Friday, September 23, 2005

Michael Perry

Last night Michael Perry spoke to 135+ people in the Oshkosh Public Library. If you weren't there, you missed out on a fantastic speaker, a wonderful writer and a great story teller. This man played his audience, reading the room well and deciding which stories and jokes would be hits. He told ones I had heard before, but still made me laugh. The Oshkosh Area Writer's were his hosts, but really Ruth deserves much of the credit for his arrival. We merely filled in the blanks so she wouldn't wear herself thin. Mike grew up in northern Wisconsin, near Eau Claire, in a tiny town with the population of 485, hence the name of the book, Population: 485. I first heard Mike speak at the Aestival Festival Conference last fall. I bought his book, which brought frequent tears to my eyes. Sometimes because I was laughing, other times because I was crying. As a member of the Oshkosh Area Writers, I was privileged to escort Mike to and from the restaraunt and dine with him, along with a dozen or so of my fellow club members. The time spent with him, whether it be the few minutes in my car or the discussion at dinner, will be one of my favorite memories of this fall. Mike's books are available from his website or most local retailers. Paper Tiger has a limited number of autographed copies, if that would be prefered. Mike's book is non-fiction, about his life in New Auburn. About leaving as a farm boy and coming home as a nurse and poet. About spreading his wings and exploring his roots. It is the story of many, told by one.

No comments: