June WordFest: Powerful memoir of teaching in the still-segregated south

At the next WordFest event on Tuesday, June 13, 6:00-8:00 p.m., University of Oregon instructor Michael Copperman will read from his memoir, Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta, at Cassava Coffeeshop.

Michael left Stanford University for the Mississippi Delta in 2002, to join Teach for America, imagining that he would lift underprivileged children from the narrow horizons of their rural poverty. As an idealistic Asian American from the West Coast, he soon lost his bearings in a world sharply divided between black and white and found he had no idea what was required to help children navigate the considerable challenges they faced in their world. His desperate efforts to save child after child, he admits, were naïve, and he often found that he wasn’t able to give his students what they needed, sometimes with heartbreaking consequences.

Michael will be reading from his memoir of the experience and speak on what his students taught him about the meaning of teaching. His book has been featured on NPR’s “Think Out Loud,” and chapters have been anthologized in What I Didn’t Know: True Stories of Becoming a Teacher (Norton), which will be used in teacher’s colleges across the country and as a text in all the composition classrooms of one of Mississippi’s largest public universities.

Michael teaches writing to low-income, first-generation students of diverse backgrounds at the University of Oregon.  His writing has appeared in The Sun, The Oxford-American, Boston Review, Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Guernica, Unsaid  and Southword, among others. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Munster Literature Center, the Oregon Arts Council, Literary Arts, and Breadloaf Writers Conference.

 

 

Kathleen Lane will be reading short stories and flash fiction pieces from her recently completed story collection, Deaths I’ve Imagined.

Living in Portland, Oregon, Kathleen writes short fiction and stories for middle-grade and young adult readers. Her middle grade novel, The Best Worst Thing, was an Oregon Book Award finalist. Her short stories have appeared in Berkeley Fiction Review, Swink Magazine, Forest Avenue Press and elsewhere, and will be appearing in Writer’s Digest and Los Angeles Review.

Through a grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, she teaches writing workshops to kids dealing with anxiety, and also teaches writing through Oregon Literary Arts Writers-in-the-Schools program. With writer Margaret Malone, Kathleen hosts the art and literary event series, SHARE, a bi-monthly event in Portland that brings artists together to create in a shared space from a one-word prompt.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:45 pm.

 

 

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www. Alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

May WordFest presents “When writing is murder”

Two writers of YA (Young Adult) mysteries will be reading from their debut novels at the next WordFest event on Tuesday, May 9, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Cassava Coffeeshop.

 

Kelly Garrett will read from her novel, The Last To Die, published by Poisoned Pen Press in April 2017.


Harper is no saint, but she doesn’t deserve to die. When her teen burglary ring goes terribly wrong and one of her friends dies, she faces
a moral dilemma that will make or break her–and if she makes the wrong choice, it will get her killed.

 

 

 

 

 

Sheryl Scarborough, an award-winning writer for children’s television, holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. To Catch A Killer is her debut novel, published by Tor Teen.

As a toddler, Erin Blake survived three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother. Fourteen years later, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. Now a new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but all the evidence is pointing the authorities to Erin.

 

 
Kelly and Sheryl will also discuss “When writing is murder,” exploring the intricacies of writing mysteries for young adults, including plotting out the story and developing realistic characters.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:30 pm. People are welcome to read their writing for ten minutes each.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

 

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www. Alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

April WordFest welcomes Portland author and publisher

M. Allen Cunningham will be reading from a selection of his works and speaking about his path to becoming a writer at the next WordFest event on Tuesday, April 11, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Cassava Coffeeshop.

(Photo credit: Sabina Poole/ Oregon Arts Commission)

Mark is the author of six books, including The Green Age of Asher Witherow, named a #1 Indie Next selection by the American Booksellers Association, Lost Son, a biographical novel about Rainer Maria Rilke (the author of Letters to a Young Poet), Date of Disappearance, a collection of short stories, and Partisans, a dystopian work about unbridled surveillance, constant war, and technological upheaval, which was a finalist for the Flann O’Brien Award for Innovative Fiction. He recently edited and wrote the introduction to Funny-Ass Thoreaua collection of humorous extracts from the writer of Walden.

