Thursday, March 22, 2007

Writers passing through

This month, Richard and I have hosted a succession of writers coming through Salida. First was Ellen Marie Metrick, poet of place and heart from Norwood, in southwest Colorado, here to teach poetry and perform at Sparrows, Salida's annual poetry festival. Ellen blew in on a cold March wind and brought us sunshine and warm weather - and left us Tonics For Disembodiment, her mini-chapbook of words from land and home. Here's a sample:
ii. Moon
The canyon walls vibrate
with bat calls
rattlesnakes
spiral
beneath cooling boulders
earth's spin
reveals celestial bodies
this is not the time
for sleep
keep our eyes open
This old poem
always has something new
to show us

Next in were Donna Druchunas, driving her chrome yellow Mini Cooper and Deb Robson, in a lipstick red PT Cruiser, both from Fort Collins. They came to participate in The Arts @ The Library, a series that brings artists of all sorts to speak at the Salida Regional Library. (The series is co-sponsored by Art Works for the Heart of the Rockies, a non-profit that aims to "weave the arts into the fabric of our community" and "make the arts accessible to all.")

Donna is the author of the best-selling knitting book, Arctic Lace, a story that twines knitting patterns with memoir and the history of qiviut, the downy fiber of musk ox, and the cooperative of Alaska native women who knit exquisite and ethereal creations with this rare yarn. How could you not want to read a book with a preface titled "Following My Obsessions to the Arctic"? If you've never knitted in your life and never intend to, read it for the history of a luxury fiber that has to be felt to be believed and the women who work against extraordinary odds to bring it to life.

Deb is her publisher through Nomad Press, a one-woman press fired with a passion to bring traditional fiber arts the attention they deserve. On her web site, Deb says Nomad is

a small, fiercely independent publisher. . . . that honors and teaches traditional creative and artistic skills and processes with a strong emphasis on textile crafts, especially knitting.

She also publishes a select group of young adult novels. (The connection makes sense when you read the books!) For those of you who dream about publishing your own or other's books, here's a sample of what it's like to be an independent publisher and freelance for other publishers:

Several fall-release titles from several publishing companies have been landing on and being launched back off my to-do list, my desk, my computer. On some, I'm the writer; on some, the editor; on some, the production department, marketing department, and publisher. Because these projects are associated with a variety of companies and topics, their schedules are not even remotely coordinated.
She's crazy. But it's publishers like Deb that bring voices like Donna into print and books like Arctic Lace to life, giving us all a wider and richer view of the world.

1 comment:

Chanson said...

Thanks for the laugh, Susan. You're right. I'm crazy. That PT Cruiser was very red, wasn't it? It made me appreciate my real (old) car, which was glad to stay home and not accumulate extra mileage. I loved the change of pace of being in Salida. The folks at the library were terrific, I wish I'd had Kate as one of my high school English teachers, and it would have been great to have more time to get to know those high school sophomores and juniors in her classes.