The Norwood Park & Recreation District (NPRD) and the Livery have announced that the NPRD board of directors will host the first Saturday Night at the Livery (SNL) speakers program in more than one year May 22. The SNL events had been on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Debut author Kathryn “Kat” Wilder will appear for a reading and a discussion from her hot-off-the-press and hard-hitting memoir, “Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West” at 6 p.m.
The author’s personal story of grief, motherhood and a return to the desert entwines with the story of America’s mustangs, as she makes a home in southwestern Colorado, her property bordering the Spring Creek mustang herd. Joining her will be TJ Holmes — also of Disappointment Valley — who has been documenting the Spring Creek mustang herd through her photography and blog since 2007.
“Desert Chrome” will be available for purchase at the Livery event. Laura Pritchett, director of the MA/MFA writing program at Western Colorado University, described the book as “a raw and honest journey of addiction, love, trauma and redemption — grounded in a deep love of place and all things mustang.”
She added, “the best memoirs reveal the deeply personal in order to see the larger world with renewed clarity and insight — this is one such book. As Wilder moves from heroin to horses, we see a substantive
journey of recovery and strength — and ultimately, of resilience.”
Wilder’s writings have been cited in Best American Essays, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and have appeared in such publications as High Desert Journal, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Sierra, and other anthologies and Hawai‘i magazines.
A past finalist for both the Ellen Meloy Fund Desert Writers Award and the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, she holds a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and an MFA degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Wilder’s book event will take place outdoors in the yard of the Livery, so the NPRD board asks that guests bring their own camp chair and picnic. Additionally, the board asks that guests consider supporting a local restaurant for the picnic option.
As at SNL events in the past, the suggested donation is $5, and funds generated for the NPRD will go toward Livery improvements and securing the Oliver House, both managed by NPRD.
Those planning to attend should understand that NPRD will abide by best practices as recommended by the state regarding COVID-19 protocols for event gatherings.