Reading from his book, “The Rural Life,” acollection of non-fiction editorial columns he has had published inthe “New York Times,” Verlyn Klinkeborg spoke to acrowd of 50 people Jan.16 at the Spokane City Council Chambers.
Writing from his own life experiences, “The Rural Life”is a collection in which Klinkeborg expresses his thoughts aboutlife using metaphors and simple explanations that he has gatheredfrom his years of being a farmer in New York.
“My wife and I have deeply complicated our lives by havingmany animals,” Klinkeborg said. “In New York, westarted raising pigs. We’d go to outrageous parties, and allpeople would want to talk about is pigs. So, I wrote aboutpigs.”
He doesn’t just write about pigs. The day after 9-11,Klinkeborg’s article was the selected editorial published inthe “Times.” Klinkeborg writes political pieces aboutthe development and construction of rural life. He writeseditorials about national holidays, love and death and life.
Klinkeborg shared a particularly moving piece he wrote about hismother who passed away 30 years ago. In the piece, he attempted to”say something about what it means to be alive.”
He read, “It’s been 30 years since my motherdied…It’s taken me 30 years to discover what it is Imiss most about her – her voice.”
He wrote of how he longed to go back in time to attend acongregational church in Iowa and see his mother and hisgrandmother again.
Klinkeborg will be the last non-fiction author reading for theSpokane City Council Chambers event this year, Natalie Kusz,Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Eastern WashingtonUniversity, announced at Friday’s event.
Kusz said that writers of every genre including poetry, fiction,non-fiction and others are invited each year in order to offerfresh voices for students to learn from.
“It’s easy to feel like there are five writers in town,and they’re the voice,” Kusz said. “This type ofevent can offer alternate viewpoints.”
The next reading will feature Melanie Rae Thon, award winning shortstory novelist and college professor. She is scheduled for Feb. 13at 7:30 p.m. at the Spokane City Council Chambers.
For more information, call 623-4221.