In my 2AM frame of mind this is how I would describe our trip to the Equality State Book Festival: Three of us from the Owen Wister Review and one of us that simply loves a good weekend getaway went forth into the morning of Sept 24 to the Equality State Book Festival in Casper, Wyoming. We brought stacks of past OWR issues, my favorite having a decidedly technicolor eighties cover, despite being a late nineties issue. We had issues hailing back to the days of flannel worn open over Simpsons t-shirts, Pearl Jam, Two Princes, Gin Blossoms, slap bracelets– anyway, lots of old issues that briefly, as we laid them out on the table, inspired memories from that misanthropically glorious decade. Of course we had recent issues as well. Some of which are really quite attractive. Please check out our website to see what I’m talking about and to submit your work! Adam, our venerable Editor in Chief mingled and talked editorial talk with some other lit journal people. But we were also there for the readings. We listened to stories of cross dressing doctors and Indian mothers, the chasm of a highway like the rift of a family; the talented Nina McConigley and Pam Galbreath from our very own English Department had been selected as winners of the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship, and winners they are. Jeff Lockwood and David Romvedt gave craft talks. We had an Indian feast that will be eternally imprinted on the memory of our tongues, in the company of delightful poet, Ravi Shankar. We explored Casper: an alley flooded with the orangegold of sunset, in the morning, a cute independent bookstore, a four story shop of cowboy attire and accessories. On the drive back we missed a turn, which out here means a couple hour detour, as roads are few and the plains are like an arm with only a couple of veins. But the detour meant stopping at Independence Rock, which we climbed like the youthful zealots we are, hungry for sky and beauty, and tried to spell UWYO. Brie said the landscape was hypnotizing and I agree. Books and Beauty..what more could we need?
luling is a first-year nonfiction student at the uwyo mfa creative writing program. a graduate of wesleyan university, her autobiography consists of the simple statement, “i was born. i will die.” also. this woman can DANCE.