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

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - — Jen­nifer Levin

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).

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