Spring Conference 2018 – Information

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Evergreen, Colorado

Center for the Arts Evergreen in Evergreen, Colorado


The Spring Conference (Spring Meeting) is open to current ABA and MPIBA member booksellers.


Hosted by:

American Booksellers Association
Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association
HearthFire Books & Treats
Sponsoring Publishers

You are cordially invited to attend the Spring Conference in Evergreen, Colorado, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

This conference offers booksellers an opportunity to gather in an intimate setting and delve into the current topics in our industry. It also provides a forum to discuss the tools available to us, if they are working, who is succeeding with them and why, and mostly educate, learn from, and enjoy the company of fellow booksellers.

All events, including the MPIBA Author Reception, will be held at Center for the Arts Evergreen, located at 31880 Rocky Village Drive in Evergreen, Colorado 80439. The Author Reception will feature authors you’ll be excited to see and hear … please take a look below for photos, author bios, and book descriptions.

Designed for booksellers, the Spring Conference is open to current ABA and MPIBA member booksellers.


Click here to register online.

Complete the online form for your bookstore, including lunch selections for each bookseller attendee.



Comfort Suites Golden West room reservations.

Call the hotel to make your room reservation. When calling, mention “Mountains & Plains Spring Conference 2018” for the special rate starting at $115 per night: (303) 526-2000.

Comfort Suites Golden West on Evergreen Parkway
29300 U.S. Highway 40
Evergreen, CO 80439

The hotel features a free breakfast buffet, free WiFi, and free parking.




All events below take place at Center for the Arts:
31880 Rocky Village Drive
Evergreen, Colorado 80439



ABA Programming

10:00am – 12:00 noon
Interactive Discussion Session:
“A Year of Bookstore Profitability”
Morning coffee service provided.

12:00 noon – 1:30pm
Booksellers Open Forum
Lunch provided.

The ABA Booksellers Forum provides members with the opportunity to share ideas, examine industry issues, and receive updates on various association projects.

In addition to the usual open forum discussions on topics of concern to booksellers, the American Booksellers Association’s Spring Forum will feature an educational session focusing on the issues independent booksellers face in staying profitable.

The education portion, “A Year of Bookstore Profitability,” to be led by ABA, will present a year-long calendar of effective steps that bookstores can implement — as well as key cost-saving programs — to boost sales and improve the bottom line. This session is applicable to all bookstore employees, and booksellers will be invited to join the conversation and share the initiatives they use to improve profitability each quarter.

ABA’s Spring Forum is presented in conjunction with MPIBA, and booksellers will have the opportunity during the open forum segment to discuss any of their concerns related to ABA, the book industry in general, and other issues. The spring forum discussions are a critically important vehicle for ABA to gather feedback from members, and all are encouraged to come prepared to discuss their concerns.






MPIBA Events

1:45pm – 3:00pm
MPIBA Programming

MPIBA board and staff will lead an open discussion regarding the Fall Discovery Show and other programs, so please come prepared with your ideas and suggestions.

3:00pm – 4:00pm
MPIBA Advisory Council Meeting

For current MPIBA Advisory Council Members.


3:00pm – 4:00pm
Visit member bookstore HearthFire Books & Treats, and enjoy the surrounding area and local businesses.


1254 Bergen Parkway
Suite D118
Bergen Village Shopping Center
Evergreen, Colorado



4:30pm – 6:30pm

MPIBA Author Reception at HearthFire Books & Treats


Karen Auvinen

Forty Seasons of Mountain Living
Simon & Schuster/Scribner

Karen Auvinen is a poet, mountain woman, lifelong westerner, and writer. Her body of work, which examines what it means to live deeply and voluptuously, has appeared in The New York Times as well as numerous literary journals.

A former Artist-in-Residence for the State of Colorado, Karen is the winner of two Academy of American Poets awards and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in fiction.

She earned her M.A. in poetry from the University of Colorado-Boulder, under the mentorship of Lucia Berlin, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in fiction writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, she teaches film and popular culture at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

A stunning, inspirational memoir from an award-winning poet who ventures into the wilderness to seek answers to life’s big questions and finds her way back after losing everything she thought she needed.

During a difficult time, Karen Auvinen flees to a primitive cabin in the Rockies to live in solitude as a writer and to embrace all the beauty and brutality nature has to offer. When a fire incinerates every word she has ever written and all of her possessions—except for her beloved dog Elvis, her truck, and a few singed artifacts—Karen embarks on a heroic journey to reconcile her desire to be alone with her need for community. This evocative, rich, and compulsively readable memoir is as much an inward as it is an outward pilgrimage. Her pursuit of solace and salvation by shedding trivial ties and living in close harmony with nature, along with her account of finding community and love, is sure to resonate with all of us who long for meaning and deeper connection.

ROUGH BEAUTY is a luminous, lyric exploration of and homage to her forty seasons in the mountains, embracing the unpredictability and grace of living intimately with the forces of nature while making peace with her own wildness.


