Friday, April 06, 2012

Rocky Mountain Writers Festival, April 2010

Here's the current update on what is happening with the Writers Festival. For pictures and other commentary by Jill Jorgensen, be sure to check her Facebook page for the Writers Festival.

Today: 7 pm Main Street Coffee and News. Jill Jorgensen, Emcee. Local Writers plus Utah writers: Star Colebrook and some of her writing students from Logan Utah. Great coffee, tea and other beverages, plus snacks. Tony's coffee house has been a frequent place for literary readings over the years. I love the way he makes Chai Tea.

Tomorrow:5:30 no-host dinner starts at Cafe Rowan, in Station Square, 200 S. Main. Their dinner menu features a variety wraps, and they have vegan and vegetarian options. Be sure to BYOB if you want beer or wine.

At 7 pm the readings begin. Leslie Leek is the host. This last night of the festival will include "a tribute to Rose and Rick Ardinger and their Limberlost Press and feature readings by well-known regional writers whose work they've published. There also will be a celebration of Ray Obermayr's 90th year and a revisiting of Pocatello's literary past." the readings "will start with a reading of poems by Rowan smith, the 15-year-old daughter of Neal Smith, Cafe Rowan owner and Shelley Canalia, a local actor and store manager."

Yesterday: If you missed this reading (or read at one of them and want a copy of your own), or Wednesdays at Portneuf Valley Brewing, you can either purchase a copy of the DVD of it through the City of Pocatello's Vision 12 department for $15. Contact them for information about buying a copy. You can also watch it on your own or a friends cable television. It should be shown in a few weeks. I will add notes about future videos, and am pretty sure they plan to video the Saturday readings.

The reading opened with announcements of the future readings, plus a repeat of the Idaho Writers and Readers thing in Boise. See my earlier description and link for more information. Joan Juskie (me) opened with a reading from her 2011 chapbook Enchantments and Other Poems. Sara Thurber followed with her first reading. She had a wonderful poem titled "A Poem for Billy Collins.". "Lecture Ninja" Brandon Hall followed with a story about his children which was very amusing and entertaining. Susan Swetnam concluded the first half with a wonderful essay about growing up in the new west, which will be included in an anthology on that theme. I will post information on Pocatello Readings when the book becomes available. I sure want to read it, but for now will have to be satisfied with reading Susan's other wonderful Pocatello book, Home Mountains.

After a fun break the reading resumed with Carlen mentioning that this blog, Pocatello Readings, is being updated daily during the Rocky Mountain Writers Festival. I would like to add that it's only once a day because I don't have home internet, and have to go to one of the two libraries in town to do anything on the internet, and am limited to one, one-hour turn per day.

Mitch Christensen started the second set of readings with a really funny story. We had so many humorous writers in this evening of readers that we wound up laughing even more than the previous evening when Roger Schmidt read. Jeff Pearson read some of his amazing poetry next. Idaho State University is producing a wonderful group of creative writers this year. Jeff is going on for an MFA after he graduates. Josh Mayes, another ISU graduate read some of his "flash fiction" short pieces. He is lucky and has a job where he can read and write during the slow times--this should be a productive year for him. Finally the evening was concluded with a reading by Erin Gray, who is currently working 4 jobs--a DJ at KISU, teaching at EIS and ISU, and working at the Flip Side. He had a very entertaining and funny April Fools article.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Present, Future and Past of RMWF 2012

Today is the third day of Rocky Mountain Writers Festival, and there is so much to report that this will probably be pretty long.

TODAY: 7 pm College Market. "University night prose, poetry, unbridled smartness". Readers are: Brandon Hall, Erin Gray, Jeff Pearson, Joan Juskie (me!), Mitch Christensen, Sarah Thurber, and Susan Swetnam. Emcee: Carlen Donovan. Find out more about College Market Coffee House on their web page or on their Facebook page. Great coffee, tea, other beverages, plus snacks (especially the Cherry Mocha Biscotti). My favorite drink is the Shot in the Dark--a shot of espresso in a cup of dark roast coffee--you're AWAKE!

TOMORROW: 7 pm Main Street Coffee and News. Jill Jorgensen, Emcee. Local Writers plus Utah writers: Star Colebrook and some of her writing students from Logan Utah. Great coffee, tea and other beverages, plus snacks. Tony's coffee house has been a frequent place for literary readings over the years. I love the way he makes Chai Tea.

YESTERDAY: I sat at the same table with Jill Jorgensen, who is doing the RMWF on Facebook. Be sure to check there also for her updates and pictures. She got wonderful pictures of most of the readers and musicians last night.

