Western Wyoming Community College concludes its 2015 Visiting Writers Series with an evening of songs and stories featuring Teresa Jordan and Hal Cannon on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 on the Rock Springs campus.
The duo will take the inspiration of Teresa’s just-released book, The Year of Living Virtuously (Weekends Off), to celebrate some particularly Western takes on virtue and vice. The book will be available for purchase and signing afterwards. This event is free and open to the public.
Teresa Jordan grew up in a house full of books on an isolated ranch in Wyoming, where the love of learning she acquired in the local one-room school carried her to Yale University and into a lifetime of inquiry. Her books include The Year of Living Virtuously (Weekends Off), inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s list of 13 virtues and the seven deadly sins; the memoir Riding the White Horse Home; and Cowgirls: Women of the American West, one of the earliest books to give voice to contemporary women working on the land. An artist as well as an author, Jordan’s illustrations are featured in several of her books.
Hal Cannon’s first language is melodic. He plays the banjo and guitar as well as several other instruments, and he sings with 3hattrio and Red Rock Rondo. As Founding Director of the Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, Cannon has published dozens of books and recordings on the folk arts of the West. He has also co-produced more than 100 features for NPR and PBS with Taki Telonidis and is currently a regular documentary producer for Australia’s Radio National.
In addition to their evening performance, Jordan and Cannon will offer workshops on Thursday afternoon from 1 - 3:30 p.m. These are also free and open to the public.
Teresa Jordan’s workshop will take place in Room 1406 and is titled “The Illuminated Idea: The Quirky Marriage of Images and Words.” In it, she will explore the possibilities that arise when a writer illustrates his or her journals or stories, and show examples of contemporary illustrated journals and storytelling. Finally, Jordan will talk about digital storytelling and how to blend prose and image for YouTube-style presentations.
Hal Cannon’s workshop, “Documenting the Ephemeral: How to Get Great Interviews,” will give a wealth of practical tips for anyone who, for professional or personal reasons, wants to sharpen his or her skills in coaxing other people to share their stories. The workshop will take place in Room 1309 on the Rock Springs campus.
“We will focus on how to be more comfortable taking on the role of documentarian,” Cannon said. “In particular we will talk about how to get great interviews, both in content and in technical quality. We will discuss ways to edit materials so we can share them with others. Lastly, we will talk about preservation and how to keep your materials accessible.”
The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the WWCC English Department and the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation, with additional support from the Best Western Outlaw Inn and Open Range Restaurant.
Louise Wesswick, retired Professor of Home Economics at the University of Wyoming and the recipient of the 2009 Governor’s Arts Award for her philanthropic work, established the Foundation to honor the memory of her sister Arlene, who for many years taught English at Western Wyoming Community College.
For more information on Teresa Jordan’s and Hal Cannon’s performance and workshops, contact Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (307) 382-1731.