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.
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.
We’re super stoked to have fiction author and delightful dude Nam Le as our Eminent Writer in Residence this spring. We’re hosting a reading, reception, and book signing for Nam on February 12 and all are encouraged to attend.
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.
The road to “Big Crazy,” the biggest of Neltje’s cabins, and the only one with running water and electricity.
Kat Williams, apparently ecstatic to be on the porch of Big Crazy.
Ammon Medina and Alec Osthoff look down onto the valley from the porch of Big Crazy.
The view descending from the mountains on a very primitive two-track.
“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.
Liz Kulze, Kat Williams, Carly Fraysier, Alec Osthoff, and Ammon Medina hike a trail up to “White Lightning,” another of Neltje’s primitive cabins.
Beautiful rock formations along the trail that Neltje has appropriately named the “good rocks.”
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.
Maria read from a short story about a woman who studies bats in Borneo whose marriage is falling apart.
Carly read from an essay about her younger brother that grapples with addiction and the ways we speak on behalf of others.
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
The night-before-Halloween student reading at the Heineke Showroom downtown showcased some wonderful writing and even more wonderful costumes. Among the taxidermy, antique iron stoves, and handmade rifles were the following: