Submitted by Glen Aaron on April 24, 2013

What is an interlude other than a pause from what was, waiting for what is to come? UTPB professor Dr. Tom Parks has entitled this year’s anthology, “Interlude.” For the past five years,the anthology, each enhancing, each growing, has developed into the premier publication for West Texas writers and readers.

It all began about five years ago when Michael Wright, adjunct UTPB professor, and Harry Nutter, landman, were conducting the summer film festival for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Midland. “We have creative film; we should have talented writing as part of the festival,” they said. They turned to Parks, a fellow church member, who, in turn, invited writer submissions and produced an anthology of representative author talent from West Texas.

Beginning in January of each year, authors from Amarillo to Marfa now submit to the annual anthology whose submission deadline is May 15th. This publication has essentially no limitation — genre, length, subject. It provides entertaining creativity. A day is set for the authors to read their works at the UU church on August 11th, “Reading and Performance Day.” For that day, West Texas writers travel long distances, spending the night, so that they can read, perform, participate, listen, and discuss. There are authors and poets who have published, self-helpers, young essayists, and fiction writers of many different subjects. The talent is wide and varied, old and new, but all West Texas.

Anthology titles from years past bespeak of the creativity enclosed:

  • “Turnrow” — As we look at life as we complete each turn.
  • “Mosaic”— What are the artistic pieces of our life that give us our unique meaning and the composite of who we are?
  • “Refraction” — As light strikes crystal and bends, refracting as does our life, streaming a different path for a different place.
  • “Legacy” — We are what we were born into. Should we question?
  • “Solace” — Both a noun and a verb, a place of refuge, yet it can only come from understanding.

This year’s “Interlude,” with the writings already received and with more to come, looks to portray the elite talent of many West Texas writers and enrich the lives of West Texans with meaningful, as well as entertaining, reading.

Dr. Tom Parks is Associate Dean and Director of Doctoral Studies, UTPB, as well as a Pulitzer nominee.

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