P.S., A Partnership
Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith

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Ursula Smith and
Linda Peavy

Biography

Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith are independent scholars whose collaborative ventures began in 1978 in Bozeman, Montana. Vermonters since 1994, they've co-authored nine books--including three pictorial overviews of the lives of women and children in the American West, three works for young adult readers, and two works based on the letters of couples who were either temporarily or permanently separated when the husband went west in search of gold, land, or adventure (Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement and The Gold Rush Widows of Little Falls). They've also co-authored numerous articles and reviews for various journals and magazines.

Operating as P.S., A Partnership, the two authors have engaged in a wide variety of women's history projects designed for audiences both within and beyond academe. Known for their trademark tandem dialogue delivery style, they have served on Humanities Speakers Bureaus in Montana, Missouri, Vermont, and New Hampshire and have given hundreds of presentations and workshops on researching, writing, and dramatizing women's lives at university, K-12, and community venues across the United States and Canada. Former co-editors of the Coalition for Western Women's History Newsletter, Peavy and Smith have presented at such professional conferences as Western History Association, Pacific Northwest Historians, Northern Great Plains History Association, Women's West 2000, Film & History Association, and the Berkshire Conference on Women's History.

Peavy and Smith have also been involved in the development of screenplays, dramatic scripts, and musical theater productions, most notably Eric Funk's opera, Pamelia, for which they were co-librettists. And they've worked on documentaries such as Doris Loeser's Pamelia: History into Art and, most recently, Juster Hill Productions' two-hour Alaska Far Away (in process). Senior historical consultants for the PBS reality history mini-series, Frontier House, they joined producer Simon Shaw in writing the companion book for that series. Their work on the PBS project was featured in Making Frontier House, a half-hour Montana PBS documentary.

With the support of 2003 NEH Fellowships, they are currently working toward the completion of a book exploring the experiences of a group of Native American girls from an off-reservation government boarding school in Montana. These young women played the fledgling game of “basket ball” so well they were invited to spend the summer of 1904 in St. Louis, where, as students at the Model Indian School on the grounds of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, they defeated all challengers to become champions of the St. Louis World's Fair. Peavy and Smith began researching this story in 1997, working in close collaboration with descendants and tribal kin of the players. Their award-winning article on the team, “World Champions: The 1904 Girls' Basketball Team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School,” appeared in Montana: The Magazine of Western History (winter 2001).

Linda Peavy holds a B.A. in English from Mississippi College, an M.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing and playwriting from Washington University in St. Louis. She served as a Montana Arts Council writer in the schools/communities and received a Montana Arts Council Fiction Fellowship. She has also received an AAUW Career Development Grant, a Graduate Teaching Award at Washington University, a Vermont Arts Council Opportunity Grant, and a Vermont Community Foundation Grant. Her fiction, poetry, and drama have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, and she has held writing residencies at Yaddo, the Millay Colony for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, and Hedgebrook Cottages for Women Writers.

Ursula Smith received a B.A. in history and English from Lone Mountain College (the University of San Francisco), pursued graduate work at San Francisco State University under a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and taught in the San Francisco school system. A member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, she has worked with many trade and university presses over her twenty-year editing career, most notably McGraw-Hill, Addison-Wesley, Prentice Hall, University of Oklahoma, and MIT. With Linda Peavy she has been awarded a Redd Center for Western Studies Independent Research Award, a Smithsonian Short-Term Visitors grant, two non-fiction writing residencies at Centrum, Port Townsend, Washington, and two Paladin Awards for excellence in writing western history.

Linda Peavy/Ursula Smith
P.S., A Partnership
169 Garron Road
Middletown Springs, Vermont 05757
Phone/FAX: (802) 235-2844
ps@vermontel.net or crazywoman@vermontel.net.


Selected Works

1. Western Women's History
Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier
“This 'patchword' of women's words and pictures captures the pioneer experience memorably and elegantly.”
--Susan Armitage, coeditor of The Women's West and Writing the Range
Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement: Life on the Home Frontier
“These families come alive in their variety, differences, and particularities. Their stories are told with power and grace, and they merit reading.”
--Annette Atkins
2. Western Family History
Frontier Children
“...a laudable 'verbal and visual montage that celebrates the experiences of children growing up in the American West..."
--Pacific Northwest Quarterly
3. Young Adult
4. Peavy-Smith Presentations
5. Musical Theatre/Opera
Pamelia
Opera based on the life and letters of Pamelia Fergus, Montana pioneer. Composer, Eric Funk. Librettists, Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith. Premiered August 1989 in Billings, Montana. Choral Suite from the opera performed in Carnegie Hall, May 1989.
Quicksilver
10-minute musical based on the life and death of Dr. Karen Wetterhahn, Dartmouth University professor of chemistry who died in 1996 from a single drop of dimethylmercury. Music by Alfredo Alverez. Book and Lyrics by Linda Peavy
A Mountain on Her Mind
25-minute musical (radio drama format) based on life of Annie Smith Peck, classicist turned alpinist.
Mountains That Matter
Full-length musical based on the life of Annie Smith Peck, classicist turned alpinist. Music, lyrics, book by Linda Peavy; arrangments by Daniel Acquisto



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