Poe Ballantine is a successful writer who knows what it’s like to fail. He spent the better part of his twenties, thirties and forties tramping around the country, taking odd jobs, living on $400 a month and failing spectacularly.
Despite his failures, or possibly because of them, he has found ways to succeed. He is the author of two collections of essays – Things I like About America and 501 Minutes to Christ. He also has written two novels – God Clobbers Us All and Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire.
His work has appeared in the Sun, The Atlantic Monthly Online, Kenyon Review, Coal City Review, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Essays. He also is the subject of a recent documentary film, Poe Ballantine: Writer in America. His most recent book, Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, explores the mysterious disappearance and death of Chadron State College math professor Steven Haataja.
Ballantine has been called “The Voice of The People” and “King of the Personal Essay.” He has also been compared to the famous writers Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski.
There are three events associated with Ballantine’s upcoming visit. At 7 p.m. Monday, April 9, Ballantine will present a reading at the Recovery Community Center at 512 E. Lincolnway.
He also will conduct a writing workshop from 1-3 p.m. and a public reading and book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Union Pacific Centennial Room in Laramie County Community College’s Center for Conferences and Institutes.