands for Haiti will be up through October 23, 2010.

Current Open Hours

Fridays and Saturday 1-5 PM

Note that we are sometimes unexpectedly closed. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are also open by appointment anytime. Call 307-631-6039.

Follow RPS on Facebook! Become a fan at:

Mammoth good time had by all at book festival

Saturday began with Australian Aboriginal creation stories, and then moved to Hawaiian shark mythology. In the afternoon, Wyoming's 11,000-year-old mammoth was stomping through the Tate Geological Museum and prehistoric armored Hell Pigs were hot on my imaginary trail.

Wish all Saturdays could be as exciting.

But that was bookfest Saturday in Casper. The Casper College/ARTCORE Equality State Book Festival is an extravaganza of books and writers and myths and legends and poetry and fun.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I've been on the bookfest planning committee since its inception six years ago. This makes me slightly biased, yet still wildly enthusiastic.

More than 20 writers in two days. You can find a full list at the bookfest web site. You may recognize names of the Wyoming writers: Poet Laureate and musician David Romtvedt, writer and "grasshopper guy" Jeff Lockwood, Gene "The Teacher Who Dances on Desks" Gagliano, the didjeridoo-playing storyteller Paul Taylor, Nina Swamidoss "Cowboys and East Asians" McConigley, children's author and illustrator Zak Pullen, and Tom "Mr. Carnegie's Dinosaur" Rea.

Other presenters included authors, poets and book illustrators from Idaho, New York, Alaska, Belgium, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and other exotic places.

John Vernon is an historical novelist from New York who justy spent years exploring a topic that's maybe even more mythic than dinosaurs -- Billy the Kid. Vernon's latest is "Lucky Billy." He read some passages Friday evening and then talked about research on Saturday.

While he agrees with the old saw "write what you know," Vernon likes to add this: "know more." That's where research comes in. He usually starts each book with a trip to the setting. In "The Last Canyon," that was the Green River in Wyoming. For "Lucky Billy," he traveled to Lincoln, N.M., which hasn't changed much in the past 120 years. He then explores the "material culture" of the period. He had to learn volumes about firearms of the 1880s. He read a two-page section heavy with gun lore. He had to be careful not to be a "show off" with all this newfound knowledge.

"You should be subtle with your research," he said. "It should be delivered in passing."

Because his books are heavy on dialogue, Vernon researches slang of the era. Old newspapers, letters and diaries and books are great for this.

"You're building a scaffolding of facts," he said. "But in the end, nothing is possible in a novel without imagination."

And no book festival is possible without imagination. Scaffolding, too.

--Michael Shay

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Author Laura Bell speaker at next Buffalo Gal luncheon in Cody Oct. 5

From the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody:

"As a child I'd hidden within the pages of books, crafting my own particular fantasy of a life lived out, with mountains, horses, a cabin, animals that I alone could befriend," writes author Laura Bell. " me it seemed idyllic," she remembers. "I longed for it."

In 1977, when she was just 22 years old and at loose ends after graduating from college, Bell got the chance to live that childhood dream. Visiting Wyoming with a sister, Bell got a glimpse of sheep herding in the Big Horn Basin and the life seemed to fit her idyllic fantasy. Drawn to the life of solitude and physical work, she left her family home in Kentucky for what turned out to be a wild and unexpected adventure.

Bell wrote a memoir of her experiences herding sheep, titled Claiming Ground, published by Alfred A. Knopf in March 2010. She became a member of the sheep herding community-perhaps the strangest member as a young woman in a man's world. At the next Buffalo Gals Luncheon at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Bell shares background experiences from that time in her life.

The luncheon, open exclusively to patrons of the Historical Center, takes place Tuesday, October 5, noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Center's John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required for the $20 luncheon and program. The presentation is followed by a book signing at the Center's Museum Store.

Bell currently lives in Wyoming, where, in addition to her writing, she has worked for the Nature Conservancy. She has received two literature fellowships from the Wyoming Arts Council, and has won the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her work has been published in several collections.

Only a few seats remain for the Buffalo Gals Luncheon; to register, contact Membership Manager Jan Jones 307.578.4032. More information on the Historical Center's other membership benefits can be found by exploring the "Get Involved" section of the Web site,

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience-history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and the nature of Yellowstone-into the rich panorama that is the American West. The Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently operating its fall, schedule, open daily 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. For general information, visit the new or call 307.587.4771.

Photo credit: Sheep wagon and flock, Pitchfork Ranch, ca. 1920s - 1930s. Gift to BBHC of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Belden.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who put the "punch" in Punch Brothers?

Punch Brothers, a band with a style that has been described as introducing bluegrass instrumentation and spontaneity in the structures of modern classical, will perform a free concert Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. in the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

The band is on tour promoting its second CD, "Antifogmatic," an album about the ups and downs of romance and life in the big city.

"We want our music to be something that people can sink their teeth into, if not help make sense of all the various things happening to them," says front man Chris Thile.

After playing at UW, the Punch Brothers are scheduled to perform on the same stage as Elton John, Elvis Costello, Jeff Bridges and many more reputable musicians as they continue to tour the United States.

Individuals with disabilities needing accommodations to participate in this event should contact the UW Campus Activities Center at (307) 766-6340 or

Photo: Punch Brothers will perform Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. in the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

New issue of Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund newsletter

The Sept. 22 issue of the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund newsletter provides updates on two of the fund's projects: Lander Art Center (shown in photo) exhibit space upgrades and the painting of the Garfield Street food bridge in Laramie. To read it, go to

More library used book sales

This is the time of year that makes readers gleeful.

Just about every public library has a used book sale in the fall.

The used book sale at the Goshen County Library in Torrington begins 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 228 East 20th Ave. Items are individually priced during the first week of the sale. All bids for Silent Auction items will be accepted until 3 p.m. on Oct. 9. Successful bidders will be contacted by telephone on Tuesday of the last week of the sale. During the last week, items will be sold by the box.


Megan Oteri poem in Old Mountain Press anthology

A poem by Megan Oteri, "Thirds," will be publishing in a travel anthology by Old Mountain Press. Megan is a talented writer and photographer who grew up in Cheyenne and now lives and teaches in North Carolina. Read "Thirds" at!/note.php?note_id=442552092457&comments&ref=notif&notif_t=note_reply

Hey Megan: Why don't you come to Casper in June 2011 and read the poem at the Wyoming Writers, Inc., conference open mike? We'd love to see you -- and hear your poem in person.

