Subtexts Randy Fritz reads from his memoir Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster; Langdon Hammer reads from his book on poet James Merrill; LPD/Rio Grande Books showcases its authors and books; all events at Collected Works Bookstore
Wildfire, a poet, and a publisher
Life can change in an instant. Car accidents, cancer, natural disasters: There are countless ways to die or lose everything. After serving as the chief operating officer of the Texas Department of Health Services, for which he helped coordinate the state’s response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Randy Fritz and his family and neighbors found their lives forever altered by the Bastrop Complex County Fire in 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. In Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster (Trinity University Press), Fritz writes with searing honesty about the traumatic event and its aftermath, and the slow journey to recovery from sudden psychological and material devastation. Fritz reads from and signs copies of his memoir at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., 505-988-4226). James Merrill was considered a major poet of his generation, born to wealth and privilege, whose work began as technically masterful and attracted accolades over the years as his themes and subject matter deepened. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 6 p.m., Langdon Hammer reads from his new book, James Merrill: Life and Art, at Collected Works. Hammer, the chairman of the Yale University English department, has penned a thorough biography of the late poet, who died as a result of complications of AIDS in 1995. LPD Press/Río Grande Books, the largest independent book publisher in New Mexico, showcases some of its authors and their books on Thursday, Aug. 6, beginning at 6 p.m. at Collected Works. Books will be for sale and authors will speak about their work. Featured authors include Charles Carrillo (Saints of the Pueblos), Nasario García (Grandma Lale’s Tamales), Loretta Hall (Out of This World and Space Pioneers), and Barbe Awalt (The Basic New Mexico Bucket List).