Patricia Cooper-Smith


Patricia Cooper-Smith is an accidental advocate for Nevada literature. She was transformed from a card-carrying Jane Austen groupie into a Nevada “sense of place” cheerleader after working with Cheryll Glotfelty, the editor of Literary Nevada: Writings from the Silver State. Cooper-Smith is a thirty-plus year northern Nevada resident, editor, teacher, and freelance writer. She holds an MA in English from the University of Nevada Reno, is adjunct faculty at Western Nevada College, Carson City, and an explorer of deserts, mountains, and words.

Photo credit: Doug Deacy



Taking Literary Nevada: Writings from the Silver State (Cheryll Glotfelty, editor) as its starting point, Patricia Cooper-Smith uses stories and writings about Nevada to propel fresh conversation about the state’s unique history, environment, and culture. Topics covered in this presentation, which is richly supplemented by visual materials, include Native American legends, the dreams of explorers and immigrants, the lust of Comstock pioneers, the rawness of the mining frontier, the grit and humor of cowboy poets, the reflections of travellers, the glitter of Vegas neon, the rise of Reno, the dystopian atomic era, the wildness of Nevada, and – by no means least - the edgy word artists spread throughout the state who have written it all down. Attendees hear voices of beaver hunters, government surveyors, honkytonk miners, cowboy poets, neon barmaids, prostitutes, atomic veterans, and Native American activists. Voices from the past blend with those of the present to create a word song to this clear and dry place we call home.

Note: This presentation can be tailored to meet specific interests of your organization; please discuss with Presenter.

Appropriate Audience:  Adults; can be tailored to high- and middle-school students.

Duration: Approximately 1 ¼ hour

Presenter Requirements: 

  • Means for screening PowerPoint presentation

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Nevada, literature