Photo of the Week: Victoria Bennett Beyer

This photo is by Victoria Bennett Beyer of Wheatland is just one selection in her 2010 update to the Wyoming Arts Council Artist Image Registry. The AIR is open to visual artists living in Wyoming. For more info, contact Michael Shay at the WAC at 307-777-5234.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seattle jazz band Jubilee and UW a capella group The Bettys perform at UW Sept. 24-25

Seattle-based band, Jubilee, will team with the Bettys, UW's women's a capella group, Saturday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture auditorium to raise awareness about what ordinary citizens can do to fight human trafficking.

Jubilee will also perform an evening of Brazilian jazz with UW performers from the Luso Brazilian Club and UW music professor Rubia Santos at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at The Gardens in the lower level of the Wyoming Union.

Both performances are free and open to the public and are funded by ASUW.

Jubilee is a collective of five abolitionists/musicians who use the stage and merchandise table to raise awareness and funds to fight modern slavery and support those recovering from its effects. Jubilee strives to be a mouthpiece for the millions of human beings under the bondage of modern slavery.

Jubilee spokesperson Curtis Romjue said 27 million men, women and children around the world are forced to lead lives as slaves. Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same. People are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'.

Sponsors for the UW event include ASUW, Amnesty International, the Good Mule Project, Wyoming Law Students for Equal Justice, the UW Provost's Office, Campus Ventures, the Luso Brazilian Club and the UW Women's Studies Program.

Questions about Jubilee's UW visit can be directed to Mark Peterson at or (307) 766-2054. Romjue can be contacted at (903) 472-9092 or visit and

Photo: Seattle-based band, Jubilee, will team with the Bettys, UW's women's a capella group, Saturday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the College of Agriculture Auditorium to raise awareness about what ordinary citizens can do to fight human trafficking.

WAC roster artists presenting sessions at bookfest

We are please that four members of the Wyoming Arts Council artist roster will be presenters at the Sept. 24-25 Equality State Book Festival in Casper. They are children's book author Gene Gagliano of Buffalo; Aussie storyteller Paul Taylor of Laramie; Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt of Buffalo; and poet George Vlastos of Casper.

David Romtvedt will present two crafts talks: “What Do You Make?: The Ethics of a Writer’s Work,” from 9-9:45 a.m. on Friday in the Strausner Student Center, Rm. 217, Casper College. Followed from 10-10:45 a.m. by “What You Say and How You Say It: Clarity, Simplicity, Sincerity.” Strausner Student Center, Rm. 217.

From 9-11 p.m. Friday, George Vlastos will serve as emcee and referee at the Bookfest Poetry Slam at Metro Coffee in downtown Casper.

On Saturday, 9-9:45 a..m., Paul Taylor will present "Telling Stories at the Root of It All" in the Aley Fine Arts Center Durham Hall, Casper College.

Later on Saturday, 1-3 p.m., there will be a "Young Authors/Letters About Literature Presentation" with Gene Gagliano at the Natrona County Public Library's Crawford Room.

All of these events are free and open to the public.

These authors will attend the book signings both days and will be available to talk about their work during the festival.

For full list of events, go to

Andrea Two Bulls will demonstrate beadwork and painting at Colter Bay Center

Colter Bay Visitor Center & Indian Art Museum on Jackson Lake

From Monday, September 27, through Sunday, October 4, Ogalala Sioux member Andrea Two Bulls will demonstrate beadwork and painting as part of the visiting American Indian artists program. Begins at 9 a.m.,  Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum, Moose. Info: 739-3393, Free, but national park admission required. This will wrap up the 2010 series of programs.

Welcome to the Cheyennewood Shoot-out

Chainsaw artist Roy Pilcher to create sculpture at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens on Sept. 25

Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Roy Pilcher will create a chainsaw sculpture on Saturday, September 25, for the Paul Smith Children's Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. The action begins at 1 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Pick up today's issue of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle to read a profile of Roy and his work.

"Working Words" anthology features Cheyenne story

Michael Shay, Wyoming Arts Council staffer and one of your trusty wyomingarts bloggers, has one of his stories in the new anthology "Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams," fresh from Coffee House Press in Minneapolis. Editor is Detroit's M.L. Liebler, who's been to Wyoming several times (and may travel this way again -- stay tuned). Check out the book at

The story, "The Problem with Mrs. P," was in Mike's first collection, "The Weight of a Body," published by Ghost Road Press in Denver. The story is set in Cheyenne.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tonight at Casper College: "Happily Ever-Aftering on a 1920s Cattle Ranch"

The Equality State Book Festival is holding a "pre-fest" event tonight (Monday), Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m., with a presentation by Montana author John Clayton. He will speak about "Happily Ever-Aftering on a 1920s Cattle Ranch" in the Goodstein Foundation Library Lobby at Casper College.

John’s reading is brought to you by the Casper College Gender Studies program and a Wyoming Humanities Council grant. In his presentation, "Happily Ever-Aftering on a 1920s Cattle Ranch", John will discuss the story of Caroline Lockhart. A best-selling Wyoming novelist of the times, Carolyn decided to retire to her very own homestead, setting in motion a conflict: The happy endings of her romantic fictions and the realities of a single woman running a drought-ridden ranch.

The event is free and open to the public.

The book festival kicks off in earnest on Friday, Sept. 24, 8 a.m. See the web site for more info

Author Marcia Hensley and musician Miss V enliven Wyoming Women's Foundation celebration on Oct. 9

The Wyoming Women's Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the CFD Old West Museum in Cheyenne. Keynote speaker will be Wyoming historian and author Marcia Meredith Hensley with a performance by Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Miss V (shown in photo) from Cora, Wyo.

Tickets are $25/person.

To make a reservation offline or if you have any questions, please email Richelle Keinath or call (307) 721-8300.