Mark’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals including The Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, Tin House, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and he is a frequent contributor to the Books section of The Oregonian. He founded the independent literary press Atelier26, and is a contributing editor for Moss, a journal of contemporary literature from the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Portland, where he facilitates the Atelier26 Creative Writing Workshops and teaches at Literary Arts.

 

 

 

 

J.S.(Steve)Anderson will be reading from his novel, Book of Hours: Unholy Error, the second book in his trilogy featuring Brother Alphaios.

While recreating a resplendent fifteenth century Book of Hours as a gift for the pope, Brother Alphaios and archivist Inaki Arriaga discover ancient shreds of parchment hidden in its covers. They pursue the few haunting words that remain only to stumble into a battle between the Roman Church, which wants to destroy the parchment or bury it forever, and its owner, real estate billionaire Salton Motice who wants to use it for his own nefarious purposes.

Steve, who lives and writes in Longview, has a lifelong interest in Western religions, art and cultures.

 

 

 

Fred Hudgin will be reading from The Three Hour War, Book Two of his The End of Children series.

After some graduate students discover how to open a wormhole, an alert is sounded by detectors planted on the moon fifty thousand years ago by the species that raised humanity from apes to people. Because there is now no way to stop humans from developing starships using the wormhole technology and spreading their warlike attitudes and greed throughout the galaxy, humanity is selected for elimination by simply turning off their ability to have children.

Living in Ariel, Washington, Fred has been writing poetry and short stories since he took a Creative Writing class at Purdue University in 1967.  His short stories and poems have been published in Biker Magazine, on Poetry.Com, The Salal ReviewThe Scribbler, and in two anthologies, That Holiday Feeling, a collection of Christmas short stories, and Not Your Mother’s Book on Working for a Living.

 

 

 

Popular storyteller and WordFest favorite Ed Putka will host the evening.

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:40 pm. People are welcome to read their writing for ten minutes each.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www. Alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

Murder, mayhem and mysteries abound at March WordFest

Two popular and delightful mystery writers will join WordFest next Tuesday, March 14, 6:00-8:00 pm, at Cassava Coffee shop in Longview.

Kate Dyer-Seeley is a Vancouver author who writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series. Her intrepid young journalist Meg Reed discovers murder wherever she goes–on Mt. Hood (Slayed on the Slopes,) while windsurfing in the Columbia Gorge (Silenced in the Surf), or climbing Angel’s Rest (Scene of the Climb.)

 

 

Kate also writes the Bakeshop Mystery Series under the pen name Ellie Alexander. The series is set in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and features the amateur sleuth/professional baker Juliet Capshaw in books that whet the reader’s appetite as well as chill the reader’s backbone, including Meet Your Baker, A Batter of Life and Death, Fudge and Jury, and Caught Bread Handed.

(At the time of this media release, we’re not sure whether Kate or Ellie will be attending.)

 

 

 

Cindy Brown is a Portland author who writes the Ivy Meadows Mystery Series. Cindy’s background in theater is apparent in her mysteries, which include MacDeath, The Sound of Murder and Oliver Twisted, and display her wit and knowledge of comedy and drama onstage and off.

 

 

 

Kate and Cindy (and we assume, Ellie, too) are friends as well as fellow writers and they recently participated in a Book Chat episode at KLTV that is delightful, fun and funny to watch as they discuss a number of topics: where they get their ideas, on writing a series, first drafts, rejections, agents and publishers, and tips for other mystery writers (“You must have a body by page 30.”) You can watch the episode here: Book Chat

 

 

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:30 pm., where people are welcome to read their writing for ten minutes each.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www. Alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

Fantasy, WWII history, and detective fiction at February WordFest

WordFest offers a variety of storytelling next Tuesday, February 14, 6:00-8:00 pm, at Cassava Coffee shop in Longview.

Kate Ristau is a Portland folklorist and author of young adult and middle grade fiction. She read from her first novel, Shadowgirl, (published in 2015) at last September’s WordFest.

