Friday, September 27, 2013

Ted Kooser Poetry Reading

I had the opportunity to attend Ted Kooser's poetry reading Wednesday, when he introduced those of us in the audience to new poetry, which will be included in his forthcoming book.  It's been awhile since Ted's last book of poetry, so it's exciting that he has a new one coming in fall of 2014.  I love listening to him read his poetry aloud.  I'm not a huge reader of poetry, but when he reads it, I can just enjoy the images and his calm, down to earth tone--both the tone of his voice and the tone of his poetry.

Most of the poems he read us were about the ordinary, everyday people he's known for writing about--a couple of old men waiting for their car to be repaired, his wife learning Spanish, a possum (one of my favorites).  For a taste of that poetry, take a listen to the video below.  I don't remember the poem's title, but it's the one about the men at Midwest Auto.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mary Doria Russell Visit

This last week of September is a busy week for book lovers of all ages in Seward!  Sunday, September 22, bestselling author Mary Doria Russell was at the Seward Memorial Library for a presentation on Doc, the All Seward Reads title for 2013.  If you missed it, you missed an entertaining and informative hour.

We even found out that she had just decided the day before what her next book (after the upcoming sequel to Doc) will be about. . . . Edgar Allen Poe.  There are not too many books about him out there that I'm aware of!
I've read three Mary Doria Russell books, including Doc, and was very excited that we were able to get her to come to Nebraska.  Her books make readers see historical figures such as Doc Holliday or historical time periods such as World War II in ways that stretch our preconceived notions.  My favorite of her books, Thread of Grace, for instance, is set in Italy during World War II and is about Italians hiding Jews from the Nazis.  Almost unbelievably, 85% of Italy's Jews survived the war, and that's a story I'd never heard until Mary told it.  Doc takes a figure known only for one violent incident and makes him into a complete person, someone's son, as Mary describes him.
Here's a brief video clip from her presentation, when she's talking about her first book, The Sparrow, a science fiction novel about "Jesuits in space."  I haven't read it, but after hearing her talk about it, I may have to find a copy.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Local Authors Event

I'm very excited for Chapters' 2013 annual event for local authors.  This year we're trying something different, and so far the response has been incredibly positive.  If you're interested in writing or simply bringing more creativity into your everyday life, join us for a workshop on October 19 at the Red Path Gallery in Seward.

"Write from the Heart: A Writing and Creativity Workshop with Becky Breed and Lucy Adkins" will take participants through a series of writing exercises designed to help individuals realize their greater writing potential and maximize their creative energies.  By creating out of our hearts--writing from our inner selves, our experiences, and what we dream--participants will become empowered to tap into their creative abilities and find more inspiration in their lives.  Pre-registration and a $25 registration fee are required.  Bring your writing notebook or journal.  Click here to register now.

The presenters, Lucy Adkins and Becky Breed, are both from Lincoln and are actively involved in the local writing community as teachers, writers, and presenters.  Their new book, Writing in Community is available at Chapters.  

Gina Barlean, president of the Nebraska Writers Guild, says it is, "Poignant.  Deep thoughts.  Beautiful ideas.  An epiphany at every turn of the page.  Beautifully written by well-read women.  As a writer, I tend to read judgmentally.  I found I never had a moment of judgment with this book.  I read it like a reward for good behavior.  This book is yoga for the creative mind."

If you haven't visited the Red Path Gallery yet, you're in for a treat.  The gallery is host to area artists and their studios, and while you're taking a break during the workshop, don't miss the opportunity to browse.  There are some very talented artists in our community, and the gallery does a beautiful job of showcasing their work.  I'm doing some Christmas shopping down there this year!  Check them out on Facebook at  

Following the workshop, all participants, as well as other area writers and friends are invited to Chapters for a reception.  No registration is required for the reception, which will simply be a time to network, visit, and share your inspiration.

So, here are the crucial details:
Write from the Heart:
A Writing and Creativity Workshop
Saturday, October 19
1:00-3:00 p.m.
Red Path Gallery
514 Seward Street
Reception following at Chapters Books & Gifts
548 Seward Street