Author Bonnie Proudfoot to read from first book
PARKERSBURG — A creative writing teacher and glass artist from Athens County will present a reading of her first book from 2-3:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library.
The fictional “Goshen Road” by Bonnie Proudfoot is about a working-class family in western West Virginia and the lives and experiences of sisters Dessie and Billie Price and how they cope with family, personal adversities and cultural changes in Appalachia for over 20 years. The stories begin in 1967.
She has worked on the book for about 25 years, from when she lived in rural Wetzel County and Fairmont in West Virginia, with the last four years putting a concentrated effort into its completion.
It is based on her life experiences and the experiences of her neighbors, with whom a closeness developed, Proudfoot said. From that perspective, the span of time has been helpful, according to Proudfoot.
“I have the benefit of the wisdom of my life,” she said.
Proudfoot, who received a master’s of arts in creative writing from Hollins College at Roanoke, Va., teaches a writing class at West Virginia University and received a Fellowship for the Arts in Creative Writing from the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. The fellowship was for the book in its early stages.
Her fiction and poetry have been published in the “Gettysburg Review,” “Kestrel” and “Quarter After Eight,” among others.
“Goshen Road” was published by Swallow Press, part of Ohio University Press. It has received favorable reviews, including in the “Booklist” published by the American Library Association, she said.
Proudfoot moved to this area in 1979 and has taught for many years at Hocking College at Nelsonville.
She also is a stained glass artist, having started as an apprentice in 1977. Proudfoot has taught the art in numerous venues, including the Parkersburg Art Center, and her work has been displayed at galleries and at Cedar Lakes, Harpers Ferry and Tamarack.
Proudfoot is a member of the Riverside Artists Gallery in Marietta and the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.
“Goshen Road,” 225 pages, is $19.95 and will be available at Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon and Good Reads. An electronic version is available for Kindle and Nook and the book will be sold at the Little Professor Book Center in Athens.
The reading in Parkersburg, which is free and open to the public, is the first book-related event for “Goshen Road,” Proudfoot said.
“In a way it’s like the book launch,” she said.
Another event will be held in April at the Riverside Artists Gallery in Marietta, Proudfoot said.
Jess Mancini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.