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Fall 2013

houstonAn Evening with Pam Houston
Tuesday, September 17, 7 p.m.

Novelist Pam Houston will open Elk River Arts & Lectures’ inaugural season with a reading and talk at the Blue Slipper Theatre, 113 E. Callender, in Livingston on Tuesday, September 17 at 7 p.m.

Houston is an award-winning author known for her autobiographical short stories, novels and essays, including the acclaimed Cowboys are My Weakness, A Little More About Me and Contents May Have Shifted.

“My books always come from events, people and places I have experienced or at least witnessed, but I also want to be free to mold and shape those events into the most meaningful story, the emotionally truest (as opposed to the most factually accurate) story, which sometimes means merging and shifting and tweaking reality to fit whatever demands the story begins to make on the material,” she told an interviewer from Psychology Today. “I have never been a big fan of lines, of mutually exclusive categories. I live more comfortably in the between spaces.”

Houston and her partner, poet/musician Greg Glazner, will begin their Livingston visit by talking with students from Park High on Monday, September 16.

Houston’s work has been praised for pioneering women’s adventure writing. “Houston claims for women the terrain staked out by male writers from Hemingway to Richard Ford,” writes the Los Angeles Times. The Boston Globe describes it thus: “Houston’s voice is something new in fiction-bright, edgy, touching, and ruefully self-aware as she rewrites the old heterosexual blues…. Her heroines are lean and tough, self-created adventurers.”

Houston’s reading is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a signing. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

RootThe poetry of William Pitt Root
and Pamela Uschuk
Tuesday, October 8, 7 p.m.

Elk River Arts & Lectures will host a reading by internationally-acclaimed poets William Pitt Root and Pamela Uschuk at the Blue Slipper Theatre, 113 E. Callender St. in Livingston, on Tuesday, October 8 at 7 p.m.

The Tucson poet laureate from 1997 through 2002, Root’s work has been widely published and honored. The Poetry Foundation describes Root as “[i]nfluenced by Langston Hughes and Wendell Berry, Root composes expansive, musical free-verse poems that are nonetheless politically engaged.” A Stegner, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Root counts among his honors three Pushcarts and a Guy Owen prize. His books include the 2006 White Boots: New and Selected Poems of the West, the PEN West Poetry Award finalist Trace Elements from a Recurring Kingdom: The First Five Books, and The Storm and Other Poems. His is currently poetry editor of the Cutthroat literary journal, where his wife Pamela Uschuk is editor.

uschukA University of Montana alumnus, Pamela Uschuk has had her poems published in more than a dozen languages and 300 journals worldwide. She’s taught across the country, from a men’s maximum-security prison in New York to the Indian reservations of the West, and been a featured writer all over the world, from India to Israel, Sweden to Italy. Her literary honors are too numerous to list, but include the War Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Daniels Writing Award from the National League of American PEN Women. The Bloomsbury Review calls Uschuk “one of the most insightful and spirited poets today.” Among her many books are the award-winning Finding Peaches in the Desert and Crazy Love, winner of the 2010 American Book Award.

Root and Uschuk will begin their Livingston visit by talking with students from Park High on Monday, October 7.

The reading is free, and will be followed by a reception and signing.

carrierAuthor and This American Life producer Scott Carrier
Saturday, November 2, 7 p.m.

Elk River Arts & Lectures will host a presentation by Salt Lake City author and Peabody-award winning NPR radio producer Scott Carrier in the final lecture of its fall series on Saturday, November 2, at 7 p.m. in Livingston’s Blue Slipper Theatre.

Carrier’s work spans genres and defies categorization. As a radio producer, he’s explored issues ranging from war to polygamy to recipes for morel mushrooms. His first book, Running After Antelope, is a memoir that juxtaposes his interviews from This American Life with his personal psychological disintegration, all held together by his obsession with attempts to outrun a pronghorn antelope. In his latest book, Prisoner of Zion, Carrier draws on his years as a war correspondent to examine post-September 11 Middle Eastern politics in the context of his own experiences growing up as a non-Mormon in America’s Zion, Salt Lake City.

“I went to meet the foreign enemy first-hand,” he writes, “as a fellow human being, in order to find out what it’s like in their world. Then I studied the enemy here at home. I looked within my own culture to find the source of our fear of others. Then I turned inward and confronted my own fears. I came to the conclusion that fear itself is the problem and that it’s everywhere—all around us and inside us as well. The stories in this book are an attempt to look at the fear and move toward it rather than away from it.”

Livingston author Doug Peacock, who has worked with Carrier for more than two decades, calls him a “geek genius,” for the unconventional insight Carrier brings to his interviews. Peacock and Carrier will also meet with local high school students as part of Elk River Arts & Lectures’ school outreach program.

The reading is free, and will be followed by a reception and signing.

All three events are co-sponsored by Elk River Books and the Murray Hotel.

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