Life sto­ries: Two read­ings

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS -

Read­ings at Teatro Paraguas and Col­lected Works Bookstore

This week­end, two books pub­lished in Santa Fe launch with read­ings and re­cep­tions at lo­cal, in­de­pen­dent venues. At 6 p.m. on Fri­day, Sept. 16, Robert Wilder reads from his first novel, Nickel, pub­lished by Leaf Storm Press, at Col­lected Works Bookstore (202 Gal­is­teo St., 505-988-4226). At 5 p.m. on Sun­day, Sept. 18, Linda LeGarde Grover reads from The Sky Watched: Po­ems of Ojibwe Lives, pub­lished by Red Moun­tain Press and win­ner of the Red Moun­tain Edi­tor’s Award, at Teatro Paraguas (3205 Calle Marie, 505-424-1601).

Nickel is told from the point of view of teenage Coy, a boy with a fe­male best friend named Mon­roe, who is suf­fer­ing from a mys­te­ri­ous ill­ness. Set in a fic­tion­al­ized ver­sion of Santa Fe, Nickel is a fast-paced, voice-driven novel about the per­ils of youth, penned by an au­thor who has been teach­ing English at Santa Fe Prepara­tory School for more than 20 years. “If I got to Agua Fría Street, I could fol­low it back to school, so I busted out ... and walked east to­ward the moun­tains,” reads one de­scrip­tive pas­sage. “Peo­ple in Mon­roe’s neigh­bor­hood park their cars on their gravel yards side­ways, like me­chan­i­cal back­slashes.”

Grover’s po­ems en­com­pass a broader nar­ra­tive, delv­ing into the his­tory of an Ojibwe fam­ily from Min­nesota, be­gin­ning with cre­ation and lead­ing up to the present day. The Sky Watched is writ­ten in English and Ojibwe, with the lan­guages mix­ing within the po­ems rather than ex­ist­ing side-by-side as trans­la­tions. Grover (Bois Forte Band, Ojibwe) weaves to­gether strands of mem­ory and oral tra­di­tions in the voices of el­ders, teach­ers, and chil­dren. “Speak English. For­get the lan­guage of your grand­par­ents. It is/dead. For­get their teach­ings. They are ig­no­rant and unGodly,” she writes in “Ev­ery­thing You Need to Know in Life You’ll Learn at Board­ing School.” — Jen­nifer Levin

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