Cathy Peppers was the emcee and opened with upcoming announcements. She mentioned the remaining events: university night on Thursday, etc.--they are listed completely in blog entries below this one. She thanked Penny Pink for having it at Portneuf Valley Brewing--there were sure some wonderful looking meals and snacks being delivered. They also have wonderful beer, wine, etc. She mentioned the flyer on the Literary Pavers and suggested people do a poetry walk. I want to add that if you haven't done it in awhile, there are plenty of NEW pavers out there to see. She then opened the reading with some poems.

The first half started with Bethany Schultz Hurst, who has recently been promoted to Assistant professor. Bethany and I (Joan Juskie) both got our MFA's at Eastern Washington University, though mine was 15+ years earlier than hers. As always, she had wonderful poetry. Next came Jessica McAleese, a local singer songwriter, who plays with Steelhead Redd. I think she is Pocatello's best songwriter, and enjoyed her new concrete channel song, as well as "Artificial Sweet." Jackie Johnson Maughan who read a chapter, "The Run" from her novel The Highway Man. It had beautiful imagery of the salmon doing their run. Finally Greg Mladenka played his song about the trains, and followed with a song about salmon and extinction. Then came break, when people got treats and more beer....or whatever their pleasure.

Cindy Allen started the next session talking about Adrienne Rich's recent death, and reading her creative response to it. She is one of Cathy Pepper's students, and had some amazing poems. Festival favorite Roger Schmidt was next, with an essay on hearing and not seeing. Laughter and smiles always highlight his readings. Cathy commented, "The depth of talent in this town continues to blow me away." How true! Then Jen Hawkins, who is finishing her degree in English, philosophy and art read some of her explosive poetry. She is amazing! Finally the evening concluded with singer-songwriter Angier Wills. He did his song "Alvarado, TX" and a new one "Satelite Sky". Find out more about him and his music on the Elvis Has Left the Building site.

This was one of the best readings I've been to and if you missed it, you will be pleased to know that Jim Mariani from Pocatello's channel 12 filmed it and it will be shown at a later time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Last Night and Today, RMWF 2012

Last night Rocky Mountain Festival attendees were treated to a combined event of literary readers and Tuesday open mike for singer-songwriters and comedians at COHO Coffee House. The group started at about 20, and swelled to about 40+, as the evening progressed. Because the two events were combined,they used the format of one singer- songwriter followed by a literary reader. For some great pictures of the event, check the RMWF April Facebook page.

I sat at a table with some of the Minnie Howard Writers Group. They meet the 1st (workshop) and 3rd (program) Saturdays, 4 pm at Marshall Public Library. I went to the program last month and it was very interesting: Dr. Wayne Minshall discussed his new book Wilderness Brothers and the self publishing process. I learned a lot. The April program will be on poetry, in honor of National Poetry Month. We all got different beverages and found the brewing tea pot very interesting and fun. It brews loose tea and you put it over your tea cup to empty the tea. I recommend trying it out if you like tea--they also have great coffee and other beverages.

The event opened with Doug, a singer-songwriter. Then Joslyn Eikenburg from the Minnie Howard Writers Group read a short nonfiction piece about her wedding in China.Carly Beebee then made the RMWF announcements. She gave the schedule (see the blog entry below), mentioned that Idaho Writers Guild is having an Idaho Writers and Readers Rendezvous May 3-6. check their web page for more information, mentioned the Literary Pavers in Old Town--a good side activity would be to walk around and read the poems on them. And then she read a poem from Zach Vineyard (coincidentally he has a paver on the southeast corner of Arthur and Whitman.) I would like to add that in case of rain, you can also go to Marshall Public Library and read the indoor Poetry Wall, a collection of poems by Pocatello Area residents.

Then there was another singer-songwriter, Dave. (Sorry about first names only--that was how people introduced themselves.) Then Carly Beebe read one of her poems. Janice Anderson, also of Minnie Howard Writers Group read her interesting prose piece, "Of War, Babies, and Suburbia." She was followed by singer-songwriter Curtis Thompson. Then came Travis with a story, music by Jared and David, also known as Super Heroes in Time. They have a song about COHO Coffee House. They were followed the comedian Duncan Thompson.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Portneuf Valley Brewing, 615 S. 1st., 7 pm. This will be a treat of some of Pocatello's best singer-songwriters and poets. Come early and treat yourself to some great food--their web page connects to their menu.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Rocky Mountain Writer's Fest Begins Tonight!

