Sharon Oard Warner
Author and teacher Sharon Oard Warner takes the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Rotunda, to talk about her work.
Her latest book, Sophie’s House of Cards, was published by UNM Press in October. She also is the author of Deep in the Heart, and Learning to Dance and Other Stories, and the editor of The Way We Write Now, Short Stories from the AIDS Crisis. She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico.
Sophie’s House of Cards is set in New Mexico, where Warner has made her home for many years, so the descriptions of the landscape, flora, and seasons will ring true to every New Mexican. The family portrayed in the novel also carries that same sense of authenticity. Peggy, Jack, Sophie and Ian are just moving forward, in the way of most families, until the young Sophie finds herself pregnant. That fact causes the family to examine everything about how they have been living. The house of cards in the title refers both to the fragility of the stories people construct in order to proceed, and also to Tarot cards, which introduce each chapter.
In addition to her writing and teaching, Warner is has instituted the Taos Summer Writers’ Workshop, and been instrumental in creating Rananim, an online writers’ workshop series. Rananim is the name D.H. Lawrence chose for a utopian community of artists and writers he intended to create on his property in Taos. Rananim offers non-degree workshops, classes, and facilitated critique groups to writers from around the nation and the world. Net proceeds from this venture will benefit the D. H. Lawrence Ranch and will serve to publicize both the property and ongoing efforts to preserve and protect this site and plan for its future use for the arts, as Frieda Lawrence and others envisioned.
“I conceived and founded the Taos Summer Writers’ Workshop in 1998 to forge a connection between the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, 20 minutes North of Taos,” Warner said. “In the 15 years since, the Ranch has remained important to the identity of the Conference, which has grown from its beginnings to become one of the largest and most well respected of over 300 annual writers’ conferences in the nation.”
Warner will bring copies of her books to sell and sign.
The Authors Speak Series is a monthly event featuring local and regional authors speaking about their writing on a variety of subjects such as local and state history, travel, outdoor activities, fiction, Native American history and culture, poetry and more. The series is funded by the Friends of the Los Alamos County Library System. The talks are free and begin at 7 p.m., on the fourth Thursday of each month, followed by the opportunity to meet the authors and enjoy refreshments.
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