Pat Laster, of Benton Arkansas, is a former teacher of choir, general music, gifted education classes,and a retired church musician.
She is a retired poetry editor for Calliope: A Writer's Workshop by Mail, and writes a general-interest column for the weekly (Amity AR) SOUTHERN STANDARD as well as the poetry column, which she began in 1998. After moving back to Benton in 2002, she gave the column away. When the present editor died, she was asked to take it back and she did. Her interest in writing was stoked by the graduate course, Writing Across the Curriculum, taken during the mid-1980s.
Pat began her writing career as a poet and gradually fell into short stories and essays. Her first novel, A Journey of Choice, was published in September, 2010, and a sequel, Her Face in the Glass, in September, 2015. In 2016, she published Hiding Myself into Safety: Short Stories & Long Poems with an Occasional Essay. In the summer of 2019, she published A Compendium of Journal Jottings: A Sourcebook for Writers and she is currently working on a memoir and a poetry collection.
She raised a grandson from age 8 months to 25. After his years as a Henderson (HSU) Reddie, he lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Now, 31, he recently moved to Phoenix.
Pat lives in the Salem community of Saline County in the Depression-Era family home she's named Couchwood. In the 16 years she's lived there, she's had the hardwood floors redone, new carpet, new windows (30 of them) installed and all the exposed wood in addition to the windows, painted a stark white. Plus, new ceilings in the two front rooms, and the 70s-era paneling painted.
Pat enjoys reading, Facebook and working in the yard. She collects pear-motif-ed objects, Fostoria American crystal and Avon Cape Cod glassware. Her prose blog can be found at pittypatter-pittypatter.blogspot.com and her poetry blog can be found at pittypatter.blogspot.com.
She is a Democrat and belongs to a writers group called LDJ&P, which forms the initials of the first names of the group members.
In the fall of 2019, at age 83, Pat began online studies for an MFA from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas. After four classes, the first, INtro to Grad Studies, two workshops in poetry and one in creative non-fiction, she decided she'd reached her goal of being admitted to the only AR online MFA program and dropped out.