Cover of new book by W.B. Belcher '00,

Novelist Belcher ’00 Next To Read in Hartwick’s Visiting Writers Series

February 15, 2016

Novelist W. B. Belcher ’00 will read from his new novel Lay Down Your Weary Tune, on Wednesday, February 24, at 7 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the Hartwick College campus. The reading is the next installment of the College’s 2015-16 Visiting Writers Series. Admission is free of charge and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing after the reading.

Lay Down Your Weary Tune, Belcher’s first published novel, tells the story of Jack Wyeth, a young writer hired to ghostwrite the biography of Eli Page, a folksinger with the stature of Dylan, Seeger, and Guthrie. The secretive Eli has become a recluse, is in failing health, and hides a devastating mystery that Jack is obsessed with discovering. As he struggles to separate fact from fiction, Jack is forced to confront his demons and realizes his connection to Eli runs deeper than the music. Along with the help of a new love interest who harbors secrets of her own, Jack sets out to solve a mystery in which the whole town is complicit. Deftly told in lyrical, spare prose, Lay Down Your Weary Tune is a fascinating story about love, despair, forgiveness, and second chances. It is both a heartfelt song for the lost and lonely and an indelible testament to the transcendent power of music.

Belcher grew up in a mill town in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. He graduated from Hartwick College with a B.A. in English and in Theatre Arts, and earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College (Plainfield, VT), in both fiction and playwriting.

Belcher has led writing workshops for groups in New York and Massachusetts, at The Sage Colleges, Saratoga Arts, the Easton Library, and the Greenwich Library, among others. He currently serves at the Director of External Affairs for The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. He has worked for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Sage Colleges, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, and Glimmerglass Opera. He is a member of the board of directors at Caffe Lena, the oldest continually operating folk music coffeehouse in the country.

Along with his wife, Kate Morse ’00, and children, Molly and Finn, Belcher lives in Upstate New York near the Battenkill River.

In the novel’s acknowledgments, Belcher thanks Hartwick professors Robert Bensen, Carol Frost, Duncan Smith, Ken Golden, David Cody, Kim Noling, and the late Terry Fitz-Henry for guidance and inspiration.

The reading is presented under the auspices of the Department of English and Theatre Arts and the Visiting Writers Series at Hartwick College.

For more information on the reading, contact Dr. Robert Bensen, professor of English, at bensenr@hartwick.edu, or (607) 431-4902.