This is Diane Goff's introduction of Ann at the Goner book launch party in Blacksburg, VA.
We are here to celebrate Ann’s new book, Goner. We are gathered to celebrate Ann as a writer. But as life informs art and art informs life, I’d like to mention a few more things about Ann.
Ann is a mover and a shaker. Wherever Ann goes, change follows - Ann was the seminal person who created the New School, which is still alive and going strong, she wrote and directed many plays for young people here in the New River Valley and the kids from those plays still visit Ann when they come back to Blacksburg. The The New River Cleanup, Renew the New, was Ann’s idea and she has helped to transform many lives in Giles County with her inspiration and collaboration in so many different venues that she was named Outstanding Volunteer of her region.
Ann is the hostess with the most-ess. She and Rick consistently provide a lovely gathering place for groups as diverse as political meetings to family birthday river picnics.
Ann is a nature lover. You only have to read her book of poems, River Bow, to feel her deep appreciation and keen observation of nature.
Ann is a writer. Ann and I became friends while collaborating many years ago – my photographs illustrating one of her short stories. Since then we have been in a longtime and multi-layered collaboration of art forms including the group of friends and artists we have performed with over the years, Web Six, aka Loose Threads. Ann’s first book, Midnight Lemonade, came out to strong reviews and was a finalist for Barnes & Noble Discovery Prize. Her play, Coming of Age, was made into a film, she wrote the libretto for an opera performed by Opera Roanoke. Her work has been included in many literary magazines and journals and now, just when she had declared her writing life put out to pasture, here comes Goner. Looking at Ann’s life I’d say this is Karma coming around in this lifetime.