Montgomery County Writers in Performance Series to Present Falling from Grace in Texas

Published on: February 21, 2007

A Literary Response to the Demise of Paradise

Literary Event Adds Unique Flavor to College’s Spring Fling Event on March 3

The rich diversity of threatened Texas landscapes, coastlines and waterways will be the subject of readings and discussion by some of the most influential writers in the state, when the Montgomery County Writers in Performances series stages its next installment as part of Montgomery College’s Spring Fling community celebration on Saturday, March 3. “Falling from Grace in Texas: A Literary Response to the Demise of Paradise,” will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Building D (theatre).

Appearing as panelists for this important anthology will be:

Mark Busby, past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University-San Marcos. He is the author of Larry McMurtry and the West: An Ambivalent Relationship; Ralph Ellison; and Fort Benning Blues, and the editor of From Texas to the World and Back: Essays on the Journeys of Katherine Anne Porter (2001), among many other works.

Pat Little Dog, bookstore owner, novelist, short-story writer, journalist and small press publisher. A recipient of the Southwest Book Award and the Texas Circuit Book award, her works include the novel Border Healing Woman: The Story of Jewel Babb, and the story collection, Afoot in a Field of Men. 

Bryce Milligan, award-winning author of a dozen books including five collections of poetry, historical novels and short story collections for young adults. He has been, among other things, a folksinger/songwriter, a maker of guitars, a rare book bibliographer, a poet-in-the-schools, and director of the country's only four-year high school creative writing program. Falling From Grace in Texas is the 50th book published by his Wings Press.

Clay Reynolds, novelist and short story writer, who teaches writing at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he is associate dean of undergraduate studies. His critical evaluations, feature articles and book reviews appear in metropolitan newspapers, and national magazines such as Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times. Among his novels are The Vigil, Players, Monuments, The Tentmaker, and the Pulitzer-nominated Franklin’s Crossing. 

Carmen Tafolla, author of five books of poetry, one volume of non-fiction, seven screenplays, and numerous short stories, articles and children's works. Recognized by the National Association for Chicano Studies for her outstanding contributions to the arts and academia, recent books include Sonnets and Salsa and Baby Coyote and the Old Woman/ El coyotito y la viejita. She is the founding director of the Camino School for the Gifted and Talented in San Antonio.

This event is offered in partnership with Montgomery County Literary Arts Council, the Conroe Commission on Arts and Culture, the Academy for Lifelong Learning, and SWIRL magazine—Montgomery College’s journal of art and literature. 

“We’re excited to be a part of the college’s Spring Fling celebration,” said Alicia Bankston, professor of English at Montgomery College. “Our piece of the event will bring a unique and powerful perspective of how the diverse environment of Texas has been impacted over the years, and we have some noted authors and writers in our lineup to help us accomplish this.”

For more information, contact Bankston at (936) 273-7257, or Dave Parsons, English instructor, at (936) 524-6537.

In addition to this literary panel discussion and performance, Spring Fling, sponsored by Montgomery College in conjunction with the Montgomery County Beautification Association, will include a full range of family-friendly activities, such as hands-on learning exhibits, inflatable games, arts & crafts, tree giveaway, music, food and more.

The communitywide event is held annually to celebrate the many ways that nature and—specifically—trees, are terrific in all shapes and sizes, according to Linda O'Brien-Corbin, director of facilities at Montgomery College and co-coordinator of the event. A variety of community partners concerned with preservation of natural resources will feature educational exhibits. This includes the Texas Cooperative Extension, Fire Ant Management Program, Ground Water Management, Junior Master Gardener Program, and Montgomery County Master Gardener’s Tree Education Program and Tree Give Away sponsored by Texaco. Also present will be the Texas Forest Service (W.G. Jones State Forest presentation), the Humane Society of Montgomery County, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Other activities include face painting, a petting zoo, dinosaur fossil dig, inflatable games, an old-time baseball exhibition, a “battle of the bands,” and more. Some refreshments will be provided free for attendees, while other items will be available at low cost. On display will be the 2007 National Arbor Day Poster Contest winners from local fifth grade students and prize drawings for the teachers with the most students participating. Prizes for teachers are sponsored by the Montgomery County Beautification Association. Additionally, there will be an arts & crafts festival surrounding the 3-D art pavilion (behind Building D). Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., a variety of arts and crafts, including ceramics, painting, printmaking, will be on display and for sale, and ceramic-making demonstrations will be featured. All exhibiting artists are current or former students of Montgomery College, and proceeds from the art sale benefit the student art organizations on campus.

For more information about Montgomery College, visit montgomery.lonestar.edu, or call (936) 273-7000. Montgomery College is located at 3200 College Park Drive, approximately one-quarter mile west of I-45 between Conroe and The Woodlands.

NHMCCD, among the largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center.