Nevada Humanities Salon: Writing About Place

Friday, March 15, 2019
6:00-7:30 pm at Sundance Books and Music
121 California Avenue, Reno

How do we make meaning out of the places we inhabit? Join Nevada Humanities for The Salon: Writing About Place where we will explore the history of writing about the West through the work of two authors, Nevada native Frank Bergon and novelist David Means. Moderated by Sarah Keyes, assistant professor in History at the University of Nevada, Reno, these writers will discuss the history and environment of the West and Midwest, as well as how regional stories have been told and retold over time.

The bi-monthly Salon series features a panel discussion with topics relevant to the humanities in Nevada and includes audience discussion and light refreshments.

Guest panelists will include:


Frank Bergon was born in Ely, Nevada and grew up on a ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley. His writings focus on the history and environment of the American West, including Basques of his own heritage. His Nevada trilogy consists of three novels spanning a century from the Shoshone massacre of 1911 to the ongoing battle over nuclear waste in the Nevada desert. His edited nonfiction includes Looking Far West: The Search for the American West in History, Myth, and Literature and the Penguin Classics edition of The Journals of Lewis and Clark. He is a member of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. His eleventh book Two-Buck Chuck & The Marlboro Man: The New Old West, published March 2019, presents intimate portraits of California’s San Joaquin Valley, including his friends the legendary vintner Fred Franzia, creator of the best-selling wine in history, and Darrell Winfield, the real-life Marlboro Man for over thirty years. 

Means cover.jpg

David Means is a writer based in Nyack, New York. His stories are frequently set in the Midwest, the Rust Belt, or along the Hudson River in New York. Means' second collection of stories, Assorted Fire Events, earned the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, and his third, The Secret Goldfish, was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. His fourth, The Spot, was selected as a 2010 Notable Book by the New York Times. His first novel, Hystopia, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Means's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Esquire, among other publications.


Sarah Keyes is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a historian of the US West who is interested in how people make meaning out of their interactions with new places and new cultures. She has published work on the experience of sound and cholera on the Overland Trail. Her first book, Death’s Purchase: The Legacy of the Overland Trail, (currently being revised) analyzes how the dead became the most important emigrants who traveled the trail.

ArchiveMaren Rush