Wyoming Arts Council

Reading by Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt at WWCC on Feb. 11

From Rick Kempa at Western Wyoming Community College:

David Romtvedt, accomplished writer and musician and the Poet Laureate of Wyoming, will read from his work on Friday, February 11. The event will take place at Western Wyoming Community College in Room 1302 at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Raised in Southern Arizona, Romtvedt attended Reed College and the Iowa Writers’ workshop. He lives in Buffalo, Wyoming and teaches half time in the University of Wyoming MFA program for writers.

His books of poetry include Some Church, Certainty, How Many Horses, and A Flower Whose Name I Do Not Know, which was a selection of the National Poetry Series. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Wyoming Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts and has received the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award.

Romtvedt also writes essays, fiction, histories, and nonfiction. Among his other books are the anthology he edited, Wyoming Fence Lines (Wyoming Humanities Council, 2007), Windmill: Essays from Four Mile Ranch (Red Crane Books, 1997), and Crossing Wyoming (White Pine Press, 1992).

The state’s fourth poet laureate, Romtvedt started his term August 15, 2004. The position of poet laureate is filled by the governor, who selects an appointee from a list of recommendations submitted by a nominating committee. The position is honorary and without compensation, and invites the appointee to “submit writings for selected historic occasions” of choice. The incumbent serves a term concurrent with that of the governor. Romtvedt succeeded Robert Roripaugh (1995-2002), who followed Charles L. Levendosky (1988-1995), and Peggy Simpson Curry (1981-1987).

A musician as well as a writer, Romtvedt plays dance music of the Americas with his band The Fireants. He is the founder and a board member of Worlds of Music, a foundation that provides opportunities to participate in music-making involving cultures all around the world. His series on traditional music of the American Southwest aired on Montana National Public Radio.

In addition to his public reading, Romtvedt will give a three-hour poetry writing workshop on Friday afternoon, as part of a one-credit Visiting Writers course.

The event is sponsored by the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation and by the WWCC English Department. It is the second in a series of readings planned for the spring, which will also include poet and editor Maria Melendez from Pueblo, Colorado on March 4 and fiction writer Karen Brennan, formerly of Salt Lake City and now from Tucson, on March 25.

For more information, contact WWCC Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa, the coordinator of the reading series and the class, at rkempa@wwcc.wy.edu.

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