Bargains on used books Sept. 21-26 at the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette

The Campbell County Public Library Foundation's annual Used Book Sale runs Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. 21-26, in Gillette! The Early Bird Special is tomorrow (Tuesday) from 4-8:45 p.m. For a $5 cover you get first pick from the hundreds of on-sale books -- $2 hardbacks, $1 paperbacks. The sale continues during regular library hours the rest of the week. Saturday and Sunday are bag days -- all books $5 per bag.

"Fuddy Meers" opens Sept. 28 at UW

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Department of Theater and Dance opens the 2010-2011 production season with David Lindsay-Abaire's hilariously unpredictable comedy, "Fuddy Meers."

Directed by assistant professor John O'Hagan, "Fuddy Meers" runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. on the Fine Arts Main Stage in Laramie. Tickets cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citiznes and $7 for students. For tickets and information call (307) 766-6666 or go online at

"Fuddy Meers" had its premiere in 1999 and put playwright Lindsay-Abaire on the map. Critics called the play "one of the funniest shows I've ever seen," "bubbly fun" and "a giant step toward dispelling current pessimism about the state of the theater." Lindsay-Abaire won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for "Rabbit Hole."

This wacky and poignant comedy follows Claire, a receptive if bemused woman with a rare form of amnesia. Claire awakens as a blank slate every morning on which her family must imprint the essential facts of her life.

For Claire, it's one harrowing and hilarious turn after another on a roller coaster ride of trying to decipher the truth of her life.

"The play is a tremendous amount of fun. While Fuddy Meers asks some probing questions -- which I hope will lead to some good discussions -- it is essentially a farce, a dark farce that is great fun to watch," O'Hagan says.

Photo: Actor Cory D. Winfield with his puppet alter ego Hinky Binky in the UW comedy "Fuddy Meers." It can be seen Sept. 28-Oct. 3.

"ReVisioning the (W)hole" at UW

Ghost Fish by Margaret Haydon
Ceramic Fish Ball by Margaret Haydon

The University of Wyoming will host the fourth annual "ReVisioning the (W)hole" conference at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, in Room 506 of Coe Library.

The 90-minute presentation and panel discussion, free and open to the public, will focus on the intersections between science and art from numerous perspectives, including studies of the ancient sturgeon, psychological and pop cultural presentations of male identities and perceptions of beauty and ugliness in the insect world. A reception follows.

"This conference has two primary objectives," says organizer Meg VB-Wood, from the UW Department of English. "We want both to recognize and celebrate the on-going interdisciplinary/integrated projects on campus and beyond and to stimulate future work that looks at blurring, enlarging, and/or redefining disciplinary boundaries."

The presenters at this year's conference are Margaret Haydon, UW associate professor of art; Daniel Fielder, assistant professor of art at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington; and Jeffrey Lockwood, UW professor of philosophy and creative writing. UW professors Barbara John and Mark Ritchie will serve as moderators.

The conference is supported by the UW Foundation.

American Life in Poetry: Column 287


I love to sit outside and be very still until some little creature appears and begins to go about its business, and here is another poet, Robert Gibb, of Pennsylvania, doing just the same thing.

For the Chipmunk in My Yard

I think he knows I’m alive, having come down
The three steps of the back porch
And given me a good once over. All afternoon
He’s been moving back and forth,
Gathering odd bits of walnut shells and twigs,
While all about him the great fields tumble
To the blades of the thresher. He’s lucky
To be where he is, wild with all that happens.
He’s lucky he’s not one of the shadows
Living in the blond heart of the wheat.
This autumn when trees bolt, dark with the fires
Of starlight, he’ll curl among their roots,
Wanting nothing but the slow burn of matter
On which he fastens like a small, brown flame.

WWInc at MPiBA this weekend; MPiBA director resigns

Lisa Knudsen, Colorado-based director of the Mountains and Plains Indpendent Booksellers Association, has announced she is leaving at the end of the year. Many booksellers in Wyoming are members of this organization. The big MPiBA convention will be held in Denver this weekend. Look for the Wyoming Writers, Inc., table. Here's info about the event from Anne Heberelin, who coordinates the WWInc table with John Nesbitt:
Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) holds their exclusive expo every September. Booksellers, book distributors, publishing houses, and upon occasion editors and agents attend looking to place book orders, market their latest publications, meet their customers, and search for new talent. By participating in this event WWInc. members have an opportunity to market their works, meet their public, and maybe network a book signing.

This event is one where you can “put yourself out there” from a safe place, in the company of friends and fellow writers. This year’s event takes place September 23 – 25th. The event is being held at the Denver Tech Center Marriott. There will be a wrap-up article in the next WWInc. newsletter.
More on Knudsen here

NPR reps speak in Laramie Sept. 27

Two representatives from National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., will be presenting programs in Laramie on Monday, September 27. The event is sponsored by Wyoming Public Radio.

Here's the schedule:

“The World of Changing Media,” 10 a.m., Coe Library 506,
Discussion focus:
· Shifting ethical sands in media
· Internet journalism
· NPR’s opportunities and challenges

“NPR is Listening,” 5:30 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn Salon C
News panel discussion with
· Ellen Weiss, NPR Senior Vice President for News
· Alicia Shepard, NPR Ombudsman
· Wyoming Public Radio News Director, Bob Beck

Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow performs at Laramie County Library Sept. 20

On Monday, Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m., Celtic Guitarist Jerry Barlow will perform in the Cottonwood Room of the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne. Jerry brings traditional Celtic tunes alive, from lively jigs to haunting airs, and shares some humor and history behind the music. A free event for adults and families. FMI: 307-634-3561.

At Teton County Library Oct. 1: "How (Not) to Understand India through Bollywood"

"How (Not) to Understand India through Bollywood: Dreams and Desires in the New World Order," is a pr4esentation by Mir Ali Husain, Bollywood songwriter and New York Institute of Technology Management Studies Professor.

The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 1, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Teton County Public Library in jackson.

The presenter asks: "What defines a Bollywood movie? What can the world's largest film industry tell us about India? About the U.S.?" Presentation includes film clips and Q&A. Indian tea and cookies served!

