Nevada Arts + Culture
The folks at UNR’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center have outdone themselves (and as far as they can tell, everyone else) this year with a twist on the traditional Christmas tree — a 14-foot book tree made entirely of green and gold reference books.
It took staffer Alden Kamaunu and his helpers six hours and more than 600 books to create the display. Last year’s book tree was about half that size, and as far as UNR research librarians can tell, this year’s tree may be the largest of its kind in the world. Check out the time-lapse video of its construction below, and check out the full article.
Looking back at 2012, it’s not a stretch to say that northern Nevada seems in the midst of a literary renaissance. No fewer than five standout novels and short story collections have been published this year from northern Nevada authors, or from Nevada authors with strong literary connections to the northern part of the state. We started the year with Tupelo Hassman’s Girl Child, and Ben Rogers’ The Flamer, then marched steadily through summer with Christopher Coake’s You Came Back, and Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn.
Each of these has received national press and recognition, and, alongside numerous other books sprouting from the region this year, have helped to re-energize the northern Nevada literary community and put it back on the map as a growing epicenter for great literature. Now we wrap up the year with the December 25 launch of Mark Maynard’s debut short story collection, Grind –– an eavesdropping of sorts on the everyday characters that inhabit Reno, both on its streets and in its imagination. Maynard’s collection, like Watkins’, explores what it’s like to be fundamentally Nevadan, which is to say whirling at the crossroads of several different, often conflicting cultures and environments.
Sundance Bookstore in Reno is hosting a book launch celebration for Grind on Thursday, December 6, at 6:30. For more information on both the book and the event, visit Sundance online.
Citing brushes with historic literary greats like Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Saul Bellow, along with modern resident authors like Ellen Hopkins, Christopher Coake, and Emma Sepulveda, a new feature in Ploughshares literary magazine calls out Reno/Tahoe as a lively community where literary arts glitter alongside neon casinos, and where literary education can be had in multiple venues, from universities to long-standing local writer’s groups. Plenty of local hangouts, events, and resources get a mention, including Sundance Bookstore, Bibo Coffee Company, Artown, even the Nevada Review!
Those of us in Nevada know we have a long, fascinating history with literature, a thriving arts community, and a re-emerging literary identity thanks to authors like Claire Vaye Watkins, Ben Rogers, Tupelo Hassman, Susan Palwick and others — but it’s always nice to see our area getting that recognition in national press.
Check out the Ploughshares article in its entirety here.
And happy Halloween, too, to those taking part in spooky festivities around the state. In honor of both, enjoy “La Vida en Muerte,” or “The Life in Death” celebration at Winchester Cultural Center in Las Vegas. This short video is presented by the Nevada Arts Council as part of the Nevada Stories program.