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What’s the word?

Charles Entrekin’s life was hectic when he simultaneously held several positions in the Bay Area from the 1970s through the 1990s.

Entrekin was founder and director of three computer companies, managing editor and president of the Berkeley Poets Workshop and Press for 10 years, and founder and president of Berkeley Poets Cooperative, a literary magazine published for 19 years.

“It was hard balancing all the jobs, but necessary to keep my schizophrenic personality balanced,” Entrekin joked.



The vibrant California arts scene enticed him to leave Alabama in 1969. “I came to California because of what was happening with the poetry movement and culture of writing in the Bay Area,” he said.

When Entrekin and his wife, Gail, moved here eight years ago, they were drawn to Literature Alive, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and literature in Nevada County. The Entrekins joined the board of directors, and he became the organization’s president for about five years. The two also contributed a significant amount of money to keep the organization staffed.




“Gail and I both believe literature and arts is the soul of a culture. We want to keep it alive,” he said.

“In spite of the down economy and in spite of the turbulent times, we’re still managing to successfully put on our programs,” Entrekin added.

Those programs include the annual fall Wordslingers Festival and the annual “Listening to the Wild” reading in April.

Saturday’s seventh annual Wordslingers Festival focuses on mysteries and the mysterious at Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City.

The festival kicks off with a two-hour panel discussion led by novelist-teacher Karen Joy Fowler at 2 p.m. Award-winning mystery novelists John Straley from Sitka, Alaska, and Ayelet Waldman, Cara Black and Alfredo VEa from the Bay Area are the panelists.

During the “Whispered Tales – Family Mysteries” presentation from 4 to 5 p.m., actor-director Gary Wright (a familiar face to Foothill Theatre Company audiences) will encourage audience members to share family mysteries that have become legends.

Wordslingers concludes with each of the mystery novelists reading for a half hour each starting at 7:30 p.m. Wright will emcee this reading, which should last until 10 p.m.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Wordslingers 2002

WHEN: 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City

ADMISSION: $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets at Harmony Books, The Book Seller and Odyssey Books

INFORMATION: 272-5812


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