David Dondero Live at the Buckhorn

Though you couldn’t call Laramie a big city and it can be a little remote (especially in winter), it’s still home to a lively music scene. One of our favorite troubadours, David Dondero, makes regular stops here to play the Buckhorn Bar. Dondero was named one of NPRs Top 10 Living American Songwriters in 2006 and, though doesn’t have the name recognition of some of the other songwriters on that list, he absolutely deserves it.

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He also wrote a really fantastic song about Laramie called “It’s Peaceful Here,” whose lyrics are as good an argument as any as to why Laramie is great.

Residency @ Shortgrass Steppe

Every year, over winter break, Colorado State University lets UW MFA students stay at their research facility at the Shortgrass Steppe in northeastern Colorado. Located on protected land, shortgrass plains stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s a great place to spend a few, secluded days writing or watching coyotes and antelope do their thing.

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A Weekend in the Bighorn Mountains

Neltje, a friend of the Creative Writing Program, has generously offered use of her cabins along Crazy Woman Creek in the Bighorn Mountains to MFA students. Last weekend, Brad Watson and six graduate students drove up from Laramie to spend the weekend enjoying the outdoors.

IMG_0794The road to “Big Crazy,” the biggest of Neltje’s cabins, and the only one with running water and electricity.

IMG_0795Kat Williams, apparently ecstatic to be on the porch of Big Crazy.

IMG_0785Ammon Medina and Alec Osthoff look down onto the valley from the porch of Big Crazy.

IMG_0788The view descending from the mountains on a very primitive two-track.

IMG_0800“Mini Crazy,” the primitive cabin closest to Big Crazy, which sits just beside Crazy Woman Creek. It’s heated by a wood stove, which we had to feed through the night, as it dipped into single digits outside.

IMG_0805Liz Kulze, Kat Williams, Carly Fraysier, Alec Osthoff, and Ammon Medina hike a trail up to “White Lightning,” another of Neltje’s primitive cabins.

IMG_0808Beautiful rock formations along the trail that Neltje has appropriately named the “good rocks.”

MFA Reading @ Hero Depot

Last Friday was the final MFA reading of the semester. Maria Anderson, Carly Fraysier, and I read from our work at Hero Depot, our local arcade.

IMG_0760Maria read from a short story about a woman who studies bats in Borneo whose marriage is falling apart.

IMG_0764Carly read from an essay about her younger brother that grapples with addiction and the ways we speak on behalf of others.

Winter is Here!

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In the last few days we’ve gotten almost eight inches of snow and temperatures have dropped into single digits. The town is beautiful under a fresh snowfall and, when the clouds thin and the sky shows, the snow is tinted blue. Our new, warm-weather arrivals have been learning how to drive in the snow without fishtailing, the virtues of mukluks, and how to downhill sled on inverted recycling bin lids.

Photo: Liz Kulze