Category Archives: Literary

Laureate Writers Series Farewell Reception and Reading

‘New Journalist’ Toby Thompson to Read at Blue Heron
Jim Armstrong to Perform New Songs

Tuesday | December 10 | 6:30pm
Blue Heron Coffeehouse

For the December Laureate Writers Series, poet and songwriter Jim Armstrong will perform several of his new songs about the American west at 6:30pm. Featured Reader Toby Thompson will follow at 7:00pm and will read from Fired On, his upcoming collection of essays that interpret western American art through the eyes of the artist, from Charley Russell to Native painter and songwriter T.C. Cannon. The event will be followed by an open mic. The theme for the open mic is “The Artist.”

Come early, grab a free dessert, a cup of coffee, and listen to Jim’s songs. Then settle in for Toby Thompson’s presentation. Consider reading something at the Open Mic.

Toby Thompson is the author of five books of nonfiction: Positively Main Street—Bob Dylan’s Minnesota; The’60s Report; Riding the Rough String—Reflections on the American West; Metroliner–Passages, Washington to New York; and Saloon. He teaches creative nonfiction writing at Penn State. Thompson has written for publications as diverse as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Gray’s Sporting Journal, GQ, Men’s Journal, Sports Afield, Playboy, Outside, Western Art & Architecture, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Tom Wolfe calls Thompson “An intrepid tripper in the Merry Prankster sense, and an urban Thoreau.”

James Armstrong is Professor of English at WSU and has published two books of poetry, Monument in a Summer Hat and Blue Lashand co-authored a book of essays, Nature, Culture and Two Friends Talking.He is also a songwriter. He says “While driving across the West, following the Oregon Trail to Portland, I started writing songs inspired by the landscape… I had become intoxicated by the loneliness and precarity and beautiful vastness of the West.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Blue Heron and the City of Winona and is free and open to the public.

The City of Winona is a partner of the River Arts Alliance.

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