This week takes me to Pulaski Technical College, where I’ll be reading with Sandy Longhorn. We’ll be on the Main Campus in the Campus Center on Tuesday, November 3, at 6 p.m., the finale for the year in the Big Rock Reading Series. Thanks to Werner Trieschmann for the invitation and his work on organizing and promoting this event.
Sandy is reading in celebration of her latest book, The Alchemy of our Mortal Form, winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. This is her third book, after The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths, winner of the Jacar Press Full Length Book Contest, and Blood Almanac, winner of the Anhinga Prize for Poetry. She teaches at the University of Central Arkansas now as part of their Arkansas Writers MFA Program.
Sandy and I met when I was the chair of the English Department at PTC and she was looking for a position that would enable her to move to Little Rock. We’ve worked on more campus initiatives than I can count and encouraged each other as writers. The Arkansas Arts Council awarded us individual artist fellowships at the same time. She kept my children when I went into labor with my youngest. Just as there’s no way to do justice to her many accomplishments, there’s no way to encapsulate a friendship in a paragraph. My life is richer because she’s in it.
It’s equally impossible to describe how much my thirteen-year career at PTC meant to me. What was a department when I started is a multifaceted division now. Being part of that from the beginning is too much to explain. We had so many hopes and dreams. The best times were when we worked together.
I’m thankful to have been asked to return to PTC to read with a friend one more time.