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An Evening With the 3 Rs

By Cheryl Joy Allman/Staff Writer
The Huntsville Item

From first-hand accounts of experiences in Texas' death chamber to new fiction from two acclaimed Texas writers, Huntsville residents will get a taste of the best the area can offer at a Thursday night reading at the Walker Education Center.

The Texas Review Press, an adjunct of the English department at Sam Houston State University, will host the reading as part of its annual fund-raising efforts. The program will feature works by SHSU professor and widely acclaimed Texas writer, Paul Ruffin; Huntsville Item publisher emeritus, the late Don Reid; and Texas teacher and writer Ron Rozelle.

Ruffin, editor and director of the Texas Review Press, said the event is an opportunity for the public to be exposed to some excellent writers while helping the Texas Review Press.

"We do it every year and we try to sell a few books," he said. "It's been very successful in the past. We need to raise money every way we can because we're a small budget press."

Ruffin will read from his latest collection of short stories, a Browder Springs Press publication called "Islands, Women, and God." Recently invited to participate as a featured author at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Ruffin is the author of four collections of poems, two collections of stories, and a forthcoming novel.

Half of the profits from sales of his book Thursday will go to the Texas Review Press.

Don Reid, an employee of The Huntsville Item for more than 40 years, witnessed and reported on Texas executions for the newspaper and the Associated Press from the mid-1930s to the 1960s. The account of his experiences, originally published in 1973 as a book entitled "Eyewitness," recently was re-released by the Texas Review Press as "Have A Seat Please."

Segments of Reid's book will be read by Dennis Longmire, professor in the College of Criminal Justice at SHSU, and Bill Bridges, chairman of the Department of English.

The book chronicles Reid's experiences as he witnesses 189 executions in Texas' infamous electric chair. It also tells of his evolution from a passive condoner of the death penalty to his militant objection to it.

Ron Rozelle, whose acclaimed memoir "Into That Good Night" and historical novel on Galveston's 1900 storm, "The Windows of Heaven," both were released by Texas Review Press in 2000, will be reading from his new novel just published by Texas Review Press, "A Place Apart."

Rozelle was a Barnes and Noble Houston-Area featured author in 2000 and also a featured writer at the 2000 Texas Book Festival in Austin. Rozelle lives in Lake Jackson, where he teaches high school English.

The readings will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, in the auditorium of the Walker Education Center on 19th Street. Books will be on sale in the atrium, and Ruffin and Rozelle will be available for autographing. All profits from book sales and all donations will go into the operating-capital fund of the Texas Review Press. Refreshments will be served.

There is no charge for this event, and the public is invited to attend. Donations will be appreciated.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Dec. 3, 2001
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