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Author Talks at the Matthews returns this fall with a new lineup of local writers ready to dive into their stories, their methods, and their inspirations. Join us in the fireplace room every Tuesday at 12:30 for an hour with some of the best authors in the Black Hills area!
Are you interested in presenting an Author Talk? Contact us at 605-717-6967 or [email protected]
September 27: Pennie Hunt
Pennie Hunt is an inspirational, entertaining, and high-content speaker. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, Women’s Speakers Association and the President and founder of Journey Through, LLC. Her weekly blog, Writings from the Corner of Spirit & Brave is read worldwide. She is the author of two books, Love Your Life–No Matter What: 76 Tips to Live Life with Love and Gratitude and Love Your Life — No Matter What: 76 Tips to Journey Through Grief and Loss. Her newspaper column runs in several newspapers including the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the South Dakota Rapid City Journal.
After a series of life-changing events, including the death of her child, Pennie left her career as Executive Director of a healthcare organization where she spoke locally and nationally on healthcare recruitment. She now writes and speaks about how to change, heal and empower your life! Pennie’s personal successes and challenges have shaped her grateful-for-it-all viewpoint. She has married her own life lessons with her gift of communication to follow her passion of helping others Journey Through this life with spirit, courage, and compassion.
October 4: Geri Gutwein
Geri Mendoza Gutwein, Ph.D., professor emerita of English at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College where she taught English, creative writing, and Native American Literature for many years. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in literary journals such as the Connecticut Review, The Wildwood Journal, Roots, Trunk, Sky Anthology published by the International Women’s Writing Guild, and La Libreta, an online poetry journal. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry: Every Orbit of the Circle, The Story She Told, and An Utterance of Small Truths. Her Lakota, Mexican-American culture and family are major influences in her work. She is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and currently lives in Spearfish, South Dakota with her husband. For more information visit her website at www.gerigutwein.com.
October 11: Annie Christain
Annie Christain is a professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill and a former artist resident of the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel and the Arctic Circle Art and Science Expedition. Her poems have appeared in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, Prelude, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She was a first-place winner of the Driftwood Press In-House Poem Contest and received the grand prize of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award, and the Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry. Her books include Tall As You Are Tall Between Them (C&R Press 2016) and The Vanguards of Holography (Headmistress Press 2021), selected for Sappho’s Prize in Poetry.
October 18 & 25: Evelyn Leite
Children in families that keep secrets learn early in life to project a brave front, to avoid letting the outside world peek behind the mask, to cope alone with feelings of guilt, anger, fear and confusion.
Rapid City counselor and author Evelyn Leite grew up in such a family, struggling to understand her emotions, uncertain how she could love her parents and siblings so deeply but hate their words and actions. In her latest book “Just Fine, Thank You,” Leite explores the jumble of feelings and emotions she experienced in her early years in a closed family. She describes what it does to a young girl when the family doesn’t talk about a father who stays late at the local bar and a mother who expects her daughter to be a perfect young lady without explaining what that involves. She also shares what it does to a young child in a “no-talk’’ family as she tries to make sense of sometimes crazy, senseless behavior from people she loves.
“Just Fine, Thank You” is one of four books in a series titled Blood, Sex and Tears. She says of the series, “It’s my desire that you can find hope for yourself or a loved one based on my story of redemption.’’
Leite has had a successful, 35-year career as a professional counselor and author whose focus is on drug and alcohol problems and mental health issues. Among her best-known works are “Women: What Do We Want?” and “A Fix for the Family Rift Caused by Addiction.” She is a graduate of Black Hills State University with a composite major in Social Science. She holds a master’s degree from Oklahoma University and has presented addiction and mental health workshops in Oregon, Texas, Minneapolis, Montana, Colorado and Arizona. She has also held frequent workshops on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is currently conducting workshops for the Miskwaki Tribe in Tama, Iowa. She is the author of 14 published works including manuals for The Family Restoration Program and many newspaper and magazine articles. She’s a 2008 inductee into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
November 1: Bill Bosch
William Bosch grew up on a farm in Emmons County, east of Linton, North Dakota. Both sides of his family had German-Russian backgrounds. His mother’s family (Dockter) cam from Neudorf and Kassel, and his father’s family (Bosch) from Rosental in Crimea. After graduating from Linton High School, he attended North Dakota State University where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics education. He taught in the mathematics department at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota from 1963-65. He then studied at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1970. His working years were spent teaching mathematics at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. That is where he met and married his wife Margaret. They moved to Spearfish, SD in 2005. They have a daughter, Julie, who still lives in Colorado. William is a member of the Black Hills Chapter of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society and a member of the Center of the Nation Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. William is the author of The German-Russians in Words and Pictures.
November 8: Doug Hoff
Douglas Henry Hoff was born in 1948 and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1966. He attended and was an honor student at Black Hills State University and the SD School of Mines and Technology. He and Marlene (Molly) were married in 1968 while attending SDSMT. When his parents considered the sale of the family farm Doug and Molly decided to give ranching a try and later bought the farm, which they eventually tripled in size. While there they started a herd of world-renowned registered Angus cattle, a cattle genetics and research company that they later sold to Cargill, and had two children, Brian and Andrea.
While ranching Doug received The National Ralston Purina Youth of the Year award, The SD Young Farmer of the Year award, The North American Beef Improvement Federation Seedstock Producer of the Year award, and The 2000 US Livestock Man of the Year award. He graduated from the SD Agriculture and Rural Development program. He and Molly enjoyed and lived a robust ranching career, selling semen, embryos, and cattle around the globe, with cattle from their cowherd dispersal going to five continents. Doug brought his expertise and in-depth agricultural experience to this book, helping to produce a unique perspective of the demands of agriculture and living on the prairie.
November 15: Courtney Huse-Wika & BHSU Writing Class
Courtney Huse-Wika believes in the art of collection: overheard quotes, forgotten stories, and sometimes animals. She is the author of Perch, a chapbook of nature poetry from Anchor and Plume Press, and was named a finalist for the 2021 James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, and a 2020 Honorable Mention for the New Millennium Writing Awards. Her creative work has appeared widely, including CALYX, The Halcyone, New Ohio Review, South Dakota Review, Kindred, South Dakota Magazine, South Dakota in Poems, Midwestern Gothic, Scissors and Spackle, Backwards City Review, and the MacGuffin. She received her BA in philosophy and English from Augustana University, her MA and PhD in English with a specialization in creative writing from the University of South Dakota, and is currently an Associate Professor of English and Distinguished Faculty at Black Hills State University.
December 13: Robyn VanDersys
Robyn VanDerSys was born in Washington State, which is where her love for the great outdoors was born. She has lived in several different states and in 2015 settled in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and kids.
Her life has consisted of one adventure to the next, including racing monster trucks in her early twenties, raising three strong children, riding around Mexico on her four wheeler while living out of a backpack, and volunteering on a chase team while her husband raced the Baja 1000.
She spends her free time off-roading and hiking the many trails of the Black Hills, and also enjoys traveling and having as many adventures as humanly possible.