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Leslie Leek headlines Writers Series in Old Town

February 20, 2019 GMT

Idaho native Leslie Ann Leek, a well known, short story writer, will be the featured reader at this month’s Both Sides of the Track open microphone series. The event will be Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., at the Gate City Fine Art Gallery 315 W Center, Old Town Pocatello. It is free and open to the public.

The series takes place on the fourth Wednesday of the month, same time, same place. The scheduled reader will have the microphone for 25 minutes then, after a break, open microphone readers will have seven minutes each on a first come, first signed up basis. Reading time will be enforced.

In addition to her own thoughtful writing, Leslie is well known as generous and supportive of other writers. She is the chief creative talent acquisitions director of the Rocky Mountain Writers Festival which has been going strong for over 25 years.

Leek is well along on a new series of short stories. Her prior collections include Heart of a Western Woman and Unsettled Territories, both books published by Blue Scarab Press. Her stories and essays have been included in regional and state anthologies.

Landscape and women are the center of her stories which take place in Idaho’s rural and wild backcountry. Her parents ran newspapers in McCammon and Dubois, she explains. Titles of some of her short stories give a flavor of what her work tastes like: “Happy Hour”, “Falling in Love with Merle Haggard”, “Long Ridge on a Good Mare”, and “Music for Morning, Music for Night”. Her current topics include a logging accident, physical therapy and spiritual healing, the vicissitudes of old age, hiking alone in difficult terrain, and men and women in love and less so.

In addition to her considerable writing output, Leek has directed theater, led reading workshops in rural towns, and is retired from Idaho State University as a senior lecturer in speech.

Mary Clearman Blew, an American essayist, has this to say, “Everyone who loves vividly written stories in an authentic Western voice will celebrate the publication of Leslie Leek’s Unsettled Territory. These stories are imaginative, off-the-wall, no-holds-barred, and damned good.”

Rick Ardinger, publisher of the Limberlost Press, writes, “With humor and grace she introduces us to healers, believers, women exploring deep connections to home, to the universe, to the landscapes of the heart.”

But back to the format of the evening, new readers are most welcome but must limit themselves to seven minutes. This must be done to show respect for other readers and the audience. So be sure to practice so you do not go over-time.

We want your best creative nonfiction, essays, short stories, poetry, or novel excerpts. We hope to encourage new talent as well as the work of more established writers. Most of all, we want to have fun and help everyone get to know each other, that is, encourage an artistic community hopefully similar to Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Paris. Why not?

For more information, contact Will Peterson, Walrus and Carpenter Books, 208/233-0821.