The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 25, 2013

Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Pittsburg authors busy turning out books

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Based on what I recently learned about one of my neighbors, I’ve decided I don’t get enough patio or porch swing time with them. If I did, I would have known months ago that Adam Jameson was preparing to publish his first book.

His son, Cole, brought over “#9 to Sallisaw” a few weeks ago for me to review while he and my sons played. I was impressed. Jameson’s free-verse poems simply but artfully capture the rural flavors of Southeast Kansas and beyond.

He has written poetry on the side for years and spent about six months of intensive work on the book. Published by Little Balkans Press, it was edited by former Pittsburg English teacher and poet Al Ortolani and includes an introduction by another noted local writer, J.T. Knoll.

It’s available online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but those who attend the Little Balkans Days Folklife Festival on Saturday can buy a copy there and can see Jameson and other poets in the group White Buffalo perform at 2 p.m.

Other local authors have been busy, as well. Pittsburg resident Diane McCallum got in touch to let me know she’s published her first novel.

When she was young, her parents gave her an empty three-ring binder with the label “The Great American Novel by Diane.”

“I kind of took that as a challenge, I think,” she said, noting that her book, “Outsider,” isn’t the Great American Novel by any means, but she’s proud of it anyway.

“I have to admit that I did a little dance when I first held a hard copy in my hands and when the novel first showed up on Amazon,” she said.

Copies of “Outsider,” a mixture of science fiction, mystery and adventure, can be purchased at Hastings in Pittsburg and at Vintage Stock at Northpark Mall in Joplin, and she’s offering up free bookmarks along with it. It also can be purchased at Amazon.

She opted to self-publish through CreateSpace.com — a good choice, she said, for beginners like her who are willing to put some effort into doing their own formatting and design — and has a second in the series in the works.

Two Pittsburg State University faculty members also have new books coming out. Mick White, an instructor in the English Department, has a new novel, “Professed,” set to be released in October (Slough Press). He says it’s an academic satire set at a large university in Austin, Texas.

His colleague, longtime English and creative writing professor Stephen Meats, recently published “Dark Dove Descending and Other Parables: Poems and Stories” (Lawrence: Mammoth Pubs), available on Amazon. Meats has served as poetry editor of The Midwest Quarterly since 1985, has published several books and has had work appear in numerous journals.

A Carthage author, Dan Trogdon, will come to Pittsburg on Saturday for a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. at Hastings Hardback Café for his new book, “And So It Goes.”

It’s the first book of cartoons by Trogdon, who through simple line drawings invites the reader into his bent world, which is occupied by odd but funny notions.

When it comes to used books, Pittsburg area residents will have no shortage of offerings this Saturday when Friends of Pittsburg Public Library opens its annual book sale at 9 a.m.

I always end up lugging home boxes full of books, as prices are just $1 for hardcover books and 50 cents for paperbacks. I hope Globe readers will do so, too, as my family and I have volunteered to help carry and cart any books that don’t sell back to storage at 2 p.m. See you there.

FOLLOW ANDRA STEFANONI on Facebook at facebook.com/andrajournalist and on Twitter @AndraStefanoni.

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