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HPMEC Reading Retreat to Feature World War I Focus


JONESBORO - Acclaimed writer and editor Steve Paul will be the featured speaker at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center's World War I Reading Retreat, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8, in Piggott. Paul authored “Hemingway at Eighteen,” published in late 2017. It delves into how time Hemingway spent in Kansas City as a cub reporter changed the course of his life.

The event is part of the museum’s commemoration of the centennial of World War I.

"Saturday afternoon has something for everyone. Steve Paul is a great speaker and his talk will be of interest to those new to Hemingway and experts alike,” said Dr. Adam Long, director of HPMEC. “Afterwards, there are heavy hors d’oeuvres and a time to mingle. To cap off the evening, we are recreating the world premiere of the movie “A Farewell to Arms,” complete with period refreshments."

Paul worked for the Kansas City Starbefore retiring in 2016 to focus on other writing, photography and editing ventures. His newspaper career included coverage of local news and politics, as well as long-form features on culture, crime and food. He also served as book review editor, architecture writer and editorial page editor.

Currently, Paul edits “Kansas City Noir,” an anthology of contemporary short fiction. He is co-editor of “War + Ink: New Perspectives on Ernest Hemingway's Early Life and Writings” (Kent State University Press).

Retreat attendees will read three books for discussion at the two-day event — “Three Soldiers” by John Dos Passos, “The Enormous Room” by E.E. Cummings, and “The Ambulance Drivers” by James McGrath Morris.

The schedule kicks off Sept.7 at the City Market at Piggott’s downtown square from 6-8 p.m. with World War I-era music and poetry. The next day begins with coffee and donuts from 8:30-9 a.m., followed by a two-hour discussion of “The Ambulance Drivers.”Lunch runs from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. The next discussion features “Three Soldiers” from 12-2 p.m., a snack break, then a discussion of “The Enormous Room”from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Discussion leaders include Dr. Rob Lamm and Dr. Norman Stafford, who are both professors of English, and Long.

Paul will read from “Hemingway at Eighteen” and sign copies from 5-6 p.m. Afterward, wine and heavy hors d’ouevres will be served on-site, with a screening of “A Farewell to Arms”from 8-10 p.m. at the site of the original world premiere on the square.

Registration is $100 per person if made by Aug. 24. After that, a $25 late registration fee is added to the cost. The price includes light refreshments at the coffee house on Friday, meals and snacks on Saturday, and all activities and cost of books, which will be sent to participants once registration is complete. Partial refunds totaling $65 will be made if registration is canceled by Sept. 1. In addition, participants unable to attend the full retreat may register for the Saturday evening events for $35.

Reservations can be made by contacting the HPMEC gift shop at (870) 598-3487 or via email at adamlong@AState.edu. Mail completed registration forms to 1021 W. Cherry Street, Piggott, AR 72454.

Steve Paul
Steve Paul