Sponsored by Wyoming Council for the Humanities, University of Wyoming's Gender & Women's Studies, International Programs, History & International Studies Departments. Location: Ordway Auditorium. Free. Adult Humanities Coordinator, Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135 or

Zwicky and Bringhurst are Eminent Writers in Residence at University of Wyoming

The UW MFA in creative writing is proud to welcome Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst as Eminent Writers in Residence. In addition to consultation with MFA students and presentations across the state, their Wyoming residency will feature public events to which all are invited:

On Monday, September 27, at 5 pm, they will give a poetry reading at the UW Art Museum.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, October 4, 6, and 8, they will give a series of three lectures entitled "Literary Polyphony and Ecological Thought." These lectures will be held from 12 noon to 1:15 pm on each of those three days, in the Classroom Building room 222.

The MFA program would welcome your attendance at any or all of these events.

Jan Zwicky's books of poetry include Wittgenstein Elegies (Brick Books, 1986), The New Room (Coach House Press, 1989), Songs for Relinquishing the Earth (Brick, 1998) which won the Governor General's Award in 1999, Robinson's Crossing (Brick, 2004) which won the Dorothy Livesay Prize, and Thirty-Seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences (Gaspereau Press, 2005). Her books of philosophy include Lyric Philosophy (UTP, 1992; second edition, Gaspereau, forthcoming), Wisdom & Metaphor (Gaspereau, 2003, 2nd ed, 2008), and Plato as Artist, due out from Gaspereau in the fall of 2009. Her unusual approach to prose philosophical discussion presents design challenges, and Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press has twice won awards for his work with her books. Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Czech, and Serbo-Croatian.

Robert Bringhurst has published nearly twenty books of poetry over nearly four decades, from The Shipwright's Log (1972) to the recent Selected Poems, issued by Gaspereau Press in 2009. With Haida sculptor Bill Reid, he is also coauthor of The Raven Steals the Light (1984), a work beloved by scholars and schoolchildren alike. The Black Canoe (1992), Bringhurst's study of Reid's sculpture, is a classic of Native American art history. Design schools and publishers throughout the Western Hemisphere rely on his book The Elements of Typographic Style (3rd ed., 2004), which has now been translated into ten languages.

"Day for Writers" at Cheyenne Barnes & Noble

A "Day for Writers" at Cheyenne Barnes and Noble on Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m.–3 p.m

If you are an aspiring writer, please join local authors at Cheyenne B&N this Saturday for a day of inspiration and instruction.

10:00 — John Nesbitt – “The Plan”

11:00 — Joanne Kennedy– “Getting Started”

12:00 — Tina Ann Forkner– “Creating a Writing Community”

1:00 – Amanda Cabot — “Like Fine Champagne: The Art of Sparkling Dialogue”

2:00 – Discussion Panel: Writing & Publishing (Nesbitt, Forkner, Cabot, and Kennedy)

3:00 — Amanda Cabot – “Surviving Rejection and Other Detours on the Writer’s Path to Success”

FMI: B&N at 307-632-3000.

Northwest College hosts Multicultural evening

The Northwest College Multicultural Committee is sponsoring a night of dance & music provided by Tres Vidas  on October 9, at the NWC Nelson Performing Arts Building. The group provides music and dance that ranges from popular and folk songs from the Mexican, Salvadoran and Argentinean cultures, to transcriptions of works by Astor Piazzolla, to new music written especially for the Core Ensemble by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Orlando Garcia, Pablo Ortiz and Michael DeMurga.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

As a landmark is destroyed, we remember the short but lively history of book festivals in Wyoming

Smoke is in the morning air. Residue from the fire that destroyed the Hitching Post Inn, a Cheyenne landmark.

The Hitch was the site for the first Wyoming Bookfest on Oct. 26-27, 2001. We remember that fall for the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the anthrax attacks on Congress. Then came the invasion of Afghanistan by U.S. forces. Smoke was in the air everywhere that year.

Meanwhile, in Cheyenne, a handful of writers and booklovers were organizing what we hoped would become an annual tradition.

If I remember correctly (and I don’t always) the idea started with a meeting of local writers Chip Carlson and Larry Brown with Gene Bryan, who then was in charge of events at the Best Western Hitching Post Inn Resort and Conference Center, a.k.a. “The Hitch.” That’s pretty much what everyone called it, then and now.

The three co-conspirators thought a bookfest was just the thing for Cheyenne. Unlike its surrounding states, Wyoming had yet to have a statewide book festival. It would benefit writers, booksellers and The Hitch.

Linn Rounds, then head of the Wyoming Center for the Book, was pulled into the committee. So was I from the Wyoming Arts Council. Kathy Murphy, secretary to Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Director John Keck, volunteered to keep track of all the proceedings. She did a great job, Kathy, alas, died a few years later. In the end, we had a great collection of people, including Kathleen Gillgannon of the YMCA Writer’s Voice, and reps from the Laramie County Public Library and the Wyoming Humanities Council.

Warning for anyone planning a book festival – it’s a lot of work. Forty-two poets, writers, editors, storytellers, musicians and at least one wood sculptor participated in the Oct. 26-27 event. That doesn’t include booksellers and presses featured at the book fair. Committee members were running around like crazy people, getting people to the correct rooms and finding more chairs when needed.

It got off to a heady start with a Friday evening reading by four poets laureate: Robert Roripaugh of Wyoming, Mary Crow of Colorado, David Lee from Utah and Bill Kloefkorn of Nebraska. The crowd was SRO, and it was a real thrill to have four great poets reading their work at one event. Just think of how many square miles are represented by these people from four big almost-square states (Nebraska's more of a weird rectangle).

David Lee was fresh from his appearance at the first National Book Festival on the National Mall in D.C. That event was organized by the Library of Congress and First Lady Laura Bush.

We also had a guest speaker that evening in U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. Sen. Enzi and his staff no longer had access to their offices in D.C. due to the anthrax attacks. So he brought a batch of staffers with him to Cheyenne. He spoke about the recent happenings in the capital, but then launched into one of his favorite subjects – books. He’s a big reader – I’ve watched him buy bags full of books from appreciative Wyoming writers.

Sen. Enzi also was in town for a very somber event. This was the funeral of one of the first American soldiers killed in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Spec. Jonn Edmunds of Cheyenne was on a helicopter ferrying troops to the war zone when it crashed Oct. 19 in Pakistan. All aboard were killed.