John Branch

A Pioneer Family in the New West
W.W. Norton & Company

Photo courtesy
Catherine Branch

John Branch is a reporter for the New York Times. His feature article about an avalanche in Washington State, “Snow Fall,” won the Pulitzer Prize; he has been featured three times in The Best American Sports Writing; and his first book, BOY ON ICE, won the PEN/ESPN Prize for Literary Sports Writing. He lives near San Francisco. A gripping portrait of one family’s gamble that rodeo and ranching are the future of the West—and not just its past.

For generations, the Wrights of southern Utah have raised cattle and world-champion saddle-bronc riders—some call them the most successful rodeo family in history. Now Bill and Evelyn Wright, parents to 13 children and grandparents to many more, find themselves struggling to hang on to the majestic landscape where they’ve been running cattle for 150 years as the West is transformed by urbanization, battered by drought, and rearranged by public-land disputes. Could rodeo, of all things, be the answer?

In a powerful follow-up to his prize-winning, best-selling first book, New York Times reporter John Branch delivers an epic and intimate family story deep in the American grain. Written with great lyricism and filled with vivid scenes of ranch life and the high drama of saddle-bronc competition, THE LAST COWBOYS chronicles three years in the life of the Wrights, each culminating in rodeo’s National Finals in Las Vegas.

Will Bill and Evelyn be able to hold the family together as rodeo injuries pile up and one of their sons goes off on a religious mission? Will their son Cody, a two-time world champion, make it to the finals one last time—and compete with his own son? And will the younger generation—Rusty, Ryder, Stetson, and the rest—be able to continue the family’s ways in the future?


Kirk W. Johnson

Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
Penguin Random House/Viking

Kirk W. Johnson is the author of TO BE A FRIEND IS FATAL and the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the American Academy in Berlin, and the USC Annenberg Center. A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief.

What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.


Maxim Loskutoff

W.W. Norton & Company

Photo courtesy
Vanessa Compton

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A graduate of New York University’s MFA program, Maxim Loskutoff was the recipient of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Global Writing Fellowship in Abu Dhabi, and the M Literary Fellowship in Bangalore. He lives in western Montana. This searing debut reimagines the American West through linked stories describing a violent rural separatist movement … a work both timely and timeless.

Set in the Redoubt, an isolated triangle of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming where an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge escalates into a separatist uprising, these stories explore the loneliness, insecurity, and frustration inherent to love and heartbreak.

A lakeside wedding drunkenly devolves into a cruel charade; an unemployed carpenter joins a militia after his wife leaves him; and a former soldier raises the daughter of a dead comrade in a bunker beneath an abandoned farm. Come West and See explores divisions both personal and political, offering startling insights into the wounds of the American people and a powerful new vision of the West.

“A ferocious love letter to the forgotten and the scorned … unlike any book you’ll read this year.”
— Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood and Kaboom


Joanna Luloff

A Novel
Workman Publishing/Algonquin Books

Joanna Luloff is the author of the short story collection, The Beach at Galle Road, which won the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. Her stories have appeared in journals including The Missouri Review, Confrontation, Memorious, and New South, and her story “Let Them Ask” won The Missouri Review’s Editors’ Prize.

Joanna received her Ph.D. from The University of Missouri and her M.F.A. from Emerson College. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka. She joined the University of Colorado English Department after teaching at SUNY Potsdam. Her teaching and research interests include creative writing, transnational literature, and the history and theories of photography.

“There is a smudge where my memory is supposed to be.”

Claire wakes in a hospital room in the Florida Keys. She has no idea how she got there or why. The loss of so many memories is paralyzing. Some things she can piece together by looking at old photos saved by her husband, Charlie, and her best friend, Rachel, and by combing through boxes of letters and casual jottings. But she senses a mystery at the center of all these fragments of her past, a feeling that something is not complete. Is Charlie still her husband? Is Rachel still her friend?

Told from alternating points of view that pull the reader into the minds of the three characters, the story unfolds as the smudge that covers Claire’s memory is gradually, steadily wiped away, until finally she can understand the why and the how of her life. And then maybe she and Charlie and Rachel can move forward, but with their lives forever changed.

Debut novelist Joanna Luloff has written a moving and beautifully nuanced story of transience, the ebb and flow of time, and how relationships shift and are reconfigured by each day, hour, and minute.


Kathy Parks

HarperCollins Publishers/
Katherine Tegen Books

As a baby, Kathy Parks was thrown out with the bathwater. This experience shaped her life and art. She is the author of eight novels, including THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE, and also works as an advertising copywriter. She lives with her husband, Michael, in Boulder, Colorado. In this darkly funny, new contemporary YA novel from the author of THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE, girl meets boy … and the family holding her hostage.

Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her. So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolishly optimistic stepfather Dan’s claim—no, belief—that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there’s no question that she’s going to fly across the world. After all, it is the trip of a lifetime.

But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, nothing—not the flirtatious guide or her stepdad’s obsessively detailed preparations—can protect Adrienne from the sheer force of nature. Now Adrienne’s being held captive by the family she was convinced didn’t exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about befriending them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.

Sharp and sensitive, this is a darkly funny novel about survival, the human condition, and the power to shape your own story.




Posted February 16, 2018