International Conference Spotlights “Cockeyed Happy,” Hemingway’s Wyoming

Events in Wyoming and Denver celebrate author Darla Worden’s acclaimed book

Author Darla Worden and Ernest Hemingway shows off his fishing catch

Author Darla Worden, left, reads from “Cockeyed Happy.” Right, Hemingway shows off his catch in a photo from his time in Wyoming, subject of the 2022 Hemingway Society Conference.

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.

Hemingway with “Bunny” Thorne sitting on car and One True Podcast cover

Hemingway with “Bunny” Thorne, who would go on to marry his friend Bill Horne, at Folly Ranch near Sheridan in 1928. Darla Worden and Mark Cirino discuss the photo in her One True Podcast interview.

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.

Hemingway with soon-to-be second wife, Pauline, and first wife, Hadley and Darla Worden speaking at Hemingway Society Conference

Hemingway is flanked by soon-to-be second wife, Pauline, and first wife, Hadley in 1925 Spain; Worden talks to a packed Kooi Library about the wives’ relationship at the Hemingway Society Conference.

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.

Darla Worden and artist Tyrel Johnson and musicians preparing for performance

Darla Worden introduces Tyrel Johnson and his Hemingway-inspired sculpture at Integral Thread in Denver; the European salon-style event included live music, food and drink.

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.

Media Contacts: Anne McGregor Parsons, Word PR + Marketing, anne@wordprmarketing.com, 303.548.4611