On Tuesday, she will be reading from her new novel, Clockbreakers:

On her eleventh birthday, Charlie receives a key to go back in time. But time travel isn’t easy. Before she blows out her candles, Charlie lands in Greece with her best friend Maria and her former best friend Trent. She’s a Clockbreaker, stuck in a Greek myth, on an action-packed adventure with a mission: to save her father, and perhaps even save the world.

Kate taught at the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University, and with colleague Maren Bradley Anderson edited an anthology of poems, essays, and short stories called Coarse Grounds: A Coffee Anthology. Currently, Kate is the Portland Chapter Chair of Willamette Writers.

 

She was recently interviewed for KLTV’s ”Book Chat” program with local fantasy writer Alkaid Tsuki. You can watch their interview here:
Book Chat

 

 

Lilly Robbins Brock will be reading from her book, Wooden Boats & Iron Men, which was featured in The Daily News last year. The project began when she found letters from her now deceased father written while he was on the battlefront in World War II. The letters inspired her to find a living WWII veteran to tell his story. The result was this true life war tale of an 18-year old Oklahoman and his love of the PT motor boat he served on.

 

Lilly’s preferred genre is historical fiction. She has written a novel about a family in the 1850s travelling by paddle wheel steamship from New York to the Pacific Northwest via the South American route. She has also written and published the book, Food Gifts Recipes From Nature’s Bounty, based on organic gardening. She is currently working with a 99 year-old veteran on a book to be titled Ever a Soldier.

 

 

 

E. Bryan Calhoun will be reading from A Taste of Honey, in his Max Harper, Detective series. It’s a modern-day dime novel set in the fictional Three Rivers, Washington. Max Harper is a bottle-scarred private eye with a painful past and an uncertain future. Then Honey Meadows walks into his life, a mysterious woman with a fake name and real problems of her own. Max and Honey take on murder, mayhem and each other as they go after the treasure that is hidden somewhere on a mountain in the Great Northwest.

Native to this community, Bryan grew up watching TV detectives  and has always had an interest in storytelling. He works as an employment specialist at Another Option, Inc., helping individuals with disabilities get jobs in the local community, and writes in his spare time. He is currently seeking an editor for his Max Harper, Detective series.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:30 pm. People are welcome to read their writing for ten minutes each.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www. Alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Folklore and tall tales at January WordFest

Portland author Jamie Duclos-Jourdon will be reading from his debut novel at the first WordFest gathering of the year, next Tuesday, January 10, 6:00-8:00 pm. at Cassava.

Froelich’s Ladder, published by Forest Avenue Press, is a tall tale about a tall ladder and the two German immigrant brothers who built it. Set in the Pacific Northwest of the 1870s, it combines the historical with the fantastical.

 

Local folklorist Leslie Slape talked with Jamie about his book recently on KLTV’s Book Chat. You can watch the interview here: Book Chat.

 

 

 

 

David Martin will be reading from The Secret of the Lake, first in his six-book Middle Grade fiction series, titled The Adventures of Sugar Dog, about “one very special dog and four boys who are at that magical age of twelve.”

There are rumors of old treasure buried out near the lake just west of Capeview.  When a book on the town’s history is stolen from the public library, several strange events and the boys’ curiosity lead to a frightening encounter with the hermit who lives on the spit between the bay and the ocean.

David is a singer, songwriter, musician, poet, disc jockey and news reporter, based in Astoria.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations at 7:30 pm. People are welcome to read their writing for ten minutes each.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December WordFest gets weird

city_of_weirdIn recent years Forest Avenue Press, a small, independent publisher in Portland has brought out a number of noteworthy books by talented authors, like Dan Berne’s Gods of Second Chances, and Ellen Urbani’s Landfall. In October, it published an anthology of thirty “otherworldly tales” based in Portland.

On Tuesday, December 13, the editor of City of Weird anthology and several of the writers who contributed stories will read at WordFest.

