Stoddard Co. native to give book reading at Southeast

Friday, November 4, 2005

Rose Marie Kinder hasn't been a resident of Southeast Missouri since 1967. But that doesn't mean her home region has left her heart.

Kinder, who retired as a writing teacher from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, has continued to write stories using the vernacular and culture of the Bootheel, especially Stoddard County. On Monday she'll read from a collection of her short stories, "A Near-Perfect Gift," in Glenn Auditorium at 7 p.m.

The stories are about life in a rural region based on Southeast Missouri and the people who live in a fictional town called Buxton, a combination of towns like Bloomfield, Advance and Dexter.

Kinder grew up in Bloomfield, and graduated from high school there in 1959.

"Small towns have people who deal with large matters in very unique ways," said Kinder of her characters. "They're a proud people and a strong people, and I love the Bootheel language."

The Southeast Missouri dialect takes center stage in Kinder's stories. She uses the country metaphors and inflections Southeast Missouri residents hear every day.

Dr. Susan Swartwout, director of the Southeast Missouri State University Press, said Kinder's local flavor in writing should appeal to locals' familiarity with life in Southeast Missouri.

"She has the voice, she has the descriptions of the landscapes, even the attitudes and the sort of natural ethics of the Southeast Missouri area," Swartwout said.

The well-crafted plots in Kinder's stories are compelling, Swartwout said. In a time when much short fiction is experimental and leaves the reader asking questions, Kinder's more traditional storytelling is refreshing, she said.

Kinder's storycraft was good enough to win her the 1991 Willa Cather Award for her first collection, "Sweet Angel Band."

In addition to writing, Kinder also promotes Missouri authors through her work with two small presses, Cave Hollow and Sweetgum, and by posting a variety of writings by Missouri residents on the Sweetgum Web site.

Swartwout said Monday's event will simply be a reading, but the author will likely talk about her small press experience and other topics on an episode of KRCU's "Going Public" to air at 3 p.m. Nov. 13.

335-6611, extension 182

Want to go?

* What: Book reading by author Rose Marie Kinder

* When: 7 p.m. Monday

* Where: Glenn Auditorium, Southeast Missouri State University

* Info: 651-2641

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