Join us September 11, 2010

Ozark Writers Live!, takes place on Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 9-5 at the Fayetteville Public Library.  This literary festival is designed to showcase our regional authors and to celebrate our shared Ozark culture.  This day long event provides Ozark authors a chance to promote their work and to discuss their craft.  Please acquaint yourself with our 2010 speakers listed below.

Brooks Blevins

Brooks Blevins is the Noel Boyd Associate Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.  A native of northern Arkansas, Blevins earned his B.A. in history at Lyon College and a Ph.D. in American history at Auburn University.  He is the author of four books, including Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a State (University of Arkansas Press, 2009) and Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image (University of North Carolina Press, 2002.)

Abby Burnett

Abby Burnett, freelance journalist and author, has been a presence on the regional Arkansas-Missouri scene for years.  She worked as a freelance contributor to the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas prior to its merger with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the NWA Times.  Her regional pieces have appeared in area weekly publications and she has been a frequent guest speaker for various county historical societies and public libraries, and earlier this year she was featured in AETN's cemetery documentary, 'Silent Storytellers.’  Burnett has co-authored When the Presbyterians Came to Kingston with Ellen Compton and John D. Little.  In the words of Bob Besom of Shiloh Museum she “has the skills of an investigative reporter and seasoned historian.”  Her interview skills, archives research and ability to tell a story are tools she puts to good use with her current book on burial customs in the Arkansas Ozarks from 1850 to 1950.    Burnett lives in Kingston, Arkansas. 

Carolyn Guinzio

Carolyn Guinzio is the author of two collections of poetry: Quarry (Parlor, 2008), and West Pullman (Bordighera, 2005), winner of the Bordighera Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, and New American Writing among others. A recipient of awards from the Fund for Poetry and the Arts Councils of Illinois and Kentucky, she has lived in Fayetteville since 2002.

The Hobknobbers

The Hobknobbers are one of Northwest Arkansas’s best old time folk and bluegrass groups.  Derek Linn supplies vocals and guitar.  Jonathan Trawick provides vocals and plays the mandolin.  Julie Russell plays the fiddle.

Mendy Knott

Mendy Knott is a poet, creativity workshop leader, and a cross-genre writer.  In 2008, she wrote an award-winning screenplay titled "Men Only."  Her first love, however, has always been poetry, which she claims saved her life.  Mendy hosts "HOWL," a popular women's open mic sponsored by Nightbird Books and The Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology.  Mendy is known for her powerful poetry and peace activism as well as her ongoing advocacy of women's creativity.  

Mendy's diverse creativity spans poetry, memoir, playwriting, editing, songwriting, spoken-word and now screenwriting.  Her previous work includes three poetry CDs and three self-published chapbooks.  Other poems have appeared in various literary journals including The Asheville Poetry Review and WNC Woman.  Mendy was honored as North Carolina Poet in Residence to South Africa in 2001.  She is currently an editor-at-large for Limbertwig Press, a small publisher of educational materials, and her new book of "poems for people who think they don't like poetry' is called”, A Little Lazarus.  Mendy blogs on creativity at 

Mike McArthy

Award winning photographer Mike McArthy has been exploring, photographing, studying, and writing about the Ozarks region for over 20 years.  As a featured contributor to The Ozarks Mountaineer and Missouri Life magazines, plus various other publications, his works have been enjoyed on every continent in the world (except maybe Antarctic).  Pulitzer Prize nominee Jory Sherman has used a cover photo of Mike’s on one of his recent books.

Currently, McArthy has a new book out titled Historic Ozarks Mills.  The book takes the reader on a tour of more than 25 of the old gristmills that still exist in the Ozarks today.  In addition, through Mike’s marketing business Photozarks, he publishes and sells artistic prints, cards, and the popular Ozarks mills calendar series which inspired the book.  He has photographed national and state parks, nature’s wilderness and wildlife, rustic architecture, waterways, geological wonders, tour caves, vineyards & wineries, national historic sites, resorts and much more.  Mike brings the Ozarks beauty in print to hundreds of thousands of people, businesses, and homes. There are about 55,000 sq. miles in the Ozarks region.  Mike wants to try and get to each at least once.

Davis McCombs

Davis McCombs directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arkansas. His first book, Ultima Thule, won the 2000 Yale Younger Poets award.  His second collection, Dismal Rock, was awarded the 2007 Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press). His work has appeared in Poetry, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review and in many other journals.

Geoff Oelsner

Geoff  Oelsner, a licensed certified social worker who uses poetry therapy with selected clients, has published two books, Only Now (1997) and Native Joy (2003).  He has been featured in several collections of poetry, notably Writing Poetry from the Inside Out (2007) and Silver, An Aberdeen Anthology (2009).  Additionally, he has released two discs of original music with fellow musicians Kelly Mulhollan and Donna Stjerna.  Oelsner has led music therapy at VA and Washington Regional hospitals and been a featured speaker sharing songs and poetry at the Ozarks Poets and Writers Collective three times since 1999.  He is deeply committed to sharing the power of poetry and supporting others in his writing community.

Bret Schulte

Bret Schulte is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas.   Schulte is a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report and a frequent writer for American Journalism Review magazine.  Before coming to Arkansas in 2008, he covered politics and a number of Washington policy battles for U.S. News & World Report and was a member of the White House Travel Pool during George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign.  He has also worked as a feature writer for The Washington Post and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Shannon Wurst

Shannon Wurst is a songstress, storyteller and an entertainer.  She was honored to receive the Northwest Arkansas Music Award's title "best female singer/songwriter in 2010."  She was a Kerrville New Folk Song Contestant, Walnut Valley New Song Contest Winner, and was selected as an emerging artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.  In addition to being commissioned by the Arkansas Department of Heritage to write a song called “Ivory Bill and Buffalo”, she conducts children and adult songwriting workshops.  Shannon's latest album, What's More Honest Than a Song? was #3 on the Arkansas Music Charts in June 2010

Quilts of the Ozarks

A selection of traditional Ozark quilts will be on display throughout the library from September 1st – September 12th.