Barnes’ novel wins PEN award

Idaho writer Kim Barnes has won the fiction category in the PEN USA Literary Awards for her novel, “A Country Called Home.”

PEN USA is the West Coast center for the prestigious writers’ organization, the International PEN, and these awards are among the top literary awards for Western writers.

“A Country Called Home,” (Alfred A. Knopf) is about a naïve young couple who move from the East Coast to a rural Idaho life.

Barnes is a creative writing professor at the University of Idaho and one of the most accomplished literary voices in our region.

In other PEN USA Literary Award news, Elmore Leonard was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Poet Katrina Roberts

Katrina Roberts, poet and author of “Friendly Fire,” will read from her poetry on Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Gonzaga University’s Cataldo Hall Globe Room, as part of the GU Visiting Writers Series.

Roberts is an English professor at Whitman College and a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She’s the author of three books of poetry – and she and her husband are also the proprietors of a winery in Walla Walla.

The reading is free, sponsored by a grant from Humanities Washington.

The Kellogg saga

If you’re interested in the rich history and culture of the Silver Valley, you’ll want to catch the reading by author Julie Whitesel Weston at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main, today at 12:30 p.m.

Weston has written a memoir/history of Kellogg, Idaho, over the last 60 years, “The Good Times Are All Gone Now: Life, Death and Rebirth in an Idaho Mining Town” (University of Oklahoma Press, $19.95).

She grew up in Kellogg and tells the story of the city’s ups and downs through her own eyes and through the eyes of many residents she interviewed.

‘Feeding Strays’

Lost Horse Press, out of Sandpoint, has just published “Feeding Strays,” a collection of 50 short stories by Stefanie Freele.

The stories are about “children, family, relationships and oysters,” says the publisher.

“These stories will unsettle you, inspire you, and make you feel part of the greater human family,” says author Gayle Brandeis.

You can order it at www.losthorsepress.org or find it at local and online booksellers.

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