Student Reading in Rawlins


A number of us had the pleasure of reading to a small but incredibly attentive and appreciate group in Rawlins, WY yesterday. The reading took place at the Carbon County Career & Tech Ed Center. Before the reading, the center’s director, Dave Throgmorton, who also helped put together the reading, gave us a tour of the facility. (Above, Dave shows us a CNC router, a machine used to mass-produced highly detailed wood work, used mostly for cabinetry.) It was really cool to see the way that Dave and his colleagues are using the center to create career opportunities and address their community’s needs and to get a better understanding of the relationship between natural resource industries and local community in a small Wyoming town.

Lilly Schneider, Dominick Duhamel, Carly Fraysier, and Trey Williams all read from their work; a local theater student read from Maria Anderson’s work. After, we all had dinner at Buck’s Sports Grill in Rawlins, where episodes of Full House were playing in the bathroom.

MFA Students attend Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference


Last June, the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference awarded scholarships to three MFA students to attend. Carly Fraysier, Maria Anderson, and Dominick Duhamel got to spend three days in Jackson listening to craft talks; discussing their manuscripts with established authors, editors, and agents; meeting members of the Wyoming literary scene; and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The conference’s keynote speaker was UWyo’s own Nina McConigley, who also gave an excellent craft talk on how to transform autobiographical experiences into fiction.

Joy Williams featured in NYT Magazine


Last week New York Times Magazine featured a profile with the brilliant Joy Williams. We still can’t really believe how lucky we are to have Joy as a Writer in Residence. She’ll be spending the month of October in Laramie and we’re all really looking forward to her visit.

From the profile:

“Williams seems to be searching for nothing less than a kind of artistic transfiguration, one in which humanity’s role in fiction is lessened decidedly. ‘Short stories need to touch people on a deeper level, a deeper, stranger level,’ she told me that night, ‘and they don’t.’ When I asked Williams what she wants out of a great story, she replied, ‘I want to be devastated in some way.'”

Bhanu Kapil Reading

Bhanu Kapil, our Eminent Writer-in-Residence, will be reading at the UW Art Museum tomorrow (March 10th) at 5PM. She will be reading from her new book Ban en Banlieue which begins when a brown girl walks home from school when a riot starts in 1979 London. Through the main character’s narrative, the book explores both political and somatic themes. Below is an excerpt:

77.  We wanted to look for bottles, the tiny bottles we had heard were left in the roots of oak trees by elves. My dad said: “Be back by four.” And we leaped from the car into the rain. It was raining, but only lightly and we had anoraks on. I recalled the haystacks I’d once seen, at the very end of the park, where a gate was, and a white house with a thousand glittering windows. Once, in the private meadow edging the park, I saw riders in their scarlet coats. Their horses had coats. I’d shouted: “Oi!  Over here!  Yoo hoo!,” longing to touch the dark brown fur and feel the warm breath on my face. So I said to Thippy, come on. Thippy was a Sikh boy with hair down to his waist. Out of view of my father, he took off his pint-sized turban and let it fall. We said we’d say we were sisters, if someone asked, as we sometimes did at Balfours when we went to buy sherbet with ten pence stolen from the kitchen jar. It took two hours, that afternoon, to reach the haystacks and during our walk, we understood, in our hearts, that returning to the car would be just as bad as going back later. It was all the same. When we reached the gate, it was pouring and our hands were blue on the backs of them from the cold. A creamy mist had risen from the grass. From this mist appeared a horse, a completely white horse with mud-packed legs, and the rider tugged it so it came to where we screamed: “Horsey!  Over here, horsey!” And let us pet it, forever, chatting, a man. When we got back to the car, we were terribly wet. We got into the car, a blue Ford Cortina dented silver from my father’s many accidents. We got into the car and in slow motion my father twisted from the chest up, from the driver’s seat, to hit my face so hard the side of my head hit the window. At this moment, I became Ban. When Thippy grew up, and his own father dragged him home from the school disco at Villier’s High School, and beat him on his legs and back, he became a Sikh fundamentalist. He’d grown a beard by seventeen, and refused to meet my eyes on the rare occasions his parents forced him to come to our house for a Friday night dinner. He wore a black turban with a saffron headband and when he completely grew up he bought the house next to his parents and they built a corridor between the two. But what I’ve left out is his brother, a boy I knew in childhood who also made me Ban. Not because he accompanied me; on the contrary, because he, too, made me weep. He wasn’t a boy. When we were eight, he was eighteen. When we were ten, he was twenty.

bhanukapil poster