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/

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Award-winning playwright reads at July WordFest

Charlotte SamplesOn Tuesday, July 12, award winning playwright Charlotte Samples will read from her first novel, a work-in-progress titled Peaceable.  Set in a small town located in the boot heel of Missouri, the story spans a period from 1888 to 1988, featuring two sisters at odds with each other over practically everything including the upcoming funeral of their father, the Little Commodore.

Charlotte’s play Darlin’ received the Sprenger-Lang Foundation New Play Competition award, and the William P. and Arlene R. Lewis Playwriting Competition award, and was a finalist in the prestigious O’Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference New Play Competition.  Her play The Signature (Still Life With Lilacs) was the recipient of the League of American Pen Women Award for playwriting.

 

Doug MaynardDouglas  Maynard will read from his novel, Three Summers, a story of two friends recounted in their experiences over three summers from as many decades. Dennis’ life is chaotic: he doesn’t graduate from high school, is drafted into the Vietnam War, and starts using drugs and alcohol heavily. Yet Nathan idolizes him. Their friendship grows through their camping trips, hitchhiking together to San Francisco, and through their discussions on history, politics and life.

Doug is an assistant principal in the Kalama School District. This is his first novel.

 

Alkaid Tsuki will read from her work-in-progress, Freedom’s New Moon, the first book in her projected Liberation Trilogy, a fantasy series about friendship and brotherhood in dark times. In the first book a ghostly apparition guides fourteen year-old Scavenger Lyron to the only survivors from the destruction of Eraside, which marks the beginning of his adventures and discoveries.

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

The 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.

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.

 

 

 

Note: WordFest takes a summer break in August and will resume in September.

 

 

Portland author reads from new novel at June WordFest

SteveAnderson+AuthorLast September, Portland writer Steve Anderson, read at WordFest from his thriller, The Other Oregon, what he called “Cascadia noir.” Steve is also the author of the novels, Liberated: A Novel of Germany, 1945, and Under False Flags, as well as narrative nonfiction, short stories and screenplays.

On Tuesday, June 14, he will be reading from his newest novel, Lost Kin, the third in a trilogy about two German-born brothers, Harry and Max Kaspar, who were raised in the United States. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Max returns to Germany. In this volume it is 1946, and the brothers are reunited, Harry as part of the American occupation forces, and Max who bears a questionable past and seeks Harry’s help in saving Cossack refugees from being deported and killed in the Soviet Union.LOSTKIN

A Fulbright Fellow who studied in Munich, Steve is also a literary translator of crime and mystery fiction by German novelists Alexander Hartung, Marcus Huennebeck, and others.

He was recently interviewed on KLTV’s “Book Chat” program, which can be viewed at www.alan-rose.com.

 

 

 

Susan_RoseSusan Rose will be reading from her Young Adult fantasy, Shattered Crust, published in January, which she describes as “a love story, mystery, fantasy and suspense,” set in Yellowstone National Park. She is currently working on a sequel, Beneath the Crust: Yellowstone’s Secret Jewel.

Susan lives in the Pacific Northwest and has had her short stories published in the Not Your Mother’s Book anthology series.

 

Ed Putka-1WordFest regular Ed Putka will be reading another of his popular Cleveland stories, set in the Polish neighborhood of his youth. This story involves a picnic at Munroe Falls with the extended family. What could go wrong?

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

The 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May WordFest features Portland short story writer, essayist and editor Liz Prato

LizPratoOn Tuesday, May 10, Liz Prato will be speaking at WordFest in her different roles as short story writer, essayist and editor whose work has been published in numerous literary journals, and as an influential figure in the Portland literary community. She will be reading from her short story collection, Baby’s on Fire, and talk about her interest in short form fiction.

BABY'SONFIRELiz also reviews manuscript submissions for Forest Avenue Press in Portland. She will discuss what she looks for in submissions and take questions from the audience about submitting one’s work for publication. Liz was featured in a recent Book Chat interview, currently airing on KLTV. You can also see the interview here: http://alan-rose.com/bookchat/april-2016-a-chat-with-short-story-writer-and-editor-liz-prato/

 

yvette-cameraRetired Lower Columbia College instructor Yvette O’Neill Raynham will read from Forty Years on the Road: My Life as a Safari Driver in Kenya, by Peter Mbulo. Yvette and her husband Michael Raynham met Mbulo in Nairobi in 2012, visiting cultural sites and going on safari with him, and then again in 2014.

 

Peter Mbulo“Peter has been a safari driver for forty years and is a great story teller,” says Yvette.  “We encouraged him to write his memoirs which, in addition to accounts of adventures in the bush, reflect the history of Kenya from the last days of British rule and the struggle for Independence up to the present.” Mbulo also writes of the effects of climate change and development on Kenya’s animal populations, the problems and benefits of globalization, and the efforts to maintain the cultural heritage of the country.

