Area Writer Reads Oct. 31 from New Book for OPWC

Jacket art of "River and the Lost" by Zan JarvisLongtime Northwest Arkansas writer Zan Jarvis will read from her novel, published just weeks ago, Tuesday, Oct. 31, for the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective at Nightbird Books.

The book, River and the Lost, was published in early September by Wild Rose Press. It is available at Nightbird, 205 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville, other bookstores and online.

The collective, founded in 1994, is a “forum for creators who work in words.” Its public program — the last Tuesday evening of every month, skipping December — headlines a poet or fiction writer but also features songwriters and scribes of nonfiction and memoir.

The audience itself is invited to the lectern. Each program always has one or two open mike sessions. Writers sign in and their names drawn at random. The limit is 4 minutes per speaker, who may perform original work or that of others.

The program begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited to this free event; donations are welcome. While open to all ages, language and topics can be adult.

Jarvis has written news, sports and features for the Arkansas Democrat, Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Radio Network, as well as advertising and promotions for print and broadcast. And fiction. River and the Lost is her first published novel.

River isn’t a geographic term here but the first name of the story’s protagonist. The publisher’s summary of its plot reads:

Lost treasure is the last thing fourteen-year-old River Ereckson expects to hear about when she visits a powwow to explore the traditions of her American Indian ancestors.Yet when a fur-clad stranger says she must recover what’s lost, the task soon becomes an unavoidable mission.

Her precarious journey takes her into the Spirit world where she confronts the absolute evil of Vega who wants to drop the treasure into the bottomless Well of Sorrow. It’s up to River to retrieve what’s been lost so everything female in Creation—human, animal, and plant—can become fully empowered. Along the way she finds help from a Mystery man, unusual creatures from the other world, and her own great-grandmothers who have transcended time.

Relying on intuition and improvisation, River accomplishes things she never imagined. But will it be enough to defeat her enemies?

Jarvis long has been an open-mike participant at the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective. Her reading assuredly will have wit and warmth.