Thousands attended the Saturday funeral. We had hoped for thousands that day at the bookfest, but fell a bit short. It wasn’t for lack of trying. We had fantastic sessions on writing cookbooks, westerns, mysteries and poetry in rooms scattered throughout The Hitch. We had some of the best anthology editors in Wyoming – Nancy Curtis, Candy Moulton and Bill Hoagland -- talking about “Editing Western Anthologies.” Local writer C.J. Box, who’s now published more than a dozen mysteries and won the prestigious Edgar Award, talked about “Whodunits on the High Plains.” I was on a panel with writers Teresa Funke and Jeffe Kennedy talking about “Starting (and Maintaining) Your Writing Critique Group.” My group is still intact, as is Teresa’s. Jeffe’s group in Laramie is defunct – and she now lives in Santa Fe.

On the Children’s Stage in the now-destroyed Saddleback Lounge, my son and his pals at East High staged an open mike. It also saw performances by Aussie storyteller Paul Taylor and the Cheyenne Youth Symphony.

We were exhausted by the end of the day. In the ensuing weeks, we went over all the evaluations. Most negative comments were about lack of attendance and lack of book sales. Lots of people had lots of ideas about how to make it better. More publicity. More big-name authors. Bigger book fair. Get more people to do the work. Involve more local organizations and business.

Here’s one comment I liked: “A number of authors travel a great distance to attend — at last give them a sandwich for lunch.”

You want mayo or mustard with that?

Here’s a great comment from C.J. Box: “The bookfest shouldn’t be all things to all people… While musical performances and wood art may bring in some folks, the bookfest should be about books and authors.”

A few months after the bookfest, the committee met for a brainstorming session. We stormed our brains out. We all wanted to have another bookfest, but there wasn’t enough interest to form a solid committee to write grants, enlist sponsors and plan the myriad bookfest details. Not right away, anyway.

It was five years before there was another book festival. This one was a true statewide book event, the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. It was six years before there was another bookfest in Cheyenne, and that was the Wyoming Book Festival in locales throughout downtown Cheyenne. It continues to be a project of the Wyoming Center for the Book at the Wyoming State Library.

Planning for the first ESBF began in late 2004. It involved a very motivated and dependable planning committee. A big budget too – more than $100,000. Lots of sponsoring organizations in Casper and throughout Wyoming.

The third ESBF will be held Sept. 24-25 at Casper College and environs. I’m on the committee but the real work is done by the Casper organizers, notably co-chairs Laurie Lye and Holly Wendt of Casper College.

Here’s to you, bookfest organizers. Lots of work and little glory. But people come out to see their favorite authors and buy books. Every year, bookfest authors go to local schools to get kids excited about reading. Bookstores sell books. Authors read from their books. There’s a late-night slam for poets. Workshops for striving writers and poets.

We’ve all learned some lessons since that first bookfest when the smoke and ashes from 9/11 were still in the air.

The Hitch was not officially an historic site, just the place of many memories for many people. Nine years ago it was the place where we constructed the foundation for bookfests to come. Now it’s smoke and ruins.

See you in Casper Sept. 24-25 as we keep building bookfest traditions in Wyoming.

--Michael Shay

This story was cross-posted (in a slightly different form) from the hummingbirdminds blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer featured at New Frontiers music project at UW

New Frontiers, a Laramie contemporary music project, presents a week of concerts Sept. 20-25, at the University of Wyoming.

The music project features a variety of guest artists including Pulitzer Prize-winner for composition, Jennifer Higdon. She, along with other invited guests, will hold artists in residence status during next week's events. Public concerts are scheduled along with rehearsals with UW music faculty and students.

Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers working today, says Anne Guzzo, New Frontiers director and UW Department of Music assistant professor. Higdon's list of commissioners range from the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Tokyo String Quartet, The President's Own Marine Band (United States Marine Band) and to such artists as Hilary Hahn.

Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her violin concerto. The committee cited Higdon's work as a "deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity." She also has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (two awards), the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

She received a Grammy Award this year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her percussion concerto. Higdon is currently the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Other artists in residence include DuoSolo, featuring Michael Kirkendoll and Mary Fukushima Kirkendoll; Canadian composer Emily Doolittle; and Boulder/Denver's innovative Telling Stories, presenting readings and

classical music together.UW faculty and student performers also are involved in the New Frontiers project. New chamber music performed by UW faculty will be presented along with large ensembles such as the UW Wind Symphony directed by Bob Belser; the Collegiate Chorale, directed Nicole Lamartine; and the UW Chamber Orchestra, directed by James Przygocki, featuring faculty soloists Blake McGee, clarinet; and Katrina Zook, mezzo-soprano.

All concerts are open to the public; most events are free. The schedule:

-- Monday, Sept. 20: Micro-Concert: New Chamber Music, 7:30 p.m., performed by UW faculty members, featuring Emily Doolittle. Fine Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are available from the UW Box Office at (307) 766-6666 and are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

-- Wed. Sept. 22: DuoSolo (New Frontiers Artists in residence Michael and Mary Kirkendoll), UW Art Museum in the gallery, 7:30 p.m., featuring Eminent Composer-in-Residence, Jennifer Higdon's Rapid Fire. Free.

-- Thurs. Sept. 23: Innovators: UW Wind Symphony, conducted by Bob Belser 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Concert Hall, . Free.

-- Friday, Sept. 24: Macro-Concert: Chamber Orchestra and Collegiate Choir, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Concert Hall. Conductors James Pryzgocki and Nicole Lamartine present works by Eminent Composer-in-Residence, Jennifer Higdon. Featuring faculty soloists, Blake McGee, clarinet; and Katrina Zook, mezzo-soprano performing works by Higdon and Guzzo. Free.

-- Sat. Sept. 25: Telling Stories show, Rush Hour, at UW Art Museum in the gallery, 3 p.m. Readings and classical music from Telling Stories, directed by Jennie Dorris. Also, a performance of Higdon's Dash by UW faculty members. Free.

FMI: Guzzo at (307) 766-5109, e-mail or visit the Web site at

Photo: Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon will be artist in residence during the New Frontier events.