 

 

gigi-little-1
Gigi Little
, marketing coordinator for Powell’s Books and graphic designer for Forest Avenue Press, edited the anthology and will introduce the stories and readers. Her own essays and short stories have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, including Portland Noir, Spent, and Nailed Magazine.

 

 

 


Brian Reid
  was weaned on the acerbic dry humor and innate story-telling of the Scottish highlands. His childhood in Australia colors his writing with a love of the ridiculous and a dedication to irreverence. Brian worked with the Federal Reserve Bank for almost twenty years before moving to Oregon to pursue his dream of writing fiction.

 

 

 

kirsten-larson
Kirsten Larson
is a contributing editor at Nailed Magazine and an instructor at Portland State University. Her essays and stories appear in The Huffington Post, Nailed Magazine, Manifest-Station, and several literary journals.

 

 

 

 

b-frayn-masters
B. Frayn Masters
is the author of a short story collection, Pants All Night.  Her work has appeared in Airplane Reading, Hobart, MonkeyBicycle 6, and other publications. She is also Executive Producer and Host of the Back Fence PDX storytelling series.

 

 

 

jason-squamataJason Squamata is a Portland-based writer of dream diaries, graphic novels, and confessional essays. His work has appeared in Stealing Time magazine, Propeller, and Hypno Komix.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

935883_565758236803712_227947471_nCassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

 

 

 

 

Read my review of the book that appeared in the November-December issue The Columbia River Reader here.

 

 

November WordFest offers plays and poems

leslie_slape2016On Tuesday, November 8, WordFest will offer plays and poetry at Cassava Coffee shop, 1333 Broadway Avenue in Longview.

In 1891, Washington state was two years old. That year homesteaders were staking claims and loggers were cutting trees along the north fork of the Lewis River, and four people were lynched, including two in nearby Pacific County.

This is the background for “The Harder Courage,” a historical drama written by Leslie Slape, that tells the true story of Sheriff Ben Holmes of Kalama and his prisoner, Robert Day, a homesteader on the Lewis River accused of the first-degree murder of a logger. Holmes protected Day from three lynch mobs, but ultimately was responsible for his execution by hanging following eight months’ imprisonment.

Two local actors, Scott Clark as Ben Holmes and Michael Cheney as Robert Day, will read a scene from the play at WordFest. A former crime reporter with The Daily News, Leslie has been researching, writing, revising and workshopping the play since 2012.

Leslie left The Daily News in 2013 to study playwriting at Portland State University. With Don Correll, she co-wrote the play “This Island Earth,” which was produced in 2009 at Lower Columbia College Center Stage.

 

 

Patrick Kubin is joined by the members of his writing group to perform a one act play he wrote, titled “A Short pats-writing-groupStory.” In the play, a writer’s group convenes at a member’s home for their monthly meeting to critique each other’s work. Each writer is convinced his or her suggestions and feedback are correct. Conflict mounts as the feedback is not graciously received.

Members of the writing group are pictured (left to right): Mary Ellen Stone, Pat Kubin, Charolette Conklin, Dan Roberts, and (seated) Peg Miller.

 

 

 

karen-bonaudi2016Karen Bonaudi will be reading a selection from her poetry. Karen has led poetry workshops in schools, taught adult creative writing classes, conducted workshops and critique panels, and has been a member of a performance troupe.  A long-time board member and former president of the Washington Poets Association, her poetry has appeared in The Bellingham Review, South Dakota Review, Pontoon 2, The Far Field, Snow Monkey, and WPA’s Cascade Journal. Her chapbook Editing a Vapor Trail was published by Pudding House Press.  She lives and works as a private contractor in Renton.

 

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and 935883_565758236803712_227947471_nbrews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October WordFest features PEN Hemingway Finalist Margaret Malone

margaret_malone-2On Tuesday, October 11, Portland author Margaret Malone will be reading at WordFest, 6:00-8:00 pm, at Cassava Coffee shop, 1333 Broadway Avenue in Longview.

