TACOMA, Wash. —Beverly Conner and Hans Ostrom will read from two new books—Conner’s devastating and inspiring novel Where Light is a Place and Ostrom’s stark, intimate collection of poems Clear a Place for Good.
The Tuesday, Nov. 12, public readings by the University of Puget Sound English department faculty members will start at 7 p.m. and be held in Trimble Forum, Trimble Hall on campus. Everyone is welcome. See below for a map of campus.
Where Light is a Place (CreateSpace, June 2013) is described by Beverly Conner’s publisher as a novel “set in a domestic noir world of Los Angeles’ Manhattan Beach in the 1940s.” Twelve-year-old Palmer McNeil’s “world of sand, sea, and Saturday matinees is not as idyllic as it seems: tar and polio lurk at the beach, a molester stalks the movie theater, earthquakes rumble, and treacherous rip tides reach for swimmers.”
McNeil’s family adds an even darker background. Living in a beach shack, the family is troubled by dwindling finances, alcoholism, and the arrival of a psychic grandmother. The young surfer realizes she does not have the power to hold her family together and finds her own escape, risking everything in the great, rushing water of the Pacific Ocean.
Clear a Place for Good (Congruent Angle Press, 2012) is a collection of more than 100 of Hans Ostrom’s poems. The book is described by Arches reviewer Greg Scheiderer as “a delight of astute observations, whimsical stories, and stark realities told in a variety of poetic modes, forms, and voices.” The collection, Scheiderer writes, is “populated with famous people, from Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes to Neil Armstrong and Gertrude Stein. Wild animals and inanimate objects also inspire the poet, as do dirty laundry, rhinos, a compost heap, bears, insurance, werewolves, and crickets.”
Beverly Conner teaches creative writing, rhetoric, and literature at University of Puget Sound. Her work has appeared in the collections Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Writing on the Literary Life; Colors of a Different Horse; and Nine by Three: Stories (2011). She has recently published short fiction in Puget Soundings and was awarded two fellowships at the Hedgebrook Writers Colony. Conner is currently at work on her second novel, Falling from Grace, that deals with traumatic brain injury.
Hans Ostrom, professor of African American Studies and English, is the author of the novels Without One (2012), Three To Get Ready (1991), which is currently being made into the feature film NAPA, and Honoring Juanita (2010). He also wrote The Coast Starlight: Collected Poems 1976–2006and contributed to the short story collection Nine By Three. With J. David Macey, Ostrom edited The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature. Ostrom is a member of the PEN/American Center and National Book Critics Circle. He has a blog called Poet’s Musings and a YouTube channel, langstonify.
The two new books are available through Amazon and University of Puget Sound Bookstore. Copies will be available for purchase at theNovember 12 book reading.
For directions and a map of the University of Puget Sound campus: pugetsound.edu/directions