Western history writers gathering in Kanab, Utah

This info was passed along by our old pal at the Utah Arts Council, Guy Lebeda:

Kanab will reach back to its literary roots when it hosts the first Writers of the Purple Sage retreat for Western history writers on October 8-9. In 1907 and 1908, struggling writer Zane Grey visited Kanab to gather information for his earliest Western novels and left armed with everything he needed to write Riders of the Purple Sage, perhaps the greatest novel of the Old West ever written. Now writers of historic fiction and non-fiction from throughout the region will travel again to Kanab and Utah’s redrock country to learn how to get their works published from award winning authors, publishers, editors and researchers.

One of the keynote speakers will be Will Bagley who has written and edited more than twenty books on overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, and the Mormons. He lectures widely and has appeared in more than a dozen films, including the American Experience episode of “The Mormons” on PBS. Between 2000 and 2004, The Salt Lake Tribune published more than 200 of his columns and articles. Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows won Best Books awards from the Western History Association, the Denver Public Library, Westerners International, and the Western Writers of America Spur Award. So Rugged and Mountainous: Blazing the Oregon and California Trails, 1812–1848, the first of four volumes of “Overland West: The Story of the Oregon and California Trails,” is his most recent book.

Also keynoting the writers retreat will be Jana Richman, the award-winning author of two books. The first is The Last Cowgirl, a novel about a woman and her relationship with her family. The novel is set during the years leading up to and following the nerve gas leaks near Dugway Proving Ground that poisoned local livestock and blighted the rural lifestyle of local ranching communities. This novel won the 2009 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and the 2009 Utah Artys Award for Best Fiction. Her other book is Riding in the Shadows of Saints: A Woman’s Story of Motorcycling the Mormon Trail, a memoir that chronicles her emotional connection to pioneer women of her family who travelled this route from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City.

Also presenting will be James M. Aton, author of John Wesley Powell- His Life and Legacy; John R. Alley, Executive Editor of Utah State University Press; Kent Powell, Managing Editor of Utah Historical Quarterly; Janet Seegmiller, Special Collections Librarian at Southern Utah University’s Gerald R. Sherratt Library and Guy Lebeda, Literary Arts Coordinator for the Utah Arts Council.

Writers of the Purple Sage is a joint endeavor of Utah State History and the Center for Education, Business and the Arts with generous support from Canyon Book, Willow Canyon Outdoor, Dixie State College, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Kanab Chamber of Commerce, Kanab City, Kane County Office of Tourism, Southern Utah University, Southwest Applied Technology College, Utah Arts Council, Utah Cultural Heritage Council, and the Utah Humanities Council.

Existing or aspiring writers can register online at For more information, contact Kelly Stowell at (435) 819-0443 or by email at

Cody High Style prepares for Rendezvous Royale

In the 2009 Cody High Syle fashion category, Tres Outlaws Boots won the Designer's Choice award.

From a BBHC release:

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center joins artisans and designers who celebrate the spirit of the American West through western decorative arts in Cody High Style: Designing the West.

This year’s exhibition, held in conjunction with the city-wide Rendezvous Royale, is on view September 22 – 25 in the breezeway of the Historical Center’s Cody Firearms Museum. Forty craftsmen display everything from desks and couches to lamps and saddlebags—all with a distinctive western flair. The show is free to the public.

Cody High Style kicks off with the popular “Building Rustic Furniture” two-day workshop on Monday and Tuesday, September 20 – 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Master craftsman John Gallis of Norseman Designs West presents this hands-on workshop in his studio where participants learn the basics of woodworking and take home their own handmade projects. All levels of experience are welcome, and since space is limited, registrations are now being accepted. The cost is $300 and includes materials and lunch.

Marge Taylor of Leather Legends invites leather aficionados to make their own leather, fringed vests in her workshop on Tuesday, September 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Historical Center. The cost is $100 and includes materials and lunch. All levels of experience are welcome, and registrations are now being accepted as space is limited.

This year’s Cody High Style tour—Thursday, September 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.—highlights historic log cabins in the area, beginning with the Joseph Henry Sharp cabin, Absarokee Hut, at the Historical Center. Then, participants travel to several historic homestead cabins around Meeteetse, Wyoming, including the famous Pitchfork Ranch. Space is limited, and registrations are now being accepted. The cost for the guided tour is $100 and includes bus travel, lunch, and guide.

Along with its popular style show, Cody High Style also has several seminars and roundtable discussions that are free to the public:

Sept. 22, 2 p.m.: “Why would a magazine want to do a story on me?” Cowgirl Magazine editor-in-chief, Callan Loessberg.

Sept. 23, 10 a.m.: “Roundtable: Influences of Mastered Style” (historic styles from Molesworth to Roycroft).

Sept. 23, 1 p.m.: “Inspirations of the American West.” Montana Dreamwear designer Celeste Sotola.

Sept. 24, 11 a.m.: “Roundtable: Natural collaboration—defined by our materials.”

Sept. 25, 1 p.m.: “Roundtable: Recycled, reclaimed, and reborn”

A full schedule of Cody High Style events is available at To register for workshops or historic cabins tour, contact Jill Oseicki-Gleich, or 307.587.2619.

Stay current with Historical Center news and activities at

WYO Photo of the Week: Larry Friedman

Many of you remember Larry Friedman's Wyoming photos, notably the ones shot around the Flaming Gorge in Sweetwater County. He has an amazing ability to catch lightning in mid-strike during summer storms. Larry moved from Green River to the Chicago area last year but he hasn't lost his Wyoming touch. This recent one shows cattle grazing near Flaming Gorge. The man knows his bovines -- he's also a veterinarian. This photo is 20x30 inches.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall WAC newsletter in mail

The latest issue of the Wyoming Arts Council newsletter is at the post office and should be in your mailboxes in the next couple of days. Read about Daniel Pink coming to Cheyenne, the Equality State BookFest that Mike has been blogging about for at least the last month, the new statue at the State Fairgrounds in Douglas, as well as Bruce Richardson's lively recap of the Michael Kaiser visit in Cheyenne. There are write-ups about Wyoming Writers, Inc., Julianne Couch's article on Wyoming writer's groups, Gretel Ehrlich's writing retreat, our featured Wyoming artists -- Tom Rea, Pravina Gondalia, and Wendy de la Harpe -- remembering Eva McAdams, Dutch Hop, Poetry Out Loud, Christmas Tree project and a list of awarded grants. If you'd like to look at it online go to

Fore! Illustrator Zak Pullen's very busy September

Fans of Zachary Pullen's character-based illustrations will have two occasions to hear him speak -- and view his work -- during the next two weeks.

