The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/ . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader http://youngtexasreader.blogspot.com/ which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spurs of Inspiration - George Getschow


Spurs of Inspiration, Archer County, Texas, July 2005.


Edited by George Getschow and Paul Knight. Denton: Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, University of North Texas, 2006. photographs 116 pp. Interspersed with some poetry. Stiff paper cover, folded back, with interior illustrations. ISBN 0-9786521 contact Brandee Harrawood 940-565-4564.


News from the Archer City Writing Colony! For the second year in July George Getschow, through his professorship at the University of North Texas, has wrangled together students of his “Literary Nonfiction” writing course for a three-week stay in Archer City. They came from near and far to learning writing skills under the influence of Larry McMurtry’s north Texas ranchlands of Archer County, home of the Last Picture Show near where the Horseman passed by. The students resided in the Spur Hotel listened to Getschow and other writers, former students, and generally gad about the town and countryside.


Their last weekend was spent at the second annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest in Grapevine (see report in August WTM) and primarily sponsored by the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at UNT of Denton. Spurs of Inspiration shows some of those students’ successful efforts. After that, the students prevailed upon Getschow to conduct a “Literary Journalism” workshop of some weeks, so the essays of this volume came to calving from several roundups and cullings. All became very much place-driven.

In his “Prologue” to the Archer City tales, Getschow tells us he wishes to introduce students to experiences outside their usual worlds and to nurturing inside the McMurtry world. Student Paul Knight served as co-editor. Thereafter Getschow and Knight penned essays respectively on “The Rancher & the Writer” and “Herdin’ Books.” Getschow reveals that McMurtry’s first book of inspiration was Sergeant Silk: The Prairie Scout, and other biographical aspects, and Knight recounts origins of McMurtry’s famous bookselling career and massive shelves in Archer City.

Michael Mooney lets “time fall away” as he explored the back roads with locals Chris, Mike, and Mayor Carl. Brantley Hargrove relives an 1837 Indian battle in the local with local historian Jack Loftin. Sarah Whyman is confronted with the sudden justice of a hangman’s noose and note about women in the jailhouse kitchen. Knight explores the shared brokenness of patrons at the American Legion, the old cowboys, and all of us at some time. Kristen Flory discovers the almost secret miracle of St. Mary’s Church grotto. Timothy Soliano compares the rich music of Prague with the solitary silence of the place. Kelly Saxton somehow works her old story of time travel into the setting. Carrie Ferguson-Killough re-discovers herself and the rejuvenation of her acceptance of others. Co-editor Knight clears the smoke between their past and his present while learning to work the writing trade; he got a journalism job out of it.


Archer City residents may have seen the students as Magi arriving from the Texas east in affirmative of His Gray Eminence, once our terrible infant of Texas letters, and lacking honor among some Archerians.


Well done, George, Paul, and the ring o’students. We’ll be looking for your traces on down the trails – trails that may be asphalt and concrete, but no doubt with a little Archer City dust coloring the crepuscular sun.

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