You’re invited to join us for the fourth Austin edition of the Why There Are Words reading series! This month’s readers are Peg Alford Pursell, Butch Hancock, Ken Waldman, and Justin Booth (left to right, below).
Founded in 2010 by Peg Alford Pursell, Why There Are Words is an award-winning literary reading series that takes place every second Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area, and beginning in 2017, will take place at 5 more national locations: New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Austin. Each reading event presents a range of writers, including those who have published books and those who haven’t. All writers share the criterion of excellence. The guiding idea behind the series is that good work is timeless and needs to be heard regardless of marketing or commercial concerns. If you’re interested in reading or would like more information, please contact Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peg Alford Pursell is a writer, editor, teacher, literary community builder, and all-around good egg. She is the author of SHOW HER A FLOWER, A BIRD, A SHADOW (ELJ Editions, March 2017), second edition forthcoming September 8, 2017. Peg lives in Northern California and directs Why There Are Words, a national neighborhood of literary readings she founded in Sausalito in 2010. She is the director and founder of WTAW Press, an independent publisher of literary books. Peg also founded North Bay Writers Workshops. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
As a member of the groundbreaking Flatlanders, singer/songwriter Butch Hancock helped kick-start the progressive country movement of the ’70s. As a solo artist, Hancock recorded a series of country-folk albums for his own independent Rainlight label, which showcased his literate wordplay, quirky humor, and dry, vocal Dylan-esque delivery. Going the independent route certainly cost Hancock some name recognition and wider exposure, but he did earn a devoted cult following, especially in his native Texas. Butch’s most recent of fourteen CDs is War and Peace.
Ken Waldman has drawn on his 30 years in Alaska to produce poems, stories, and fiddle tunes that combine into a performance uniquely his. Nine CDs mix Appalachian-style string-band music with original poetry. Eight books include six poetry collections, a memoir, and a children’s book. Since 1995 he’s toured full-time, performing at the nation’s leading festivals and clubs. His most recent books are the memoir, Are You Famous? (Catalyst Book Press, 2008), which chronicles Waldman’s adventures on tour throughout the United States, and D is for Dog Team (Nomadic Press, 2009), a sequence of Alaska-set acrostic poems for young readers.
Justin Booth, originally from Black Oak, Arkansas, is an Austin, Texas writer of outlaw poetry, of questionable stories, and outright lies. His five books of poetry are Outlaw Blue (2016), The Singer, The Lesbian, & The One with the Feet: 69 Bipolar Love Poems (2015), A quarter, a Dime, and Two Copper Pennies (2015), Trailer Park Troubadour—Strung Out on Heartache (2013), and Lucky Strikes, Grave Dirt, and 1/3 of the Stars (2016).