Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Love From Galena - Stories and Poetry by the Galena Writers Guild

We love to get news about accomplishments of Shake Rag Alley instructors and students!

A sweet Valentine is about to be published--Love from Galena, a collection of prose and poetry by members of the Galena Writers Guild, nine of whom are Shake Rag Alley instructors or students - instructors Peggy Stortz, Jane Guill, Judy Sutcliffe and students Marion Lubinski, Mary Ann Presman, Sandy Scott, Diann Marsh, Bonnie Giesert, Kathy Gereau.

Book launch is Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14, at the Galena Public Library, 601 South Bench Street. Festivities begin at 5 pm and will include light refreshments, book signing, and several authors will be reading short excerpts from the book.

Fifteen GWG writers contributed to this wide-ranging anthology of memoir, fantasy, fiction, and poetry. “I've been very impressed with the talents of this group!”said Mary Ann Presman who drives from Rockford to attend GWG meetings. “Most are transplants from across the country...but a few have 'old' Galena roots.” Presman was born in an apartment across the street from the Galena Public Library. Her Galena ancestry includes Homrichs, Houys and Wolframs. 

“If ever a town was designed for romance, it’s Galena,” adds GWG founder Peggy Stortz. “With its narrow winding streets, blazes of seasonal color and gabled mansions topped with ballrooms, falling in love is almost inevitable.”

Romance ignites many of the stories. You’ll meet an impulsive couple buying a home on their very first visit, a woman risking romance with her high school teacher, frightened lovers crouching behind tombstones, a lovely lady reading Tarot cards on Main Street, a baker cooking up more than just tarts, or a hopeful miss preparing for a basket social.

But the focus in not just on romance. There are characters galore: a feisty granny challenges St. Peter, a veterinarian whose truck teeters on an icy cliff, a dieting time traveler who’s sick of celibacy, even Roy Rogers’ biggest little fan. In more than 50 short stories, poems, essays, and a one act play, readers will discover adventure, lots of humor, even a bit of mayhem.

The idea for the book was initiated by Bonnie Geisert. “When I volunteer at Hello Galena, the cooperative art gallery next door to the Old Market House, shoppers are often looking for books about Galena. History, fiction, recipes, children's. So why not a book about love in Galena?” Geisert said.

Stortz asked Geisert to lead the project. The group which meets twice a month year round in the Library's Historical Room, dedicated July through December of 2013 to creating Love from Galena, reading their stories, critiquing and revising them. The 296 page volume was completed in January.

In appreciation for the support given to GWG by the Galena Public Library, Director Susi Ludwig, and staff, a percentage of profits from sales of the book will go to the Library, to which the book is dedicated.

Love from Galena includes work by Kyla Cunningham, youngest at twenty-one, from Columbia College, Chicago, and Galena; Gayle DeMoss, Harold Ford, Bonnie Geisert, Kathy Gereau, Jane Guill, Patricia Lehnhardt, Marion Lubinski, Diann Marsh from Galena; Laurel Eshelman, Elizabeth; Barb Prescott, Galena and Chicago; Mary Ann Presman, Rockford and Tucson, AZ; Sandra Scott and Judith Sutcliffe, Galena and Mineral Point, WI.; Peggy Stortz, Galena, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Love from Galena is published by Seven Gables Press, Mineral Point, WI. 
 After the Valentine’s Day launch the book will be available in area bookstores, shops, and online at www.sevengablespress.com.

Congratulations to the Galena Writers Guild!

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