Writer’s Sell Books in the Arkansas Valley
Poetry, Prose and Pizza Success in Las Animas
By Jan Verhoeff
“Writer events in the Arkansas River Valley are often supported by peers,” says Dianne E. Butts, a professional writer from the Pueblo area. “Whenever we have writer events, book signings, or readings, we always let people who know us know about the event, because we know they’ll show up and support our efforts. Although we hope many others come too. It’s always a writer event.”
Such was the case in Las Animas, Friday March 7, 2008 when writes Jerolyn Lockhart and Lynn Allen got together to promote their books, “Egrets Rise” and “Life Out Here” at Prairie Pizza and Cuisine on the corner of Highway 50 and Fifth Street. Writer’s from the Ace Writers 101 Group in Lamar, Colorado came for the event.
Lockhart read numerous poems from her book, reciting in literary fashion thoughts of the heart. Allen, author of the “Ridin’ Fence” Column published weekly in the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, increased energy levels with readings from “Life Out Here” a compilation of stories from her weekly column.
Lockhart and Allen presented a book by Warren Parker, a popular La Junta High School English teacher who put together a collection of short stories about his life. As a tribute to Parker, they read his stories at the event. Proceeds from the sale of his book will go to his widow.
Writer styles abound. Each writer offers something different. While authoring a book isn’t something everyone might want to take on, those who do find great joy in sharing their work. It’s an honor to read in front of an audience and see the delight in the faces of listeners as they hear your words in your voice with the vivid understanding only the writer can present.
“Simple thoughts mean more when you hear them from the author,” says Danielle Simone, a writer from Hasty, Colorado, who attended the reading.
Kenton Verhoeff, a young writer from the Lamar group shared his book, “Corky the Happy Lizard” with Allen, who had shown an interest in the book when she attended the Ace Writer 101 group meeting a few weeks earlier.
Writer styles and the upcoming Writer Conference “Spring into Writing” to be held in La Junta, Colorado at Otero Junior College Humanities Center on April 12, 2008 were discussed. Lockhart and Allen answered various questions about publishing. They indicated that one of their favorite publishing or printing houses was Robinson Printing in Lamar, Colorado, because they laminate the covers of their books protecting them from wear and tear.
Kay Hemphill, owner of Prairie Pizza and Cuisine, hosted the event. The restaurant has wide open spaces, perfect for sharing poetry, short stories, or even a musical recitation. One of the best parts is the play area where small children can entertain themselves while parents enjoy the Arts and a good meal.