An Evening with Junior Burke

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Join us to welcome local author, Junior Burke! He'll read from his latest novel, The Buddha Was a Cowboy, shortlisted for the Mark Twain 2022 Book Awards for Humor and Satire. He'll follow the reading with audience Q & A.

About the Book:

A progressive, alternative university is targeted for takeover by conservative forces in this satiric tale. 

Aaron Motherway is a Hollywood screenwriter who, while recovering from a traffic accident, is tapped to run the arts program at Parami University, located in Pearl Handle, Wyoming.

What Aaron doesn’t know is that he is being set up to fail by various duplicitous forces, and he finds himself immersed in a culture war infused with sexual misconduct, embezzlement, political opportunism, and potential mass murder, played out in a climate of comedic dysfunction and absurdity.

His charming and able assistant has his back, fending off a demented poet and venomous colleagues. And he gains the loyalty of some very challenged students—a murderer, a lobster wrangler, and an apostate.

But there are surprises in store for Aaron before the story reaches a dramatic conclusion.

Buddha Was a Cowboy is a metaphor for many of the issues engulfing and dividing America today and a darkly humorous take on the current cultural landscape.


Junior Burke‘s The Cold Last Swim (Gibson House Press, 2020) was one of five finalists for a Sidewise Award, the annual prize for novels of Alternate History. His short fiction was included in the anthologies Litscapes: Collected US Writings 2015 and Collectibles, published in 2021.