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Old West New 9/15/2010
full name / name of organization:
The editor of 30-40 Years West of Here: Stories from the Sub-Rural West invites contributions for a collection of creative nonfiction essays that explores the implications of living in that often overlooked space/time specific to the West of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. Partly the result of demographic patterns tied to economic booms and busts, these oddly anachronistic and often isolated neighborhoods sprung up in areas somewhat removed from the nearest towns and adjacent to and/or surrounded by woods, farms, foothills, rivers, and streams. Not part of the Old West or the New, this time/space presented those who lived, worked and played in those eras/areas of the sub-rural West with historically unique and significant experiences.
To be sure, vestiges of this particular “West” remain visible—though somewhat hidden in many cases—in cities such as Salt Lake, Boise, Boulder, Spokane, Yakima, Denver, Reno, Rapid City, and Bozeman (and, some would suggest, the formerly sub-rural suburbs of Midwestern cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul). Where new, carefully planned suburbs packed with earth-tone houses and manicured lawns have filled in the open areas that once separated the relatively small, scattered neighborhoods and isolated, single streets, one can still find split-level houses, half-acre yards, solitary horses, and the inevitable detritus that accrues over time in big yards near small garages.
Eliding categories such as “Old West” and “New West,” these “neighborhood” are seldom studied critically or recaptured creatively, which is where you come in. This proposed collection calls for essays from various critical and creative vantage points that return readers to this time/space and thus shed light on its lasting significance.
Essays may consider and explore, but need not be limited to, these topics:
• The mix of old and new, urban and rural/wild
If you are interested, please send a 250-300 word abstract to Colin Irvine at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2010. In the subject line, please write “Old West New West.”