6th Annual Community Reads
by Kent Haruf
The 6th Annual Community Reads program begins this month with this year’s novel, Eventide, by Kent Haruf. His earlier book, Plainsong, is one of the most beloved novels in recent years, and Haruf continues the saga in Eventide, with another foray into the prairie town Holt, Colorado, which has some remarkable similarities to towns up and down the Owens Valley.
As in past years, Inyo County’s Community Reads program works to focus on one group of individuals from the Owens Valley, and this year’s program celebrates the ranching community. The accompanying events and films will have a “Western” or ranching theme, and will be free to the community, beginning with a kick-off event on Tuesday, January 14th at the Inyo Council for the Arts in Bishop. The event will include live music from Sandy and the High Country, a chili cook-off, and more. The evening begins at 5:30 and runs till 7pm.
Other events during the 2-month program will include: an evening of Cowboy Poetry at the arts council, a tour of the Lufkin Ranch and the Talbot Ranch, movies, line dancing, and an evening discussion with four of Inyo’s long-time ranching families…
Jim Parsons, the “original cowboy poet” from Alpine County, will also make a few stops in local schools so that students will have an opportunity to hear Jim’s poems and discover why he’s been called: “one of the west’s most cherished, lyrical poets.”
To close the program in March, there will be a free community dance at the fairgrounds on Saturday, March 8, featuring Cody Bryant and the Riders of the Purple Sage. All of these events are sponsored by the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools and Inyo Council for the Arts. A county-wide mailer will be going out the week of January 6th advertising the book and events.