inicio mail me! sindicaci;ón

Writer’s Roundup

Each year in Patagonia, Arizona, the local library organizes a “Writer’s Roundup”, during which local writers sign books, give short talks, and read from their works. For a tiny town such as Patagonia, which is known to the outside world primarily as a good bird-watching spot, this would at first seem to be a non-starter as an event. After all, how many good writers can there be in the area?

patagonia-writers-roundup.jpgAs it turns out, there are many, and a few well recognized names. Just down the street from the library lives Philip Caputo, author of “A Rumor of War,” which was a very important documentary of the Vietnam War from a soldier’s point of view. (He’s wearing a brown sweater in the photo, toward the back.)

At the table next to him was Tom Miller, author of “On The Border,” a significant book about the nature of the US-Mexican border. (Talking to Bobby and Danine in the photo.) I bought a signed copy of his book “Trading With The Enemy,” which is about his experiences in Cuba.

“It’s a strange event,” said Tom, speaking of the Writer’s Roundup. The authors are all in a single room with their books arrayed on tables, and they just hang around and chat with anyone who comes by, and sign copies on request. I doubt any of them make enough money from the sales to make it worth their time but nobody seems worried about that. (I believe it is a fundraiser for the library.) Being a small town and a small event, it’s a great opportunity for fans to meet authors without any pretense or barriers.

pgia-delphine-redshirt.jpgThe authors range from well-known to quite obscure, but being opinionated and bright they are all interesting to hear from. We dropped in on Delphine Redshirt’s talk and short reading, in which she explained how she worked to write in her mother’s voice for a book in which she documented some first-person Lakota stories. Delphine also offered some encouragement to would-be authors, which was good to hear since I keep thinking about writing a book someday.

(See more photos from the Writer’s Roundup on our Flickr site.)  

We came down to Patagonia at the behest of Dr. C, a good Airstream-owning friend and occasional contributor to Airstream Life magazine and a blog on this site. He and his wife are renting a tiny adobe house in town for the season. The Writer’s Roundup was only an excuse — we really wanted to catch up with the good Doctor and Lynn, who are always interesting and friendly.


It was a full day. Lynn is into quilting, and wanted to share some of her knowledge with Emma and Elise. I knew that they’d love doing a craft project with Lynn, and sure enough they were completely distracted all afternoon learning how to sew and make little colorful pillows. It was one of those days when the conversation flowed so freely that we didn’t know how to stop. We ended up being in the little adobe house until late evening, before taking the 65 mile drive back up to Tucson.

Bobby & Danine have decided to stay another day. The plan was to depart on Monday, but more interesting things await them in the Tucson area, and they need a bit more time. I thought that might happen, and it’s welcome news. The driveway campground won’t be the same after they leave.