All ages are welcome at OPWC. The featured performance starts at 7:30 p.m. An open mic is a vital part of the evening. Each open mic performer gets up to four minutes to read original works or verse written by others. Our audiences famously encourage open mic readers. The main feature as well as the open mikers perform censorship free; strong language is sometimes used. After the guest reader, a hat is passed to provide the guest a small stipend and to help fund future readings. The collective has been honored with donation of a new book of poetry every month from the University of Arkansas Press — and the raffle is free! Often, featured readers offer their own books and chapbooks (and sometimes CDs and DVDs) for sale, autographed.
The Match featured speaker is Steve Yates reading from his newly released The Teeth of the Souls. Yates is the Juniper Prize-winning author of Some Kinds of Love: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press 2013) and of Morkan’s Quarry (Moon City Press 2010). A novella-length portion of The Teeth of the Souls appeared in the Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly. Two excerpts appeared in The Missouri Review and one in Elder Mountain Review. Yates is currently the Assistant Director / Marketing Director at the University Press of Mississippi.
Sequel to Morkan’s Quarry, The Teeth of the Souls tells the story of a marriage betrayed, a lifelong and secret love, and an Ozarks city riven by an Easter lynching.
The story begins just after the Civil War when Leighton Shea Morkan, son of Irish immigrants, chooses a marriage of land and convenience with Patricia Grünhaagen Weitzer, daughter of a German banking family. Yet his heart belongs to his childhood friend and wartime confidante, the house hand and former slave, Judith. Both unions produce children, one a shrouded secret, and one the heir to the Morkan fortune—the limestone quarries of Springfield, Missouri, and the bloody legacy of the past, what Judith calls “The Teeth of the Souls.”
Grounded in broad historical research and spanning Missouri’s reconstruction, vigilantism, and fall from grace, The Teeth of the Souls chronicles the violent melding of immigrant strains—Irish, German, Scots-Irish, and African-American—into the fabric of the Ozarks. As Leighton’s twentieth century begins, the rush of technology and the seeming advancement of humankind cannot mask old hatreds, greed, and lust for vengeance. Leighton’s answer to evil affirms the power of one man’s resistance, and the cost.