Carol: I was expected to arrive in January but came into this world the Sunday morning before Christmas. My parents hadn’t quite decided on a name for me, but as church bells tolled carols on my dad’s way to the hospital, my name was already stitched on the air.
L. for Louise, a family name handed down on my mom’s side. My great grandmother must have been a wonderful woman!
Deering: The name I share with my husband, our son, and our dazzling grandson.
My childhood proceeded fairly normally, I think. We lived with my grandmother a while in West Springfield, MA. When I was seven, my sister, Nancy, and I shot rubber-tipped arrows at a paper target on the sliding barn door. Later our family was regularly participating in field archery tournaments in the surrounding area, with real equipment. Field archery was laid out a bit like golf except it was in the woods (and didn’t use clubs, of course). We didn’t use sights, either, so we learned to gauge distance, trajectory, and the lay of the land to hit those old black-and-white targets on bales of hay.
We moved across the Connecticut River to Springfield, MA when I was turning nine. As it happened (or perhaps because it happened), when I was 12 the Eastern States target archery tournament moved north to Springfield, and my whole family switched from field archery to target, with its round-rainbow targets out on a sunny field. I had won the New England Jr. Girls Field Archery championship by then, but my dad was dreaming of my next triumph.
When I was 17, just out of high school, my final year in archery as an intermediate girl, my dad had a plan. He said that year would be my last chance to win big; once I turned 18, I would be competing in the women’s category, with its many prominent archers. So we packed up the car and the family headed for Jones Beach, Long Island. Targets were set up on the sandy shore near some trees, and strong winds constantly messed with our arrows. But, in addition to a sight, which all the girls used, I could adjust to conditions, including the luck of aiming at the target left of mine and letting the wind carry my arrows to the right. (That’s how I won the National Archery Association Intermediate Girls championship.)
I went on to shoot in the women’s category for a few years. One day when I got tired of dusting trophies, I realized that, since some of those I had won had previously been won by big-name archers, I should approach the Archery Hall of Fame & Museum. They agreed they wanted them. So my name appears on some of the trophies at this fine establishment!
Photo from the HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL ARCHERY ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VOLUME II 1946-1978 (page 1049, maiden name Hinckley)
My sophomore year in college (Springfield College) I worked as an aide for the college librarian and liked it. When I moved out West, to Flagstaff, Arizona, one of the first things I did was show up at the Flagstaff Public Library and ask if they had any work. And with little variation, I worked in libraries until retirement.
In my last job, at Central Wyoming College, I began as a library clerk, taking classes at the University of Denver to get my MA in Librarianship and Information Management, and eventually became the library director.
When I lived in Washington State, I worked at Columbia Basin College Library and got involved with the campus Punk Poetry readings. It was my introduction to the fun of writing and reading poetry! I had written a poem here and there, but the zeal struck in Washington and has never abated.
When I moved to Wyoming in 1983, I joined the local writing Work Group, and then I helped create West Thumb Poets and Westword Writers – all very congenial and helpful groups to be with!
Carol L. Deering has twice received the Wyoming Arts Council Poetry Fellowship (2016, judge Rebecca Foust; 1999, judge Agha Shahid Ali). Her poetry appears in online and traditional journals, and in the anthologies Ring of Fire: Writers of the Yellowstone Region and, more recently, Blood, Water, Wind & Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers. Once she had the privilege of interviewing Richard Hugo; that interview, published by Art Notes (Columbia Basin College), was reissued in CutBank [read more at Interviews]. Later she had the joy of driving Scott Momaday around the Wind River Indian Reservation to address a great many students. Feels like yesterday… [read more at Publication, Sky Island Journal]
She has written Wyoming Humanities Council speakers grants, was an outside evaluator for a WHC program on the Wind River Indian Reservation, and volunteered with the WHC “Barn Again!” project in Riverton. In all her involvement with the Council, she has had only positive experiences. She believes the Wyoming Humanities Council is essential to life!
At various times she has been chair of the Wyoming Library Association Intellectual Freedom and Academic/Special Committees. She has worked with the Wyoming Arts Council Literature section to select roster artists. Twice she won the Arts in Action Pierrot award for writing, and then for a time was the contact person to nominate and present this award to other local writers.