Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Countdown to the Equality State Book Festival

The Equality State Book Festival starts this Friday morning with a craft talk by David Romtvedt, poet and musician. David, who was Wyoming Poet Laureate for eight years, will speak about "Invisible Craft, Ordinary Language." I'll be introducing him in my role as Wyoming Arts Council literature guy. I'll also be sticking around to learn some things, as poets have much to teach us prose writers about craft and language.

Rebecca O'Connor
It will be an action-packed two days in Casper. Most of the events will be held in Casper College's shiny new Gateway Building. I urge you to attend for the many reasons spelled out in this line-up of events. Current Poet Laureate Pat Frolander will discuss revising, Rebecca O'Connor conducts a craft talk about "Finding your writing through blogging and journaling, and Renee d'Auost explores writing and dance.

Readings by Romtvedt and Linda Hasselstrom enliven the afternoon. Things get started with a 1 p.m. reading by the Wyoming Arts Council's poetry fellowship winners Matt Daly and Claudia Mauro of Jackson and W. Dale Nelson of Laramie. They'll be joined by soldier-poet and fellowship judge Brian Turner, author of "Here, Bullet" and "Phantom Noise."

The happenings head downtown that evening with a reception at The Corridor Gallery, a reading by Frolander at 7:30 at Metro Coffee Company followed by a poetry slam at 8:30. The slam is always the highlight of the bookfest as you never know who's going to show up. It's been rumored that there will be music as well as poetry.

Saturday is panel discussion day. Two biggies go head-to-head at 10 a.m. "Active Duty, Active Voices" features Iraq War veterans and writers Brian Turner and Luis Carlos Montalván talking about writing and war. The panel will be moderated by Casper College Professor and miltary veteran Patrick Amelotte.If you write children's books (or are thinking about it), you'll want to catch the publishing panel with Cat Urbigkit, Zak Pullen, Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer.

Alyson Hagy
Fiction writer and UW Creative Writing Program Professor Alyson Hagy will be the luncheon speaker -- this is the only event that has a fee.The afternoon features a number of readings. At 3:30 p.m., there is a panel discussion, "Writing Nature, Writing Self," with four writers who know both subjects well: Frolander, Hasselstrom, O’Connor and Urbigkit. The events wrap up with a 5 p.m. book signing.

This is the fourth edition of Wyoming's statewide book festival, held each even year. It's a fantastic event with something for everyone who loves books. 

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