North Coast Writers welcome Kelly, Horrocks

North Coast Writers sponsors a duo of deceptively demure gray-haired ladies, together for the next reading in the monthly series.

On Tuesday, May 7, Port Angeles writers Elizabeth Kelly and Laura Horrocks offer a poetry session filled with widely traveled life experiences, revelations and appreciation of the Olympic Peninsula. The free public reading at Wine on the Waterfront, at The Landing, 115 E. Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles, begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for advance purchase of beverages and other menu items.

After 22 years growing up in Kelso, Kelly moved to San Diego, Calif., and stayed for over 30 years, broken by a four-year sojourn to Saudi Arabia, and two years in Mobile, Ala., and Colorado Springs, Colo. Becoming “tired of the freeway traffic in San Diego,” she moved to Alta, Wyo., a small community 30 miles from Jackson Hole, to build a log home. While in Wyoming, Elizabeth was accepted for employment in Antarctica and spent 10 months at McMurdo Station working as a clerk typist. In her time there she also rewrote her first novel, taught piano and sang in three small chorale groups.

Kelly obtained her education in music and writing from Lower Columbia College in Longview, San Diego City College and Grossmont College in San Diego, with graduate courses at San Diego State University. She continued her training through classes at Peninsula College after moving to Port Angeles in 1999.

Her credentials include writing for four newspapers, currently providing freelance features for the Sequim Gazette. She has published short stories and poems, and has two unpublished fiction manuscripts placed with an agent, "A New Butterfly" and "Woman in the Fog." She writes “poetry every day with few exceptions.”

The well-traveled Kelly says, “I have been to all seven continents and many countries including India, Russia, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada’s Maritime Provinces, Mexico, the Lesser Antilles, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Turkey, Norway, Australia, China, and most recently Vietnam and Cambodia."

Kelly has sung in several choirs, including performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Robert Shaw with the San Diego Master Chorale. She also sang with the Wyoming State Chorale, participating in a Carnegie Hall performance of Brahms’ German Requiem.

She lists a variety of "day jobs," including administrative positions for a paper mill, real estate, construction, wholesale meat and public relations companies. She worked for the U.S. Navy; was legislative secretary for a California state senator; and director of personnel for a ski resort. Her extended family remains her most important focus.

Horrocks, both painter and poet, states, “The summer of 1940, when I was seven, my father received a $50 bonus from his employer in Seattle. He loaded his Ford V-8 with two adults, four children, the family dog, blankets, pots, pans and food. We aimed the crowded car west toward the Olympic Peninsula and fell in love with nature.”

Horrocks is inspired in both her writing and artwork by her memories of “sleeping on hay at Lake Crescent, swimming in Olympic Hot Springs and a great forest fire near Lake Quinault, fishing, beach-walking barefoot on warm sand while collecting shells.”

As a transplant from Seattle where she was born, Horrocks was schooled, married, and raised her family on the Olympic Peninsula. She and her husband, now deceased, hiked the trails in the Olympics with their four children and friends. She has lived in Port Angeles for 22 years. The mountains and water offer inspiration for Horrock’s art interests, which include watercolor, collage and poetry. She lives in a house that she and her husband rebuilt, with an expansive view of both the strait and the Olympic Mountains.

For more information about the North Coast Writers series events, contact spokesman Mary-Alice Boulter at 457-6410.