The Ned and Barbara Murray Art Series at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne is sponsoring an exhibit of Zak's work Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The show will be in the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery. Zak will talk about his work at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the Fine Arts Building, Room 113. A reception follows at 8 p.m. in the gallery. All events are free and open to the public.

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, Zak will participate in the Equality State Book Festival in his hometown of Casper. During the day on Friday, Zak will visit Natrona County Schools along with fellow bookfest presenters Gene Gagliano, Ray Troll and Jacko Gantos. That evening, the bookfest co-sponsors an author and illustrator reception at Zak's Corridor Gallery, 120 E. 2nd St., 5:30-7 p.m. A free event, with fine art and hors d’oeuvres and lively conversation.

On Saturday, Zak, Ray Troll and Russell Hawley will participate in an illustrators panel: “Drawn In: Get Interested in Illustration!” This free event is 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. in the Nichols Auditorium, McMurry Career Studies Bldg., Room 160. Zak will join other authors at a book signing from 5-5:45 p.m. that day in the Strausner Student Center at Casper College.

FMI: and and

Meet the Equality State Book Festival authors: John Vernon

Another distinguished author appearing at the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 24-25 in Casper:

John Vernon is a Massachusetts native who now lives in Colorado. He was educated at Boston College and the University of California at Davis, and has taught at the University of Utah and Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.) He is the author of eleven books, including the book of poems Ann, the memoir A Book of Reasons, and the novels La Salle, Lindbergh's Son, Peter Doyle, All for Love: Baby Doe and Silver Dollar, The Last Canyon, and Lucky Billy. His work has appeared in Harper's, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, and many other magazines, journals, and newspapers. Two of his books have been named New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and he has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Vernon is the 21st faculty member at Binghamton University to be named a Distinguished Professor and now teaches there each spring semester. For the rest of the year, he lives in the mountains of northern Colorado and combines a routine of writing and mountain climbing. In Colorado, he is also affiliated with the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

John Vernon will be on stage for “Imagining Billy the Kid: A Reading from Lucky Billy” on Friday, Sept. 24, 7:30-8:30 p.m., in the Aley Fine Arts Center Durham Hall at Casper College. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Wyoming Humanities Council launches "Civility Matters" initiative at Heart Mountain site

From a SPCR press release:

A year-long initiative, sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council, titled “Civility Matters,” kicks off at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center near Powell Saturday, September 18 at 11:15 a.m.

Featured at the event is National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jim Leach and Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, a board member of the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.

Following the kick-off of “Civility Matters,” Leach and Simpson will also participate in “A Conversation on Civility with NEH Chairman Leach and Senator Alan Simpson” at Northwest College in Powell at 1 p.m.

Two journalism and political science students will interview Leach and Simpson with the session introduced by Northwest College President Paul Prestwich and moderated by faculty member Lou McPhail. The public is welcome.

Leach, a long-time Republican Congressman from Iowa, who became head of the NEH in August 2009, will provide a major address, “Civility in a Fractured Society,” at 7:30 p.m., that evening at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody. Both events are free and open to the public.

The events coincide with Leach’s 50-state “American Civility Tour.” Additionally, the Wyoming Humanities Council announces 12 months of promotion and online and face-to-face programs on the topic of civility, offering residents of the Cowboy State broad opportunities to consider the meaning of civility, both in the context of the nation’s democratic commitments to freedom of expression and in the context of an increasingly global world.

With funding provided by the Wyoming State Legislature through the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, programs include a partnership with the Casper Star-Tribune, featuring opinion editorials by humanities scholars and professionals, state leaders and Wyoming citizens; statewide book and film discussions; a publication with selected readings; an innovative summer public discussion series in Wyoming’s community and state parks; a community grant initiative; and a statewide tour by a national humanities scholar, who will culminate the year with presentations at Wyoming potlucks and schools.

The Wyoming Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that is an affiliate of the University of Wyoming and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It provides community programs and funds community grants across Wyoming. The Wyoming Humanities Council, the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center are sponsors of Leach’s Wyoming visit. For more information about the Wyoming Humanities Council, call 307-721-9243 or visit

"Freshwater" poster contest deadline is Oct. 13

From a press release:

The Wyoming Geographic Alliance proudly presents the "Geography Awareness Week Poster Contest."

First place winners will receive tickets to the Wyoming vs. CSU football game for the winner and his/her parents.

November 14-20, 2010 has been designated as National Geography Awareness Week. Geography Awareness Week highlights the National Geographic Society’s annual Geography Action! conservation and awareness program, a public outreach series designed to educate and excite people about our natural, cultural, and historic treasures. The Wyoming Geographic Alliance is sponsoring a poster contest based on the Geography Action! program. This year’s contest theme is "Freshwater."

The theme allows students to show their creativity while learning about fresh water and its impact and limits for the world. It also gives students an opportunity to describe fresh water from their own point of view.

To be eligible for the poster contest, a registration form must be submitted by each participating K-12 school no later than October 13, 2010, to the Wyoming Geographic Alliance at the University of Wyoming via phone (307.766.3213), fax (307.766.3294), or email ( Also use this contact info to order submission forms.

Julianne Couch essay in New West

Laramie's Julianne Couch teaches at UW, works as a free-lance writer, is a member of the Wyoming Arts Council artist roster and is a Wyoming Writers, Inc., board member planning the group's 2011 conference. She's also working on a new book. Whew! She notifies wyomingarts that she just published her first "official" piece in New West. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Shaded under a cluster of evergreens in the Medicine Bow National Forest, I watch the family of our friend Mark deliver part of him back to Wyoming from where he lived in Missouri, a few months after his death.

About 50 friends and family gathered to witness Mark’s wife and daughter scatter his ashes into a swift and shallow mountain stream. His dust the color of bentonite disappears like fiber powder into the waters of Douglas Creek. Part of Mark is bound for the Platte River, then will leave Wyoming for the Missouri River, then the Mississippi, then finally, the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean beyond.
You will want to read the entire essay at

Monday, September 13, 2010

LAGQ coming to Cheyenne

Recognized as one of America's premier instrumental ensembles, the GRAMMY-winning, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most charismatic and versatile groups performing today. Popularly known as the LAGQ, these four dynamic virtuosi bring a new energy to the concert stage with their eclectic programs and dynamic musical interplay. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.  Go to for more info about the group.

