Hi Heliconers! Mark your calendars for the upcoming reading on January 16th, 2014. We are in for a special treat–Liz Stephens, an alumni of the USU English graduate program and organizer of the Helicon West summer series, is coming back for a visit and a reading! You won’t want to miss it!
In case you aren’t familiar with her, a little bit about Liz:
Liz Stephens received her PhD in creative nonfiction. A winner of the Western Literature Association’s Frederick Manfred Award and a finalist for the Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Award, her work has been published in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Western American Literature, and South Dakota Review.
And, because we like to celebrate our writer’s successes, here’s a little bit about her book, too!
Liz Stephens has come from Los Angeles to Utah for graduate school, and her brief stint working on a Taco Bell commercial is not much in the way of preparation for taking on the real West. In The Days Are Gods Stephens chronicles a move that is far more than a shift in geographical coordinates. With husband and dogs in tow, she searches for an authentic connection to this new community, all the while knowing that as an outsider she will never really belong. And yet precisely as an outsider, Stephens has a unique perspective on belonging, one that colors her accounts of attending her first small-town rodeo, living in the thick of a thriving Latter Day Saints religious community, raising goats in her laundry room, and observing the town’s racialized Founder’s Day battle reenactments. In her frank and particular way, Stephens shows how the culture of memory, as our inheritance, offers a balance to our brief attention spans and our brief lives.
“A stimulating search for self and place set against the vast backdrop of the American West.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Liz Stephens’s exquisite memoir, The Days Are Gods, tells a fascinating story of the search-for-self in unfamiliar territory. This literary debut is a pure pleasure to read.”—Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer
“Acutely self-aware, in indelible prose, Liz Stephens finds a future in America’s past: not re-enactment, but re-creation, through the hard work of life-and-death responsibility. And in ultimately realizing she cannot be of any one place, Stephens gives an evocative voice to the values and vision that shaped the country.”—Judith Kitchen, author of Half in Shade
Keep calm and Helicon!