This year the Friends will sponsor the 8th Annual Invitational Writers’ Round-Up on February 11 and 12, 2011. On Friday night, local author Gary Paul Nabhan will be honored at a reception and fundraiser, where he will talk about the role of his books in the “eating local” movement. Saturday will once again feature 25 authors, representing all types of books, from mysteries to history, photography, poetry, memoir and more. Free workshops on beginning to write, and publishing your work are scheduled, and readings will punctuate the afternoon with extra excitement.
Some notes on this year’s authors from Gail Eifrig
(**denotes a writer who has not been to our event before)
A Highly Personal Tour Through This Year’s Author List
**John Annerino: here is a creative artist of award-winning photography, borderlands, canyons, hiking and canyoneering; gorgeous pictures and an experienced, thoughtful insight into the wild regions of the southwest.
**Jimmy Santiago Baca: very famous writer about issues of la raza, crime and punishment; youth in the balance; poetry and essays; many awards and recognitions from a wide range of audiences for this exciting writer who uses words to probe for society’s maladies.
Betty Barr: local historian, tireless researcher of local ranch life and ranchers, several books and many articles. Why is it that people will tell Betty Barr everything she wants to know?
Byrd Baylor: a monument of Southwest literature! and she’ll be here, “as soon as I get my animals fed,” she says, and ready to sign Everybody Needs a Rock, Yes is Better than No, or maybe Desert Voices. You know someone you need to share these books with.
Scott Calhoun: prize-winning author on southwestern gardening and flowers: The Hot Garden; Yard Full of Sun and very recently Hot Pots, with Lynn Hassler. He’s been a winner of the Southwest Notable Books of the Year, as well as others. Listen and learn.
Philip Caputo: Pulitzer prize reporter, journalist and novelist, great adventure books, and recent Crossers set in the San Rafael Valley. This is the book that will explain the area to all your distant relatives and friends, but there is more—about Sudan, about the sea, about Vietnam. There are facts, and then there is what lies beyond the facts.
**Jennifer Lee Carrell: researcher and writer turned mystery novelist with an exciting story about a lost Shakespeare manuscript that turns up—where!?—in the Arizona desert! If you like mysteries, the desert, Shakespeare, history, and/or damsels in distress, you’ll love Interred With Their Bones.
Alison Deming: poet and well-regarded teacher of writing and poetry at UofA. Writing the Sacred into the Real melds themes that appeal to many local readers. Deming will give a reading during the afternoon.
**Roxanne Doty: a professor of political science at Uof A, Doty’s book The Law into Their Own Hands has been widely praised for its solid factual foundations and insight into the complexities of border law and the demographics of enforcement.
Jane Eppinga: local historian and active writer on local and regional people and places; for books about local ladies, lawmen, frontier towns and historic walks, look no further.
**Chris Gall: amazing illustrator, artist, imagin-a-tor! If you don’t fall for DinoTrux or There’s Nothing to Do on Mars, there’s no hope for you. Gall will give an illustrated talk at 3 pm. Find some kids and be there!
Elizabeth Gunn: mystery writer with all the moves. She’s a Round-Up favorite, and her newest book, set in Arizona “puts a human face on illegal immigration.”
Lynn Hassler: do you love beautiful books that focus your attention on fascinating things? Try the Raven, or her books about hummingbirds, Gambel’s quail, or roadrunners. These are the best!
Juanita Havill: did you know that a world-renowned children’s author is our neighbor? Juanita lives in Sonoita, and her books for children are translated into many languages, and delight children around the world. You’ll love Jamaica, too, I’ll bet.
Fenton Johnson: deeply felt and beautifully written explorations of the searching soul. Keeping Faith made my Christmas letter as one of a half dozen favorites this year—a perfect book to give any searcher on your list.
Ken Lamberton: a Richard Shelton student, now winner of prizes for work that depends on his attentive observation of the natural world, and his honest assessment of a self struggling to move from conflict with the world to acceptance and grace.
Susan Lowell: what prize hasn’t she won? Three Little Javelinas (why didn’t anyone think of this before?) is a favorite of thousands of readers, but this might be the year to explore some of her other wonderful titles.
Greg McNamee: another fine writer who has attached his work to great photographs. His essays on desert landscape balance the visual with crafted words, bringing a contemplative quality to some gorgeous books like Moveable Feasts, and Otero Mesa. Find out about his newest, On the Nature of Animals.
Susan Cummins Miller: is it mysteries you go for? or rocks? maybe both? Her heroine Frankie McFarlane will be back with the newest, Fracture, out just in time for our event. Be the first to get your hands on it!
Tom Miller: not only our local border, but all kinds of borders have caught Tom’s attention. He’s written about learning English (How I Learned English: 55 Accomplished Latinos Recall Lessons in Language and Life), and the borders between the US and Cuba. Come and chat about getting published in the LA Times, the Washington Post, the NY Times and National Geographic.
**Gary Paul Nabhan: he’s now our neighbor, but he’s known around the world for drawing attention to the meaning of food and eating. Why should we care about local farming, or heritage seeds? Maybe you need Gathering the Desert or The Desert Smells Like Rain, or Cross-Pollinations. You’ll grow.
Carolyn Niethammer: she’s another writer who can make you come alive to the wonders of what’s around you. Prickly Pear cookbook? Yes, and the New Southwest Cookbook, with the chili-glazed blackened shrimp with tomatillo sauce that’s become a standard on my dinner party menu. If we can figure out how to do it, Carrie will give a cooking demo.
**Stella Pope Duarte: are you interested in women’s stories? human rights? latino perspectives? fine writing? multi-cultural insight? Pope Duarte’s work is highly praised, and has gathered many awards, including Southwest Books of the Year Award in 2008 for If I Die in Juarez. We’re very honored to include her in this year’s Round-Up for the first time.
Margaret Regan: last year The Death of Josseline had just been published when we invited Margaret for the Round-Up. Now, her first book has been chosen as an award winner for Southwest Books of the Year 2010. Readers found it here, and said it changed their thinking forever. Can you ask more of a book than that?
**Mark Sadler: a mystery to us, too, but sometimes you take a chance that sounds intriguing. His mystery is Blood on His Hands, and if that scares you, maybe you should come and chat with him about it.
Richard Shelton: what more can be said about a legend? His Going Back to Bisbee is everything a classic should be, only better. If you love the area, you’ll read it again and again. If you don’t know southeastern Arizona, then that book alone will give you everything except the smell of the creosote after a rain. His experiences as a teacher of writing to prison inmates will raise your consciousness and your blood pressure. And yet he’s very pleasant to talk with, as you’ll see.
**Deanne Stillman: mustangs and murder and marines—this is not an everyday combination, but she seems to have a way of revealing some truths about wildness using both facts and imagination. She’ll read during the afternoon, and there will be surprises.
Stephen Strom: another local with a wide audience, Steve’s a Sonoitan who spent a career looking at stars, and now looks with another eye at landscape and form. His books are not only beautiful, or perhaps one should better say that they are more than superficially beautiful: they show you truths about what you have seen and didn’t know that you had seen. That’s worth putting on your coffee table, isn’t it?
Betsy Thornton: another mystery writer with a following, for a reason. These stylish stories are well-plotted, well-written and thoroughly enticing. Her detective is Chloe Newcombe, who works in Cochise County, and she mines the Mule Mountains with the determination of any prospector. There’s gold in them thar. . .well, you know.
Janet Winans: poet, teacher, reader—one of those who reads, and stares into space, and writes, and laughs with delight at the world and its ways. Staying the Moment, combining poems and snapshots, provides a heart-catching look at the way the past bumps into our present when we look at our photos with a mind awake.