On Friday, Sept. 6, the Dairy Center for the Arts will host its annual ceremony for the Dairy Center Honors Award, given to individuals in recognition of their contribution to the arts in Boulder County. One of this year’s four honorees is Gene Hayworth, the founder and owner of Inkberry Books in Niwot.
A quick perusal of Gene’s resume is enough to certify his merit. The Director of Social Sciences for the University Libraries at CU-Boulder and, also the Liaison to the Cinematic Arts Program. Founder, Chief Editor and Publisher of Owl Canyon Press, which has published nearly 30 books since its inception in 2011. Translator, from German to English, of three books issued by House Publishing, distributed by the University of Chicago Press. Author of a biography of Coleman Dowell, a composer of music for television and Broadway and a writer of experimental novels; in addition to the biography, publication of Dowell’s songs, previously uncollected.
It’s a long list, that calls up the phrase “above and beyond” and describes the work of someone motivated by the love of what he does.
Growing up in North Carolina Hayworth was always a reader. An early point of resonance was Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Neither of his parents graduated from high school, and Gene was the first person in his family to go to college, earning a BA in English Literature from UNC Greensboro.
After ten subsequent years “in the corporate world” as he puts it, the question of “What am I doing?”, presented itself. This led to two graduate programs, and Masters degrees in both English Literature and Library Sciences. A job with the library at CU brought him and his partner, Keith, to Boulder in 2002, where they have lived ever since.
Opening Inkberry Books in Niwot’s CottonwoodSquare in February, 2018 was the realization of a longtime dream. Everyone knows the story of local bookstores in the Age of Amazon; the work Hayworth puts into Inkberry is defined by the term "passion project."
Asked to comment on being honored by the Dairy Center, he said, “It’s pretty amazing to be recognized and awarded for doing something you love. I get to spend nearly all my time with people who love literature and the arts. Can’t get any better than that, right? The focus with this bookstore is building community, and this award is coming from the community. That’s what makes this award valuable and important to me.”