In addition to writing songs for Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Trisha Yearwood and Roberta Flack, to name a few, Henry has led a colorful life: He's worked as a rancher and a professional boxer, and he got an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he studied under Kurt Vonnegut.
For years he's been writing poetry celebrating the natural splendor of the American West, and he's won awards from the National Wildlife Federation and others for his conservation efforts. He's just released his first novel, Lime Creek. According to the press release, it's "a lyrical series of pictures, verses about a family living on a horse farm in rural Wyoming."
Renowned Hollywood actor Anthony Zerbe (Omega Man, Cool Hand Luke, Papillon, Rooster Cogburn, The Matrix Reloaded ... the list goes on and on) is a friend of Henry's, and Zerbe has created a stage performance based on scenes from the book called A Lime Creek Christmas. Zerbe will join Henry at Nashville Public Library tonight, and will read from Henry's book. This should be one of the most exciting Salon@615 events of the year — and that says a lot.
The reading is at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the downtown library auditorium. The full press release, below:
As part of its Salon @ 615 series, the Nashville Public Library will host a reading of “Lime Creek,” the debut novel by noted songwriter Joe Henry, on Wednesday, September 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the downtown library on 615 Church Street.
Joe Henry earned his MFA at the Iowa Writer's Program. Kurt Vonnegut was one of his teachers there, and novelist John Irving was a classmate. Prior to his study there, Henry had been a laborer, rancher and professional boxer, but Henry has had his greatest success as a songwriter with recordings by singers including Frank Sinatra, John Denver (who became a good friend), Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris and Roberta Flack.
He began writing songs in 1969 while living in New York City, working in construction and training as a professional boxer. Soon after, he began writing poetry about Colorado, Wyoming and Lime Creek, winning awards from the National Wildlife Federation and others for his conservation efforts in the West and for "the celebration of the natural world in his work." The work was read and performed in various venues for years before Henry decided to collect the various scenes in a single volume.
His debut novel, Lime Creek, is a lyrical series of pictures, verses about a family living on a horse farm in rural Wyoming. Scenes from the book have been performed by Henry's friend, actor Anthony Zerbe, in a stage performance titled Lime Creek Christmas. Recently, Zerbe kicked off the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s 35th annual Summer Words Literary Festival with a special reading from Lime Creek. This stirring performance will be repeated at the Nashville downtown Library on September 28.
Over a span of more than four decades, Zerbe has appeared in more than 50 feature films (Cool Hand Luke, Papillon, Attica, George Washington, Rooster Cogburn, the Matrix series, many more), in addition to TV shows from “Gunsmoke” and “Hawaii Five-O” to “Frasier” and “Chasing Amy.” He won an Emmy in 1976 for his ongoing supporting role in the series Harry O. His Broadway appearances include The Little Foxes, Terra Nova, Solomon’s Child and Moon Besieged. For five seasons, he was in residence at The Old Globe Theatre where his roles included Coriolanus, Iago, Richard, III and Macbeth. He also played Iago in the Mark Taper Forum production of Othello with James Earl Jones.
For more information about the event, please contact Elyse Adler at 615-862-5800. For more information about Joe Henry or Anthony Zerbe, please contact Whitney Daane at 321-8585.