Mayor Ron Rakowsky interviews White Plains author David Hicks at Koelbel Library in Centennial. Photo by Freda Miklin
BY FREDA MIKLIN
Greenwood Village’s Curtis Arts Center introduced the “Village Read” program last summer. It was a positive way to bring the community together to read, discuss and exchange ideas around a chosen book. This year, White Plains by Regis University professor David Hicks, Ph.D., was selected as the Village Read novel. The kick-off event of the 2018 program was held Aug. 2 at Koelbel Library in Centennial. Oli Sanidas, executive director of Arapahoe Libraries, opened the evening.
GV Mayor Rakowsky reprised his 2017 role as interviewer of the author and demonstrated a keen insight into the characters and themes of Hicks’ novel. Following his questions, community members got their chance to query the author. In every instance, Hicks patiently explained what he intended to convey by specific words and events in the novel, and even the literary tools he used to do so.
Hicks was open, authentic, modest and even self-deprecating, demonstrating genuine humility and honesty about the process of writing and how he developed his story and his characters, mostly amalgams of people in his life. He shared the raw emotion of a painful divorce and being temporarily separated from his children when they were young. He shared personal details about the loss of a sister in his youth and how it affected his relationships with his father and brother. When an audience member expressed frustration at how the events in White Plains all resolve neatly and positively, Hicks smiled broadly and said that that part of the book was based on the true facts of his life.
David Hicks holds three English degrees, including a Ph.D. from New York University. He has been a college English professor since age 22 and is currently co-director of the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program at Regis University. Though he always wanted to write, he didn’t start doing so until he was in his 40s. A string of short stories brought him to White Plains, his first novel and a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards.
Some 40 community members participated, along with GV city councilor Tom Dougherty and wife Traci Dougherty, assistant principal at Cherry Creek High School. Also present from city council was Judy Hilton. GV board and commission members Brent Neiser, Jim Sidinger and Alberta “Bert” Buckman were also in the audience.
For more information about the Village Read program, go to greenwoodvillage.com/2406/Village-Read. For additional information about the author, go to david-hicks.com.
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