David Romtvedt, an award winning author, former Wyoming Poet Laureate, and musician, will visit Clay Paper Scissors Gallery & Studio on October 18 at 7PM. This event will include a reading from his new novel Zelestina Urza in Outer Space, discussion about Basque history, and the performance of Basque music on the trikitixa accordion and the violin by Romtvedt and his daughter Caitlin Belem.
His latest novel Zelestina Urza in Outer Space follows the lives of two women in northern Wyoming-a Basque immigrant and a half Cheyenne, half Arapaho orphan. The author’s sharply humorous style, full of pop and literary references, blends the historical and magical into an engaging conversation with the reader. Zelestina Urza is a piercing look at the American West of the 20th century, showing two women, one immigrant, one native, both outsiders from the traditional narrative of Manifest Destiny.
Romtvedt’s books of poetry include Certainty, How Many Horses, Some Church and A Flower Whose Name I do Not Know which won the National Poetry Series award. His work has been selected for the Pushcart Prize and for two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, one in poetry and the other an international fellowship in poetry and music. He is a recipient of a Wyoming Arts Council literature fellowship and the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award. Romtvedt serves as faculty member in the MFA program for writers at University of Wyoming. He is a founder and current board member of Worlds of Music, a foundation devoted to giving people the opportunity to participate in the making of music from cultures around the world. With the Fireants he has produced three recordings: It’s Hot (About Three Weeks a Year), Bury My Clothes, and Ants On Ice. The music is influenced by Cajun and Creole music of Louisiana, by Conjunto music of Texas, by the African American string band tradition of the North Carolina Piedmont, and by the coastal musics of northern Colombia.
Caitlin Belem performs with the Fireants as well as with the Seattle based group Maracujá which plays Cuban, Brazilian, and Colombian son, samba, forro, cumbia, and bossa nova. With her father she also plays traditional Music of the Basque Country.
This event is made possible by the University of Nevada Center for Basque Studies with support from the Johnson County (Wyoming) Library Foundation, the Caitlin Long Excellence Fund, the University of Wyoming English Department, and the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.