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Anne Pancake – Reading from her works, April 21 @7PM

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author of “Creative Responses to Worlds Unraveling: The Artist in the 21st Century” (Fall 2013), and the novel, “Strange As This Weather Has Been (2007)

7 PM READING at THE BOWERS HOUSE WRITERS RETREAT

Ann Pancake—fiction writer, essayist, and environmental activist—will read from her work on Monday, April 21, at 7 PM, followed by a talk and short reception. Although Pancake currently lives in Seattle, Washington the West Virginia native’s writing, political efforts, and heart remain firmly focused in her home state, where the coal mining industry—in particular the highly controversial process of mountaintop removal—has both supported and devastated the populace in many areas.

Her first book was Given Ground (2000), a collection of short stories published as the winner of the Bakeless Prize. Pancake’s novel Strange As This Weather Has Been (2007) won the Weatherford Award, was a finalist for the Orion Book Award, and was named one of the top ten fiction books of that year by Kirkus Reviews. Wendell Berry termed this work “one of the bravest novels I’ve ever read.”

Pancake’s recent Georgia Review essay, “Creative Responses to Worlds Unraveling: The Artist in the 21st Century” (Fall 2013), worries the hows and whys of what a writer might do in the face of the huge complexities of environmental degradation: “I believe literature’s most pressing political task of all in these times is envisioning alternative future realities . . . a way forward which is not based in idealism or fantasy, which does not offer dystopia or utopia, but still turns current paradigms on their heads.”

Join us for The Bowers House Writers Guild

The Bowers House Writers Guild offers encouragement to local and visiting writers whose writing covers a range of genres: local and personal history, personal memoir, adult and juvenile poetry, book reviews, journalism, newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, essays, how-to books, fiction and non-fiction. The Guild provides members the opportunity to meet writers with similar interests, to meet together, to become good friends or to enjoy the company of friendly acquaintances.

10/9/2013 Agenda
• Meeting Outline

Writer’s Craft – discussion and exercise

More about Show Don’t Tell See Article “Thought Verbs”
Discussion of writing terms (Jargon)

Member’s projects

What are you doing – how is your progress – how can we help?

Readings – members share new work

Group Projects – Discuss potential projects

General discussion – writing topics, somewhere between Once upon a time and They lived happily ever after.

Next Month

Suggestions for next meeting and future meetings

What a blessing this visit was

featured-alum“What a blessing this visit was. I worked on the replenishment of the wellspring from which the writing come. — prayer, long conversations and musings, remembering, making new connections with the past. This place is full of benign energy.” – writer Ann Holmes Redding, author of Out of Darkness, Into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources.

Writers Guild

The Bowers House Writer’s Guild Membership 2013
Ellen Davenport/ Bowers House Director, Ann B. Davis, Ellany Tamsen Davve, A.M. Dove, Laura Foreman/ Owner Bowers House Writers Retreat, Becky Harkey, Charles Prier, Sandra Scott/ Writing Guild Facilitator, Sharon Wynns

GUILD POST JUNE 2013 by Ellany Tamsen Davve

The Storm

I settled into my big comfortable chair, arrived finally in my solitude. The chance to be alone made me feel like a cat with cream on my whiskers. It was a stolen delight, almost forbidden in the luxury of it, a rare treat. But plans almost never go as expected and shortly I fell into a deep sleep. That’s not what I wanted, my drowsy self scolded as I dozed off, then later realized the body knows sometimes what the mind does not.

The dream was vivid and powerful when it came, staying with me even now as I describe it to you. I stood in an oak forest, the trees immense and old. The daylight came to me through bare branches, a blue-green hue as dark heavy storm clouds amassed overhead. I was alone and the wind whipped the coat tails around my calves as I stood wondering where to find shelter. A few rain drops soon became a torrent. I ran still searching for safety, even just a small space to be covered and dry before the death of cold took me down. My eye caught the corners of a roof structure almost hidden by thatch and moss.

I changed course and made for the shelter, arriving just before the full onslaught of the storm. As my hand reached for the door, it opened inward. I gasped with cold, fear, surprise when a man with dark russet hair and beard and piercing green eyes stood in the doorway looking at me. “I believe you are here for me”, he said.

Sometimes in dreams, the rational mind steps in like a narrator and it said to me, “That can’t be true since you don’t really know this man and after all this is a dream” . But the rest of me, my heart, my gut, my feelings, my irrational, unworldly self said it was true. I stepped into the small space, into the dark, found a lantern and matches then stood warming my hands over scarce heat when the wick finally caught fire. “I will stay”, I said. I will be here with you until the storm blows over. Then you may decide when it’s time to leave this place. And if you need, I can show you the way out of the forest and on to the big water. If you want .”

I turned to face him squarely and he stepped forward. I thought he meant to speak, but instead he kept moving toward me. I was not alarmed when he came close enough that I felt his breathe on my face and his eyes held mine. Then he stepped into me and disappeared.

I woke in a start taking a great gulp of air as if I’d been holding my breath. His face stayed in my minds eye and I could still hear the rain pelting the roof in a dull thud, a drum calling up my memory of the long shadows cast by the lantern, the earthen smell of the room, his close presence and my primal response to him. Why did he not light the lamp? Why he was holed up in dark and cold? Why did he think I was there for him, then disappear inside of me? Why was he there?

Years have passed since the dream and each day, still, I feel him. I no longer wonder about the dream’s ending because it was not ending but beginning. He remains with me like something lost and found, hidden yet visible, longing to be known, a reminder.

Internationally Acclaimed Georgia Writer Terry Kay

Internationally Acclaimed Georgia Writer Terry Kay 

at The Bowers House

In April the Bowers House Literary Center in Canon, Georgia, and the University of Georgia’s award-winning journal The Georgia Review welcomed writer Terry Kay at the Bowers House.

terry-kay1Terry Kay, a Hart County native who currently makes his home in Athens, is the author of some fifteen books—among them eleven novels, a collection of essays, a children’s book, and a recently released volume of short stories, The Greats of Cuttercane.

Three of Kay’s novels have been produced as Hallmark Hall of Fame movies: The RunawayThe Valley of Light, and his best-known work To Dance with the White Dog—the last of these starring the famous acting couple of Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy.

Readers around the world can find Kay’s books translated into more than twenty languages; most notably, To Dance with the White Dog has sold some two million copies in Japan.

After Kay’s reading in the house’s spacious living room/parlor, Georgia Review editor Stephen Corey moderated a conversation between Kay and the audience. A reception followed, during which attendees enjoyed refreshments while walking the grounds or sitting on the first- and second-floor wraparound porches.

The Georgia Review, published quarterly at the University of Georgia since 1947, features short stories, poems, general-interest essays, reviews, and visual art by the famous and the newly discovered. Winner of National Magazine Awards in both the fiction and the essay category, and a recipient of the Georgia Governor’s Award in the Arts, the Review has a long tradition of sponsoring and cosponsoring reading events in the Athens area. For more information, go towww.thegeorgiareview.com or call 706-542-3481.