When: Thursday, November 18, 7 p.m.
Where: Cheyenne South High School Auditorium, 1213 W. Allison Road
Price: $10 students and seniors; $15 general public
Tickets can be purchased through the LCCC Foundation at 307-778-1285 or online at

Sponsored by the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and partnered with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and the Cheyenne Guitar Society.

12-24 fundraiser in Casper

Saturday night in Casper. Went to the fundraiser late, so missed the vocal and instrumental stylings of Cory and the Crew and Jeff Finlin and Amy. Didn't mean to, but mother's birthday dinner and grandkids that had to be put to bed and listened for until they fell was a good plan to take them swimming for two-and-a-half hours that afternoon... 

Stepped out the door as soon as I could, and to the Parkway just as the last set had begun. The Three Twins and Broadband were playing. I'm listening to a 2008 recording of the subdudes on YouTube at the Irvington Town Hall Theatre in Irvington, NY as I write this. As Amy said in her email, "there are lots of synergies between them and Jeff Finlin as well as Cory...old friends, co-writers etc., which is why the lineup fell together as it did, and why Eric [Moon] and Cory ended up playing with them at the end of the night."

If you want to hear some great blues rock, not to mention some funk and blues and just a great groove, let me say, you have got to catch The Three Twins and Broadbend somewhere, somehow. There's a horn section--trombone, trumpet, sax--lead guitarist, bass, drummer, keyboardist and robust female singer who could growl with the best of them. People were up on their feet; a standing o, and they played "I Always Cry At the Movies" as an encore, which had everybody up dancing at their tables, or on their tables, I'm not tellin. Eric Moon and Larry Neeff, both kickin' keyboardists, played the upper register while the keyboardist twin played lower. Cory had already been up there for three or four songs, and was laying in some smokin blues riffs on his guitar. They played until almost the witching hour, and nobody really wanted to go home.

Can we get them here to Cheyenne for something, sometime? Amy says, "so of course any possibilities for multi-band things, twins headlining with Jeff/Cory whatever as opening act, would be especially cool :-)" Yep, definitely.

Call for entries: NPR's "Three-Minute Fiction"

Enter your story (600 words or less) to NPR's "Three Minute Fiction" contest.

Each round, our judges throw out a challenge. This time, your story must begin with the line, "Some people swore that the house was haunted." It must end with, "Nothing was ever the same again after that."

Author Michael Cunningham is the judge (and he also came up with the opening and closing lines.


Still time to sign up for next UW Art Museum 20:20 event on Sept. 20

From the University of Wyoming Art Museum blog:

Save the date for the fifth 20:20 event to be held at the UW Art Museum on Monday, September 20, 7 p.m. 20:20 is a fast paced presentation format where presenters are allowed to show only 20 images/slides, and each image is shown for only 20 seconds, which results in a 6 minute and 40 second presentation! Each 20:20 event focuses on a specific group in order to highlight a wide range of artists in the state. This coming 20:20 is open to artists, arts organizations, and arts educators from the Southeast region of the state.

This is an opportunity to share with colleagues your latest artwork, projects, or accomplishments. The goal of this program is keep communication open among artists in the state and to provide an opportunity to network. Advance sign up is required and is on a first come, first to present basis. If you have presented at a previous 20:20, you are welcome to present again, but new images or work must be shown. Images/slides must be in a PowerPoint format and submitted by Sept. 17.

For more information, or to sign up, please contact Assistant Curator Rachel Miller at 307.766.6621 or

Find out more about "Walkabout Gallery" project at Buffalo's "Business After Hours" Sept. 16

This was in the September issue of the Johnson County Arts & Humanities Council newsletter:

A "Call for Artists" was published in local media and mailed to more than 50 local artists last spring.

Louise Anderson's oil painting, "Elgin Park," was the first work to be completed for the project, and can be seen on the door panel of the historic Shaver Building on Main Street, home to the Holistic Health Center.

Project Coordinator Dollie Iberlin, who has been meeting with artists and building owners throughout the summer, says, "The selection committee was so pleased to be able to accept all ten artists who applied for the project. The response from the building owners has been great."

Other artists who will install their paintings, cereamic relief, mosaics, sculpture and poetry on downtown buildings this year are Haylee Bolinger, Dave Donahue, Amber Green, Pat Marton, David Romtvedt, Bonnie & David Schlesselman, Susan Sorenson, Becky Spencer and Mary Sue Williams.

Find out more at "Business After Hours" on Thursday, Sept. 16, 5-7 p.m., at Cooley's Images, 28 S. Main Street, Buffalo. Beverages will be provided. Bring light refreshments to share.

FMI: 307-684-2402.

UW Symphony launches new season Sept. 16

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra's (UWSO) season begins Thursday, Sept. 16, with a 7:30 p.m. performance in the UW Fine Arts Center concert hall.

Tickets cost $10 for the public, $6 for students and $7 for senior citizens. Call (307) 766-6666 to order tickets. Tickets are also available at, or at the Fine Arts and Wyoming Union box offices. Season tickets for the entire UWSO season are also available.

UW faculty member Anne Guzzo has composed a new work to mark the occasion: "Scenes of Love and Hate for Solo Viola and Orchestra."

UW Professor James Przygocki, principal violist of the Cheyenne Symphony, will be the soloist for the performance. As an encore, Przygocki will play "Romance for Viola" by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Professor Michael Griffith begins his 22nd year as the UWSO's director. He's chosen Prokofiev's suite from the film, "Lt. Kije" for opening night. The score includes two Russian songs, wonderfully sung by UW Professor Larry Hensel.

Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia" will open the evening. This short curtain-raiser contains music later used in the Broadway show "Kismet." The concert will close with Enescu's brilliant "Rumanian Rhapsody," full of fiery gypsy music for a rousing ending to the evening.

Photo: Violist James Przygocki will be the soloist for the UW Symphony's opening concert Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the UW Fine Arts Center concert hall.