Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors Vol. 2, No. 19 Apr/May '99

  18   Sunday Brunch
Plaza Hotel@11:30-2pm
Speaker: Beverly (Penny) David, teacher, Mark Twain historian
Topic: " Mark Twain's Humor & Writings" (see article)

  16   Sunday Brunch
Plaza Hotel@11:30-2pm
Speaker: Robert Houston, Author, Teacher
Topic: " Creative Writing" (see article)

To R.S.V.P. Luncheon
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
before noon the
Thursday before Brunch

all Brunch's $12 mem/ $14 non

Penny David's Mark Twain
  Beverly (Penny) David, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita from Western Michigan University and has directed a Fine Arts Program at that university for over thirty years. Penny also taught in Korea at Sookymong University in 1987 and at Yonsei University in 1989. She performed as "Mark Twain" at the American Embassy in Frankfort, Germany and at the Embassy in Seoul, Korea. She has lectured on Mark Twain all over the United States and in Russia, Germany, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
  She has published extensively: 30 entries in the Mark Twain Encyclopedia, essays in each of the reprinted twenty-nine first editions of The Oxford Mark Twain, and a series of books on Mark Twain and His Illustrators. She also has been an editor and writer for several academic journals and is working on a true-life murder mystery, Murder on The Matterhorn, featuring Mark Twain as the author-turned-detective. Currently, she is teaching a six-week Mark Twain Seminar in Green Valley for the University of Arizona (the first UofA seminar in the Valley) and an American Writers Seminar in Tucson. She is also learning all about Southwestern art while a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art. She will be speaking at the Plaza on April 18th (see calendar for times).

Creative Writing with Robert Houston
  Robert Houston, our speaker for May, is the director of the Creative Writing Program in the English Department at the University of Arizona. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. His grandfather was a Wobbly, which inspired one of his best stories, Bisbee '17, a stirring novel of love and danger set against one of the West's most bitter labor wars. It takes place in Bisbee, Arizona, the "queen" of the western copper camps. The Wobblies (IWW), who were the toughest union in the history of the west, were pitted against Harry Wheeler, the last of the two-gun sheriffs. In this class-war Western, they faced each other down in the streets of Bisbee, pitting a general strike against the largest posse ever assembled. Based on a true story, Bisbee '17 vividly re-creates a West of miners and copper magnates, "bindle-stiffs" and "scissorbills," army officers, private detectives, and determined revolutionaries. Against this background runs the story of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, strike organizer from the East, caught between the worlds of her ex-husband -- the Bisbee strike leader -- and her new lover, an Italian anarchist from New York. As the tumultuous weeks of the strike unfold, she struggles to sort out how she really feels about both of them, as well as the West, itself.
  Houston has also authored ten other novels, including A Drive with Ossie; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday!; The Nation Thief; Cholo; and The Fourth Codex. He has also translated a booklength collection of the work of Mexican poet León Felipe. One of his novels became a feature film, while another toured nationally as a play. He has been a Fulbright professor in Peru and is frequently on the staff of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Mike Alvarez's article, "Tell Me A Story," appeared in DISPATCHES FROM DREAMSVILLE, a series by Joe Murray that is filed from Cox Newspapers for use by clients of the New York Times News Service. Newspapers across the country have the opportunity to reprint items from this series.

Sinclair Browning's new book, The Last Song Dogs, is due out this month. It is the debut mystery of private investigator Trade Ellis, who is talked into investigating the gruesome murders of her friends, former members of the Javelina High School Song Dog cheerleader squad. In its April issue, Publishers Weekly said, "The action moves briskly and is boosted by the motley cast of characters and Browning's inspired descriptions of the Southwest landscape up to the very end, when the killer's true identity is revealed."

Daniel Byram, former Arizona police officer, decided to put his extensive experience to good use -- he took on a second vocation as a mystery writer. In Crime Scenes, Byram shares his knowledge of the fundamentals of criminal activity and investigation. Hence, whether one possesses an unabated curiosity in such matters or maintains aspirations of writing crime-fiction, Byram's book will be of considerable value.

Betsy Hutchinson's personal essays were published in The Desert Leaf: "The Christmas Card Connections," Dec. '98; "Accommodations for a Brood of Gambel's Quail," Mar. '99 (accompanied by her original artwork - pictured here). Her '96 Christian Science Monitor essay, "Roaring Down Memory Lane on In-line Skates," was included in Joe Murray's Dec. 4th 'Dreamsville' column in The Lufkin (Texas) Daily News.

Allen Kate's book, Copshock, Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), has been out for only a short time but its sales have really taken off. The Police Union's Membership Assistance Program of the New York City Police adopted the book as its training manual for peer supporters. The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation is offering the book at its worldwide seminars. And Calibre Press, the largest law enforcement publisher in the country, has sold hundreds of copies. For chapter samples, a table of contents, and a Q&A with Allen go to To order call: 888-265-2732 or 616-7643 (Tucson)

Derrick Neill has an article, "When Censorship Gets Personal: The war on public education is easy to ignoreuntil it comes, uninvited, to your classroom," in the April issue of the National Education Association's NEA Today magazine. You can also find the article on the web at www.nea.orq/neatoday.

Shirley Dunn Perry's poem, "After," will be published by Finishing Line Press in their annual poetry journal, Mutant Mule.

Susy Smith, our second-oldest member, will be featured in the Magazine Section of USA Today in about six weeks. The article is about the establishment of the Susy Smith Project in the Human Energy Systems Laboratory of the Psychology Department of the University of Arizona, with the goal of allowing people to leave computer codes that they will try to break after their deaths. A worldwide web page has been started to provide computer contact with the public. Susy says, "if someone breaks their code after they die, it won't prove the survival of the human soul scientifically, but it might give a pretty good indication." The address is For info:

Maggie TerryViale will exhibit her paintings at de Grazia, Gallery in the Sun from April 3rd to April 16th. She will be present from 10am to 4pm each day. Her paintings are expressive, vibrant images of landscapes, flowers, and figures painted in a post-impressionistic style and are often compared to the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. She studied art at the University of California, Davis, and holds a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has exhibited nationwide. The Sunrise Exhibit is the first of her paintings in Tucson.

The Write Word
published bi-monthly by the Board of Directors
of The Society of Southwestern Authors
P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751

Penny Porter: 296-5299 (FAX: 296-0409)
Chris Stern: 743-0940
Mary Tate Engels: 742-1094
Corresponding Secretary
Lee Knight: 751-9343
Jay McCall: 887-7847
Frank Tornabene: 299-1924
Luncheon Chair
VACANT: Looking for Volunteer
Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: 293-3566 (FAX: 206-6295)

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