Monday, January 24, 2011

WWCC in Rock Springs features talk by author and historian Tom Rea on Jan. 28

From a press release:

Noted Wyoming historian and journalist Tom Rea will read from his work on Friday, January 28. The event will take place at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Room 1302, 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Rea is the author of several books of interest to Wyoming history buffs. Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story was the winner of the 2006-07 nonfiction book award from the Wyoming State Historical Society. Bone Wars: The Excavation and Celebrity of Andrew Carnegie's Dinosaur, received the 2002 Western Writers of America Spur Award for contemporary nonfiction. His most recent book is The Hole in the Wall Ranch: A History (published by Pronghorn Press in 2010).

The Friday reading will include an account of the 1885 Rock Springs Massacre, and will be accompanied by slides.

In addition to his public reading, Rea will give a three-hour writing workshop on Friday afternoon, January 28, as part of a one-credit Visiting Writers course. The workshop will focus on researching and writing good narrative about nonfiction topics. Students will be given specific research and organization tools, tips on good prose, and a chance to try out both on the spot.

Rea grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and has lived in Wyoming for over 35 years. He holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Montana, and worked for many years as a reporter and editor on the Casper Star-Tribune. He is currently editor of a searchable encyclopedia of Wyoming History, WyoHistory.Org, now in development. He lives with his family in Casper.

The event is sponsored by the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation and by the WWCC English Department. It is the first in a series of readings planned for the spring, which will also include Wyoming’s Poet Laureate David Romtvedt from Buffalo on February 11; poet and editor Maria Melendez from Pueblo, Colorado on March 4; and fiction writer Karen Brennan, formerly of Salt Lake City and now from Tucson, on March 25.

These writers will also be offering workshops prior to their readings, in which they facilitate writing exercises, share writing experiences and tips, and answer student-generated questions. Rea’s workshop is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28th, in Room 1408. The workshops are part of a one-credit Creative Writing class (ENGL 2495). Students may register in advance or on Jan. 28th.

For more information, contact WWCC Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa, the coordinator of the reading series and the class, at