Join us tonight, November 21st, from 5 – 7 p.m. for a reading and book party to celebrate the publication of Jeff Lockwood’s latest book, The Infested Mind. The reading will be held at the Watson home and will include snacks—hopefully chocolate covered grasshoppers and ants dipped in caramel. Copies of Jeff’s book will be on hand.
Some info on the book:
The Infested Mind was inspired by an attack of insect-related panic Lockwood experienced while researching a grasshopper infestation in Whalen Canyon near Guernsey, Wyoming, and book explores at the insect-human relationship through a series of questions about fear, anxiety, and disgust—subjects being profoundly reconsidered in the field of contemporary psychology. In preparing to write the book, Lockwood worked with MFA student Ryan Ikeda (Poetry ‘13) to research the cutting edge of psychological and ecological scholarship. Lockwood also consulted University of Wyoming Professor of Psychology Brett Deacon, head of the UW’s Anxiety Research Laboratory, to better understand the psychology of fear—an essential aspect of the often uneasy human-insect bond.
We hope you will attend!
The MFA program would like to take a moment to celebrate our friend and neighbor Nina McConigley. Her debut short story collection, Cowboys and East Indians, was recently published by FiveChapters Press. Nina is a UW alumni and teaches in the UW English department. She’s a great supporter of our MFA program and invites us to all her lovely, literary parties (where she serves delicious food, like candy corn!).
Her book is garnering some impressive praise, with mentions in the Casper Star Tribune, Wyoming Public Radio, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and High Country News, and she’s recently published a wonderful essay in the New York Times Magazine. I definitely recommend it.
Nina will be hosting a reading and book launch event at the University tomorrow night, and would like you to attend (we’ll all be there):
Where: Coe Library 506
When: 7:30 pm, Thursday, November 21!
This week we will celebrate the publication of MFA nonfiction professor (and philosopher and ecologist) Jeff Lockwood’s new book, The Infested Mind (Oxford UP).
Like his previous titles—which variously explored the disappearance of locusts from the American frontier, the ethics of grasshopper extermination and the history of insects used as weapons of war—The Infested Mind is a genre-bending narrative that integrates personal stories, literary writing and cutting edge science into an investigation of the human-insect relationship.
For those interested in Lockwood’s exploration, but too squeamish to jump right into the book (there are photos), Lockwood is blogging about insect fear (and love) of insects for Psychology Today magazine throughout the coming months. The first post, “Good Night, Sleep Tight (Or Not!), published November 8, is available now at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-infested-mind. Check it out now!
The well-read, well-reading students of the UW MFA program held another excellent reading for the community of Laramie this past weekend. Poetry and nonfiction was read by Kristen Gunther (’12), Ben Slater and Chelsea Biondolillo; music was performed by Caleb Johnson (’13) and Sofi Thanhauser; merriment was had by all (as per usual); and good cheer spread across the prairie lands.
Below is some photographic evidence of all the good fun that was had. Dec 6 is our next reading—so mark your calendars!
Last week we were honored to host visiting Naturalist and freelance writer (of 50 years!) Steve Bodio, who, in coversation with Brad Watson and Carlos Martinez Del Rio, gave us this sage advice: If you want to be a writer ”Write Write Write Write Write Write.” It was a lovely hear Bodio’s positive take on the writing life; his wealth of knowledge and experience is impressive. And we couldn’t agree more with his advice. Thanks for stopping by Steve! Come back soon.
Don’t forget to come on out to the Alice Hardie Stevens Center at the Ivinson Mansion this Friday (11/8) for wonderful reads from UW MFA students & alumna
along with wonderful music performed by the Whiskey Slaps, Sofi Thanhauser (MFA ’14) and Caleb Johnson (MFA ’13).
It’s gonna be grand, so come on down!
Eminent Writer-in-Residence Sherwin Bitsui has been here for the past month, during which he’s taught a poetry workshop based around a Navajo Poetics. Last Friday we gathered in the carriage house to hear his students perform some of their poetry created during or inspired by the course. There were songs sun, video poems presented and poems read to a soundtrack of ambient noise. Also, there were cookies. A great time was had by all.
Thanks so much, Sherwin, for being our friend and our teacher during your two months here. I hope you got as much out of the experience as we did, and we all look forward to seeing you again soon.
Travel safe, and thanks for the wonderful poems!
Last week we had the chance to spend a day at the ranch outside town where our beloved Eminent Writer Joy Williams stays when she is in Wyoming. We ate, we laughed, we played with her dogs. And some special guests went on the outdoor swing. It was a really lovely, sunny Wyoming day and we’re so lucky to have Joy as part of our Laramie family. Thanks for inviting us over, Joy!
This Thursday, the 31st, we’ll be welcoming nature writer Stephen Bodio to the Carriage House for a Q&A hosted by our own Brad Watson. Bodio, known for acclaimed books like Eagle Dreams: Searching for Legends in Wild Mongolia, has hunted with falcons for over 50 years, taught at the Sterling College’s Wildbranch Writers Workshop in Vermont, been included in Best American Travel Writing and written on Thomas Quinn, Vadim Gorbatov, and Thomas Aquinas Daly. He’s a man of the world and we’re excited to sit down with him for talk craft—be it the craft of pigeon rearing, falcon taming or, you know, prose writing. Thanks for coming by, Steve!