The Carbon County Higher Education Center will host the Carbon County Pen & Ink Writers’ Conference in Rawlins on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at the CCHEC Career and Technical Education Center, 1650 Harshman Street in Rawlins. The two-day event will feature keynote speaker Carrie Visintainer, author of the popular memoir Wild Mama, and University of Wyoming Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities Jeff Lockwood, who teaches in the UW Creative Writing program and in the Department of Philosophy.
The conference will feature a variety of concurrent workshops that will count for PTSB continuing education credits, and there will be an evening reception April 29 and an open-mic hour to conclude the conference from 4 – 5 p.m. on April 30. Cost of the workshop is $50 and includes the evening reception on April 29, a catered lunch on April 30, and the attendee’s choice of workshops.
Students will receive a $25 scholarship toward the cost of the conference.
Writer, editor and poet Rick Kempa, MFA, who is Associate Professor of English at Western Wyoming Community College, will lead a conference workshop, “The Ins and Outs of Publishing,” on Saturday from 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Poet and essayist Barbara Smith, who is professor emeritus at Western, will lead the workshop “Mining Your Memories,” from 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Other workshop titles include: “The Enchantment of Short-Form Writing,” presented by Lockwood; “Organize Your Thoughts: Researching and Writing,” presented by WyoHistory.org editor Tom Rea; “The Art of the Personal Essay,” presented by Visintainer; “Broadcast Journalism,” presented by KTGA 99 Bigfoot Radio broadcaster and personality Jim O’Reilly; “The Legacy of Orpheus,” presented by author, poet and Casper, Wyo. language-arts instructor George Vlastos; and “Writing to Change the World,” presented by local columnist and CCHEC Executive Director Dave Throgmorton, Ph.D.
Visintainer, the conference keynote, is the author of Wild Mama: One Woman's Quest to Live Her Best Life, Escape Traditional Parenthood, and Travel the World. Her articles and essays have appeared in print or online at The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Outside, Backpacker, 5280, and in various Travelers' Tales "The Best Women's Travel Writing" anthologies. She lives with her husband and two young children in Colorado; for a few months each winter, they travel to off-the-beaten-path places where they "road-school" their kids. Visintainer’s book is a personal memoir that arose from her attempts to reconcile motherhood and domesticity with her wanderlust and adventurous spirit, and how she finally realized that she should and could have both.
Lockwood was hired as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming in 1986. Over the next 20 years, he metamorphosed into a Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities, with a joint appointment between the Department of Philosophy and the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. Lockwood teaches courses in natural resource ethics, environmental justice and the philosophy of ecology, along with creative non-fiction writing workshops. Lockwood’s essays have been honored with a Pushcart Prize and a John Burroughs Award, and have been selected for inclusion in Best American Science & Nature Writing.
Lockwood’s most recent books are Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War (Oxford) and Philosophical Foundations for the Practices of Ecology (Cambridge).
CCHEC is an educational partner with Western, and the College provides students in Carbon County with online and face-to-face credit courses, degree programs and industry training through CCHEC. Carbon County is one of Western’s five service counties in southwestern Wyoming.