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High Plains Library District Announces 2018 Writer in Residence

(Greeley– May, 2018) – Libraries have become extraordinary places for community engagement; a place to connect, learn, gather and flourish.

High Plains Library District (HPLD) and the High Plains Library District Foundation are deeply committed to supporting local creatives by becoming a community incubator. Now in its third year, the Writer in Residence program will again help foster the literary talents and aspirations of a local writer.

Julia McSherry was selected by a volunteer panel to serve as the District’s third Writer In Residence. McSherry is a freelance writer based in Greeley, originally from Louisiana. She makes her home on a small acreage with her two dogs, two horses, two barn cats and a flock of free range hens.  She loves to cook and is passionate about slow food and fast (fresh) ingredients. An avid gardener, she was a Colorado Master Gardener, Weld County, for five years.

The book she will be working on during her residency is a combination memoir/cookbook, titled Catch and Devour, about her relocation from New Orleans to Greeley after Hurricane Katrina. She loves the West and hopes to capture some of the charm afforded by the unique agriculture, high plains and mountain landscape of northern Colorado. The narrative before and after recipes will tell stories related to cooking, farm life, sustainability, healthy growing and eating and slow rather than fast food. Excerpts of the book will be published online through a blog and eventually in print.

“Where I grew up in central Louisiana and then lived for decades in the New Orleans swampland, hunting and fishing was a way of life. With that, so was cooking game and fish,” says McSherry. “Colorado has a similar history of living off the land, whether it’s through raising cattle, growing crops as a farmer or vegetables as a backyard gardener. Cooking and recipes are part of the stories of our lives. Who doesn’t remember their mother’s gumbo (in my case), their grandmother’s biscuits, or a favorite aunt’s chocolate chip cookies? Food and cooking conjure stories,” McSherry stresses.

“The High Plains Library District Writer in Residence Program is a wonderful symbiosis,” McSherry emphasizes. The residency provides an opportunity for writers to have time to write while also contributing to the community through library programs and events.

The goal of the Writer in Residence program is to support the creative process of one Weld County writer during a six-month time-period so they may complete a manuscript with the intent to publish. The program is part of the District’s vision to serve as an incubator for the arts and further the mission of connecting communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life.

The Writer in Residence program was established by the High Plains Library District Foundation, and is funded by community donors. The HPLD Foundation will continue to build capacity for the Writer in Residence by annually soliciting individual donations to directly support the program.

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The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson and Fort Lupton.