POCATELLO — Opening night of the 26th annual Rocky Mountain Writers’ Festival will be March 30 at 7 p.m. at the Portneuf Valley Brewing, 615 S. First Ave. Among performers are several writers, one band and a solo musician. The line-up is as follows:
• Kathleen King earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and taught creative writing and literature for many years at Idaho State University. Over the years, many of her poems, stories, essays, professional papers and a novel have been published. She has also edited and published many literary magazines.
• Jackie Johnson Maughan will read from her novel “The Great Bear,” a murder mystery about two Yellowstone grizzly bears and a group of international poachers.
• Anne Merkley is a well-known writer and fine artist. Her artwork has received national and regional recognition and her emphasis is in portraits and figures in oil and pastels. Her poetry and essays cover a wide, eclectic range of topics and styles. She also has produced several books, and under the umbrella of her own company, Knight-Bond Publishing, she has written, edited, illustrated and designed volumes of poetry, history and art. She is a regular at the Rocky Mountain Writers Festival. She will read from her latest release, “Book of Sayings.”
Merkley has a minor in English and taught English and writing in high school and community programs. She was a judge for the Young Authors Conference, prepared a unit on writing as a part of art therapy and received a National Endowment for the Humanities Graduation Travel Grant while at ISU for her writing.
• Original music with Walther’s Wallpaper, a local band led by a brother and sister duo.
• Ralph Maughan, a retired ISU professor of political science and columnist for the Idaho State Journal, will read one of his essays about cultural and scientific curiosities.
• Krishna Strong, in addition to being the mistress of ceremonies, will read from her just completed full-length nonfiction book “Dakota: The Lady Was Lynx.”
• Dr. Angier Wills, an accomplished acoustic guitarist and storyteller, will share his original compositions, anecdotes, and tall tales. Dr. Wills is a highly regarded hand and facial plastic surgeon.
The festival continues April 1 and 2 at the Old Town Ice Cream Shop, corner of Main and Center, as well as at Porteuf Valley Brewing. The presentations will start at 7 p.m., and the event is open to the public.
Writer Leslie Leek and songwriter Bob “Father” Forrest will headline on April 2. Leek has published two books of short stories on horses and sagebrush, “Heart of a Western Woman and “Unsettled Territory.” Forrest has delighted audiences with his music for 40 years.
Also in town will be poets from Treasure Valley — Dana Forgione, Marshall Harris, Griffin Birdsong, Nic Darlington, Alex Yann and Dig Reeder, director of Death Rattle Writers Festival. Also reading will be Paris Butler, a graduate of the Institute of Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Will Peterson will read from his new chapbook, “Idaho Out There” and a mystery reader or two.