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Literary Sala Presents Works in Progress

By Carole Schor

The annual “Works in Progress” Literary Sala event gives audiences an opportunity to hear some of San Miguel’s outstanding writers who are working on a gem of a piece that has not been exposed to an audience—until now.. Frank Thoms taught English in four Soviet schools during the Mikhail Gorbachev era. He will read from his work-in-progress Teaching Reincarnation in Kazakhstan. Listeners will discover how Russians living in a collective society found pathways to live well and see how teachers and children almost naturally subverted an oppressive system. Ratna Dakini’s book, distracted, sometimes not, then fully sí, is a selection of free style poems. She says, “I think poetry is an amazingly direct path to experience beauty and connect with birds, plants, and sometimes with other humans, including one.”

Literary San Miguel Literary Sala presents “Works in Progress”
Thu, Jun 8, 5–7pm
Hotel Posada de Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15
100 pesos, 50 pesos for Literary Sala members
Complimentary Wine Reception

Sharon Solwitz’s third novel, Once, in Lourdes, was published this month by Random House. She will read from her work-in-progress, Boy, in Exile. In it, Riva is the mother of Jacob and Julian, both in college. Riva and her husband Michael teach on Chicago’s West Side working on social justice issues. Michael has left Riva for a fellow teacher; Jacob has gone to a kibbutz in Israel; and Julian is juggling love and coursework. Then Jacob disappears and Riva goes to Israel to find him.

Linda Hampton, in her book, Using Your Life, draws on more than 25 years as an executive coach. “I’ve used stories from my life to illustrate a point in coaching,” she says. “Stories proved meaningful to clients, who often requested I write them down. Using Your Life will share the ways in which you can use the circumstances life presents to live a life of meaning and joy.” John Scherber will read from his in-progress work, titled Twilight at Tikal, the 18th book in a series of mysteries mostly set in San Miguel. The Paul Zacher Agency is summoned by a letter from Guatemala to look into a missing person’s situation. What they find is a much rougher place than Mexico and one where old friends can be more dangerous than old enemies. Scherber’s mystery series is currently under development for TV. Hailey Nicols has written poetry and prose and is now venturing, for the first time, into an autobiography. The years of incessant family abuse she suffered, and the consequences of it, have compelled her to a life of service to others who have endured similar abuse. Her book, From Survival to Service, a Journey of Hope, reveals the potential for destruction in what appears to be picture perfect families. Elizabeth M. Marshall is at work on a young adult novel, Tibor of the Hortobadgy, the story of a Hungarian mule who aspires to become a star in the famous Hungarian horse shows. Elizabeth’s careers include working with hard-core delinquent youth at VisionQuest, serving as an Executive Chef, editing a global economics quarterly, and creating multimedia instructional designs. Gabrielle Brie will be reading from her memoir, Tap Dancing on a Hot Skillet. She uses painterly images to chronicle the life of a tenacious young Jewish girl, the oldest of four, trapped in the Deep South of the 1950s. Her parents find themselves living in a neighborhood surrounded by racist KKK members during the era of the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Her life is made more difficult by a secret that her father, whom she loves dearly, carried into his marriage. Mike Landfair will read from his short story, “Celebrating Forty: The Ape Cave Hike,” about a hike on Mt. St. Helens he and his daughter took when she turned 40. It brought the two of them together in a way he had not envisioned and it put their lives in danger. Mike is a freelance writer who recently published a book of poems titled The Way Back: Poems of Addiction and Recovery.

Join us for “Works in Progress” and listen to these emerging writers at the San Miguel Literary Sala on June 8 at 5 pm.

Membership in the Literary Sala supports not only the literary life of San Miguel, including scholarships for teens and reading projects for children in the campo; it also offers attractive benefits like reading groups and discounts at the monthly author readings as well as discounts and priority seating at the Annual Writers’ Conference. A Membership Table will be available at the June 8 Literary Sala event. It is also possible to obtain information and join online at


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