Who knows how many book clubs exist in Durango? The answer is: nobody. Well, maybe Ann Butler or Maria's Bookshop, but
they're sworn to secrecy. Whatever the current tally, it's big. Some say more than 80 lie hidden between Hermosa and
How about writer's groups? Again, nobody knows, but I bet there are more than we realize.
One writer's circle has been around for a decade and will present an unusual program Wednesday at the Durango Public
Library. Short Stuff by The Write Stuff" is the title, and it's the March offering in the free Spoken Word Series. The
program starts at 7 p.m. and has been designed to last about one hour with time for questions afterward. You'll hear
new work, see short pieces projected on a screen and learn how one writer's group operates.
Members include thriller author Blake Crouch; poet and short story writer Terry Junttonen; poet Haz Said; playwright,novelist and former college professor Dinah Leavitt Swan; short story and thriller writer Suzanne Tyrpak; and novelist
and children's book writer Douglas Walker.
After Tyrpak introduces the group, each member will present his or her own work.
You'll hear creepy and scary," Tyrpak said in an interview, thought-provoking and funny."
You'll also hear very short pieces, known in the trade as Hint Fiction, 25 words or less, and one piece of FLASH
Fiction, fewer than 1000 words. Crouch will read a short story followed by a section on poetry. If we're lucky, some
poetry and Hint Fiction pieces will be projected on a screen. The hour will conclude with Sumo Below," a new 10-minute
comedy written by Swan and performed by the author, local actor Maureen May and narrator Tyrpak.
As The Write Stuff has evolved, Tyrpak said, the group and protocol have changed.
At the beginning, we met every week. Now it's once a month. At one point, we got seriously into food. That got
ridiculous, so we stopped. Now we come prepared to read and ask for feedback."
Not the puffball variety, Tyrpak said.
We're definitely hard core. Some of us write commercial fiction, and we're committed to truthful feedback. Why else
This is a pilot project for the library, and so is the April 14 edition of Spoken Word titled: Your Turn." Local
readers and writers are invited to participate. Submit ideas for a 10-minute or less reading of fiction, nonfiction,drama or poetry. It can be your own writing or from a favorite author. Contact Spoken Word co-chair Judy Hook at
firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1.
And if you belong to one of the other mysterious writers' groups in the area, consider making a proposal for a program
next year. Just let Hook know.
Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at email@example.com.