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Lou Liberty Author and Poet

Pappy Shell & The Jenny Mule - By Lou Liberty
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Your Memoir, Your Family Story,
Your True Life Adventure

Creative Thinking & Writing Workshop

Only you can give this unique and special gift of words.



I practice mindfulness, writing, and taiko drumming in Albuquerque’s North Valley. For years, I led students through Dante's Hell and Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Co., Mississippi. I’ve also worked as a master storyteller.

Lou Liberty ~ Author and Poet

When I'm not writing, playing taiko, or on a contemplative walk, I let the dog out and I let the dog in. I also cater to the cat’s every whim. In what little time that is left in my workday, I marvel at the world.

Everyone and everything has a story. As a two time National Endowment for Humanities Fellow, I’ve had the privilege to research stories in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. Among my published works are novels, prose, poetry, essays and histories.

Most recently, I studied taiko with KODO, on Sado Island, Japan, having been selected for their KASA Mix program.


I have loved stories since birth because my grandmother poured them into my ears and therefore into my heart from the time I was born. She lived with us and we shared a room until her death when I was 13.

My grandmother was of Appalachian ancestry. She came by storytelling naturally. Had she lived in those mountains instead of south Texas, she would have been considered a “Grannie”, a wise woman and a keeper of lore.

So I learned about storytelling and from stories early in my life and have treasured them always. My becoming a storyteller has been a natural process, part of my essence. I know my love for literature is founded in my love for the stories I received as a child.

One of my favorite categories of stories are those told in families. These are the stories that are repeated at weddings, funerals, reunions, and other gatherings. These kinds of stories remain alive and evolve with each teller.

Ethel Shields

Family stories are perennial. Passing through the generations, each version has its individual slant and authenticity depending on the teller. More than anything, these kinds of stories have at their core a defining of identity, an answer to the eternal human question, “Who am I?”

Your Memoir, Your Family Story,
Your True Life Adventure

Creative Thinking & Writing

Only you can give this unique and special gift of words. 

Lou Liberty : Writing Worksop

Course Description

Participants will complete the first draft of their personal tale in the workshop. This work can be the first chapter of a longer work.

Course materials are included.

Course Schedule:

Session 1    Fri., 6:00 - 8:00 pm

  • Self and The Essence of Story
  • The End
Session 2    Sat., 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • First Things First
  • The Word, Rhythm, Pattern & Person
  • Making Connections
Session 3    Sun., 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Final Things, Publishing
  • The Anthology Coffeehouse

** Full refund for cancellations up to 5 days
     before the classes start. No refunds thereafter.

*** Location info will be emailed to you.


  • Lou is a trip and a treat and the best writing teacher I’ve ever had, period! — Patience Bloom, Author & Editor, Harper Collins
  • Lou understands writing and equally important, she understands publishing. Spend time with Lou whenever you can.  — Robert E. Vardeman, author of The Cenotaph Road series
  • Come prepared to think in new ways about writing, art, and being in the world. Lou’s encouraging words, kindness, and authenticity helped me write with more authority immediately.  — Dan McNeil, columnist, Moab Times


Pappy Shel & The Jenny Mule - By Lou Liberty

Pappy Shell & The Jenny Mule
Pappy Shell And The Jenny Mule is the story of a man born into a hard-scrabble life and his quest for that something better that is the essence of the American Dream. Paul's story is a stirring tale of risk and redemption. His dreams and his pursuit of them are often reminiscent of the Grail Quest. Set within a context of family secrets and stories, Paul's journey begins just before the Great Depression, progresses through WW II and into the latter 20th Century. At the end of a long life, can Paul make amends for generations of wounding and loss?

Buy the book:       Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Bearing Witness: 25 Years of Refuge, by Lou Liberty and Margy O'Brien

Bearing Witness: 25 Years of Refuge
New Mexico Book Award winner for 2008 in Nature/Environment, Bearing Witness: 25 Years of Refuge, is a collaborative effort between writer Lou Liberty and artist Margy O’Brien. The 70-page book is a collection of watercolors, poetry, and prose celebrating the Rio Grande Nature Center’s habitat and wildlife. The book covers all aspects of the Nature Center: insects, birds, ponds and intangibles such as the wind and seasonal changes. Bearing Witness was published by La Alameda Press.

Editions sold out and now out of print.

Constant Possum: The History of Sandia Preparatory Schoo, by Lou Liberty

Constant Possum: A History of Sandia Preparatory School
In 1932, Congresswoman Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms founded the Sandia School in Albuquerque. Closed because of WWII, it was re-established in 1966 by Ruth’s niece-in-law, Barbara Young Simms. Today, Sandia is as a much-respected independent college prep school. Sandia’s epic tale reflects the history of New Mexico and the world. The award-winning book contains many photographs by the renowned photographer, Laura Gilpin.

Buy the book:       Sandia Prep School

Transition and Legacy - SPS at 50, by Lou Liberty

Transition and Legacy: SPS at 50
The decade 2000 to 2010 has been a lively one at Sandia Prep. Remarkable courage, a building boom, a digital revolution, national acclaim and new school leadership are only some aspects of the story. Prep’s extraordinary bequests to future generations of students as the school approaches its half century complete this engaging, celebratory tale. Transition and Legacy - SPS at 50 shows the reader once again how and why Sandia Prep is an exceptional place.

Buy the book:      Sandia Prep School


In addition to prose, writing poetry is a favorite occupation for me. It takes me a long time to gestate and write a novel. The quicker, more in the moment experience of writing poetry balances my other writing efforts. Writing poetry hones my ability to observe and express with economy and clarity. Occasionally I will share with you a favorite poem. This first one is about my grandmother who told me stories.

Prose Poem For My Grandmother

          After you killed the rattlesnake in the garden with the hoe, you told me that it had to be done. You had talked with the snake, tried to convince it to live elsewhere. The rattlesnake made its choice to live within people space and to threaten danger, you explained to me.

          And when the bull snake came, you welcomed it with ceremony and thanked it for guarding against raiders to your bounteous crop. I did not know then how exceptional your conversations were.

          The garden flourished that year as you labored and sang the songs handed down to you from Appalachian ancestors. In its center were sunflowers making a golden crown rewarding your hard work under the hot south Texas sun.

          This year I grew sunflowers for the first time since helping you in that childhood garden long ago. Each morning I tended them with loving care, watering them as guard against the hot days, breathing their earthy aroma into my soul as guard against the world's sorrows.

          I have gazed into their seeded hearts and known the spiraling forth of their fertility as the reflective song of my soul and the recurring gift of your touch on my life.

          There are no rattlesnakes in my garden, only a small garter snake snuggled beneath the stalks and your memory among the petals of sunlight, your song rustling the green leaves of my heart.

©Lou Liberty, 1998
Please do not repost my work without obtaining written permission. Thank you!


Lou Liberty
125 Green Valley Rd NW
Los Ranchos, NM 87107-6015

Painter & sculptor, Dennis Liberty, is Lou's husband.
His print gallery can be viewed here: