On this Monday's Central Standard, author Stephanie Powell Watts shares a collection of short stories inspired by the uneducated and the the aspiring. Many of her characters are based on her own life or the lives of someone she's encountered.
In her Pushcart Prize winning short story "Unassigned Territory" she draws upon her experience as a Jehovah Witness minister, preaching along a winding dirt roads, way out in the boonies. Her character preaches in places where mostly white southerners have been holed up for generations in their isolated mansions, homes, trailers and shacks. "Where everyone and his dog has a dog." As her character goes along, instead of recording converts’ names in her ledger, she scribbles private notes to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and poet Phillip Larkin.
Either you will be a writer and try to present the world in all its flawed complexity or you will stop writing anything more substantive than holiday cards or snazzy e-mails.
—Stephanie Powell Watts
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO
June 17, 2012 — 4:00 PM
American Jazz Museum Atrium, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, MO
June 18, 2012 — 7:00 PM
Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO
June 19, 2012