Events in Wyoming and Denver celebrate author Darla Worden’s acclaimed book
Denver, Colorado – August 12, 2022 – Nearly a century ago, in 1928, Ernest Hemingway arrived in Sheridan, Wyoming, in search of a quiet place to finish writing A Farewell to Arms. That visit – the opener to Darla Worden’s book Cockeyed Happy: Ernest Hemingway’s Wyoming Summers with Pauline (Chicago Review Press) – recently brought the town into the spotlight with Sheridan College as the opening venue for the 19th Biennial Hemingway Society Conference. While past conferences have been held in cosmopolitan locales from Paris to Pamplona, recent research on Hemingway’s important ties to the American West – including Worden’s book – brought the event to the state with speaking invitations for Worden at the conference and, several weeks later, in Denver.
Leading up to the conference, Worden was interviewed on the Hemingway Society’s “One True Podcast,” discussing Hemingway’s time in Wyoming with host Mark Cirino. The two talked about her journey to writing Cockeyed Happy, Hemingway’s love for the Wyoming mountain-man lifestyle and the eventual demise of his marriage to second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, whom Darla has called his “invisible wife” and gives a major role and point of view in her book as she follows the arc of the couple’s marriage over the six summers they spent in Wyoming – honoring Pauline’s often overlooked important role in Hemingway’s life and work.
Worden gave a reading from Cockeyed Happy and a Q&A session on the conference’s opening day. “I enjoyed meeting with the scholars and enthusiasts at the Hemingway Society Conference and sharing the little-known details of a special time and place in Hemingway’s life – from the perspective of a Wyoming native,” says Worden, who grew up in Sheridan. Following that event for Hemingway Society members, she welcomed a broader audience with a fun, open-to-the-public happy hour hosted by Sheridan College’s Kooi Library. Worden gave the library’s packed crowd a “Frenemies” talk about the surprising relationship that developed between Ernest Hemingway’s first and second wives, Hadley and Pauline, and introduced Montana artist Tyrel Johnson, who unveiled his just-completed sculpture, “Santiago’s Plight,” based on the famous Hemingway novella The Old Man and the Sea.
Several weeks later, Worden and Johnson joined forces again, with live music, food and drinks, for a Hemingway-inspired salon at the Integral Thread showroom at the Denver Design Center, hosted by Integral Thread and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine. People really responded to the idea of a European-style salon, says Worden. “It was so much fun. I think post-pandemic, everyone is hungry for cultural gatherings and the opportunity to dig into a subject with a like-minded group. The questions people asked about Cockeyed Happy were truly insightful,” she says.
Wyoming native Darla Worden lives in Denver, Colorado, where she is editor in chief of Mountain Living and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazines. Worden also is founder and director of the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris and a journalist known for articles about art, architecture, travel and the West. Her quest to uncover the story of Hemingway’s time in Wyoming was first sparked when she learned the author had spent a summer in her hometown of Sheridan and nearby Big Horn, Wyoming. For additional information about Cockeyed Happy and related book events, visit darlaworden.com or follow @authordarlaworden on Facebook and @darlaworden on Instagram.
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