It's Tuesday, so be at CoHo Coffee House, 900 S. 4th, before 7 pm, when the reading starts. For a complete schedule and further details, check all the blog entries below this one.

I plan to do a blog entry every day of the festival, recapping the highlights of the reading, and providing any announcement information that was given out.

I called Cafe Rowan today and found that they can make most of their items vegan or vegetarian--just tell them when you place your order. (Saturday Apr. 7 there is a no host dinner at 5:30, before the 7 pm readings.) He also mentioned you can BYOB with beer or wine for the event.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Details on Schedule

The article in the Idaho State Journal gave more details on some of the readers reading during the festival.

In summary: April 3-7 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday April 3, Co-Ho coffee house, Host Carly Beebe, readings from a variety of local writers, some for their first festival appearance.

Wednesday Apr. 4. Portneuf Valley Brewing, Host Cathy Peppers, well-known local writers and singer songwriters in the brewery loft.

Thursday, Apr. 5. College Market, Host Carlen Donovan, many of this nights readers are connected to ISU as instructors, students, former students and staff or residents of the college neighborhood.

Friday, Apr. 6. Main Street Coffee and News, Host Jill Jorgensen. local writers plus Star Colebrook and some of her writing students from Logan Utah.

Saturday, Apr. 7. Cafe Rowan in Station Square. a tribute to Rose and Rick Ardinger and their Limberlost Press--see more details in the article below.

Check out previous postings over the past two weeks for more details. I will post as much information as I can find here.

Rocky Mountain Writers Festival highlights

I hope you saw the article in Idaho State Journal's Sunday March 25, 2012 issue. Leslie Leek wrote "Writers Festival to honor Ardingers, Limberlost Press.

In case you missed it, some of the highlights were that Saturday will feature a tribute to Rick and Rosemary Ardinger of Limberlost Press, plus a celebration of Ray Obermayr's 90th year, and a remembrance of Pocatello's literary past.

Limberlost has published Margaret Aho, Ray Obermayr, gino Sky, Martin Vest, Harald Wyndham, Fort Swetnam, Bruce Embree, Gerald Grummet, and Utah writers Sandy Anderson, Nancy Takacs, and Ken Brewer.

The Saturday night reading will feature Obermayr, Sky, Anderson, Taklacs, Ardinger, Wyndham, and more.

See the article in the Journal for a lot more details about the Writers Festival.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reading Poetry of Poets Who Will Be at the Festival

One of my favorite things to do is to re-read works of some of my favorite authors who will be reading at the RMWF. It gets me even more in the mood for it. Both Marshall Public Library and Oboler Library at Idaho State University have a lot of books by Pocatello authors. And don't forget Walrus and Carpenter Bookstore in downtown Pocatello as a source of books by festival authors. And thanks to Will Peterson for organizing the festival!

In random stream of consciousness order, here are some of the authors I know I can find books by: Harald Wyndham, Leslie Leek, Margaret Aho, Dough Airmet, Will Peterson, Michael Corrigan, Joan Juskie, Carlen Donovan, and many other Pocatello Blend authors. sorry for all the people I'm leaving out--there are so many. Ask at the public library circulation desk about a copy of the Pocatello authors, fiction and nonfiction, that Ramona compiled.

And to me it wouldn't be complete if I didn't also look for some poetry by my two favorite departed Pocatello authors: Ford Swetnam and Bruce Embree. So many memories of the past 21 years of writer's festivals....

Harald Wyndham is working on a history of Rocky Mountain Writer's Fest. Hopefully we'll hear more about it at the festival.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Making Rocky Mountain Writer's Festival a Writing Retreat

Since the Festival is still almost two weeks away, I wanted to share a fun idea I've used in the past, before I retired. I use to take the week of the Festival (or a few days if I didn't have much vacation leave left)and make it a vacation, like a writing retreat, or writer's conference. Being on vacation gives you the freedom of staying up as late as you want, spending the day reading and writing, getting together with friends, etc. I took vacation for many of the past festivals, and it was always so much more fun and productive when I had that freedom--it felt more like a writer's conference, with a lot of independent study.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Find Rocky Mountain Writers Festival on Facebook

If you're on Facebook, you can find information about RMWF there too! Just look for the group titled "Rocky Mountain Writers Festival April 3-7 2012". (The Facebook page from last year is still there too, just not updated.)Be sure to "Like" it so the group grows bigger! Jill Jorgensen is doing this page, and it looks wonderful!