Margaret’s first collection of short stories, People Like You, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Hemingway award and winner of the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Missouri Review,  Oregon Humanities, Swink,  and Propeller Quarterly.
people_like_you
Cheryl Strayed, author of the national bestselling Wild, called People Like You “a powerful debut by a writer of immense talent. In stories that shimmer and burn with beauty and sorrow, generosity and wit, Margaret Malone reveals the deepest, darkest, and most illuminating truths about what it means to be human.”

Margaret was recently interviewed on KLTV’s Book Chat. You can watch that interview at http://alan-rose.com/bookchat/september-2016-a-chat-with-margaret-malone/

 

 

 

 

mark_dykstra

 

Musicians Mark Dykstra and Dave Nelmark will discuss their recent collaboration on the song, “I Love You More.”dave-nelmark-1

Dave, a school psychologist with the Longview School District, originally wrote the lyrics and asked Mark to put them to music. They will talk about the process they used in working together and how the piece took its final form through their back-and-forth collaboration, and then will perform the song, which was premiered at this past Summerfest at the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

ritabowlesRita Bowles will be reading excerpts from her novel, The Gods of Clover, a family saga set in an English village called Clover-on-the-Wold in the 1960s. The story is told through the voices of the women in the family made up of Arthur Davenport, an alcoholic, his depressed yet feisty Irish wife Fiona, and their daughter, Eileen.

Rita grew up in a small Cheshire village, similar to Clover-on-the-Wold. A graduate of the University of Utah in Creative Writing, she’s written two books of poetry, one of which won the Pearle M Olsen Poetry Prize and was published by the Utah Arts Council.  She lived in Washougal for ten years before moving to Longview two and a half years ago.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.935883_565758236803712_227947471_n

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September WordFest kicks off fall season with Portland author Kate Ristau, poet Joe Green, and food writer Suzanne Martinson.

 

WordFest’s fall season begins with a strong line-up of authors on Tuesday, September 13, 6:00-8:00 pm, at Cassava Coffee shop.

Kate_Ristau-crKate Ristau is a Portland folklorist and author of young adult and middle grade fiction. She taught at the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University, and with colleague Maren Bradley Anderson edited an anthology of poems, essays, and short stories called Coarse Grounds: A Coffee Anthology. 

Her first novel, Shadowgirl, was released by Lycaon Press in May of 2015, then republished by Indigo Sea Press in August of 2016. Shadowgirl tells the story of fairy teen Aine, who is haunted by a fiery dream where her mother loses her mind and her father makes a devastating choice. Áine escapes into the Shadowlands to discover the secrets of her family and her past. But the moment her foot crosses the threshold, Áine is thrust into a war that has been raging for centuries. Guardians, fire fey, and a rising darkness threaten the light, and Áine must learn to fight in the shadows — or die in the flames. The sequel, Clockbreakers, is being released next month.Shadow_Girl

Kate will discuss her background in folklore and mythology, and how they continually influence her creative work and her storytelling. She will also discuss young adult literature, and the ways it differs (in stories, characters, plots) from the adult market. Currently, Kate is the Portland Chapter Chair of Willamette Writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Green-rsPoet Joe Green will be reading a personal essay on quitting drinking, titled, “A Man Walks Out of a Bar,” which appeared in Crosscurrents magazine in 2009. A popular English instructor at Lower Columbia College, Joe retired after 25 years of teaching to concentrate on writing, playing music, and producing letterpress-printed poetry broadsides through his Peasandcues Press.

Joe is the author of several books of poetry, including What Water Does at a Time Like This (MoonPath Press, 2015,) That Thread Still Connecting Us (MoonPath, 2012), The End of Forgiveness (Floating Bridge, 2001), Greatest Hits: 1975—2000, (Pudding House, 2001),Deluxe Motel (The Signpost Press, 1991), and His Inadequate Vocabulary (Signpost, 1986).

 

 

 

fallingwaterSuzanne Martinson is an award winning food writer and author of The Fallingwater Cookbook. A WordFest regular, Suzanne writes humorous personal essays about growing up in the Midwest.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

 

 

 

935883_565758236803712_227947471_nThe monthly gathering of readers and writers meet the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava, 1333 Broadway in Longview. The events are free and open to the public.

 

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.