 

 

 

Susan Taylor will read from a novel she is writing entitled Heads Do Roll, a “light-hearted murder mystery” based on her experience as a federal whistle-blower. Susan worked with Erin Brockovich when organizing protests in six southern California cities where Susan exposed “flood control” projects as payback for congressional donations and related contamination of local wells.

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

935883_565758236803712_227947471_n
The 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.

 

 

Portland author reads from new novel at April WordFest

 

Robert_Hill-3 On Tuesday, April 12,  Robert Hill will be reading from his new novel, The Remnants, published by Forest Avenue Press. The town of New Eden has arrived at its last days. As two near-centenarians prepare for their annual birthday tea, a third vows to interrupt the party with a bold declaration. With wit and inventive wordplay, Robert delivers a bittersweet elegy to the collective memory of a dying community.

 

RemnantsRobert is a recipient of a Literary Arts Walt Morey Fellowship and a Breadloaf Writers Conference Fellowship. His debut novel, All Is Said and Done (Graywolf Press,) was short-listed for the Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.

 

 

 

 

Dave RordenDavid Rorden will read from the manuscript of his legal novel, A Method to Her Madness, which tells the story of a young public defender who finds himself thrust into a high-profile jury trial defending a mental patient found sitting in the middle of the freeway. The attorney soon learns that his client staged the event in order to put the state’s system of forced mental treatment on trial. But she has another, and darker agenda.

 

 

Steve AndersonSteve Anderson, WordFest regular and author of the novel, Book of Hours: The Beguilement of Brother Alphaios, will be reading from his memoir.

 

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.

 

 

 

March WordFest highlights local literary talent

Charolette ConklinCharolette Conklin will be hosting the next WordFest gathering on Tuesday, March 9, at 6:00 pm. A regular participant for many years, Charolette has read her often humorous poetry and short stories that have been published in The Salal ReviewThe Rambunctious Review, and the WordFest anthology, That Holiday Feeling

 

 

 

Mary LyonsLocal writer and poet Mary Lyons returns to Wordfest with essays, poetry and an excerpt from a short story, all part of a wide-ranging collection she’s writing entitled Body Parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick KubinPatrick Kubin will be reading an excerpt from his novel, Foolish Fire, a coming of age story about a teenage girl overcoming hardships and family tragedies while growing up in the 1970s on a farm in the fictional town of Riverview, Oregon.

Patrick is a writer and lawyer living in Longview. His short stories and photos have been published in the Salal Review, The Daily News, The Columbia River Reader, and Portland Magazine. He has written three previous novels.

 

Cam Parvitee-1Cam Parvitee will be reading from the second book in her Black Dragons series, about the trials and challenges of a group of senior citizens and the twelve neighborhood children they befriend.

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

 

 

The 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February WordFest offers stories about the writing life

ellen_urbaniLast July, Ellen Urbani visited WordFest to discuss her novel, Landfall, about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. In August, she officially launched the book at Powell’s in Portland, and then set off on a book tour along the east coast and through the South.

 

Landfall-rsEllen returns to the next WordFest on February 9 to talk about the tour. She will be discussing what she describes as “the fun and foibles of a book tour, ways to draw audiences, what support authors can expect from bookstores, how to make an event/appearance engaging (or, how to keep your audience from falling asleep while you’re on stage)”, and tips based on what she learned from the experience (e.g., “Don’t put your iPad in the little storage compartment on the back of the seat in front of you on the airplane.”)

 

 

 

Mark DLocal artist, songwriter and performer Mark Dykstra will give a presentation on songwriting, sharing his process in writing lyrics and developing melodies for his song, “The fire burns deep in the mines.”

Mark has been performing since he was sixteen, and over the years has opened for several well known artists. He organizes and performs at the Acoustic Music and Brews events at The Five Dons Brewery in Longview, held on the first and third Saturdays of each month between 4:00 to 7:00 pm., featuring local acoustic musicians.  He has a degree in arts education from Portland State University, and practices in a variety of media within the arts and music. He has worked with several local authors on their book covers and book trailers.

 

AlanRose020 Alan Rose will be revisiting his 2010 novel, Tales of Tokyo. The second and most autobiographical of his novels, Tokyo is a modern quest novel, following the adventures of four young people who go to Japan to teach in the 1980s. “Each is on a personal quest: Chris is looking for love; Sally is searching for an identity (preferably someone else’s); Jason is seeking a God in whom he doesn’t believe; Delia is out to reform the world—This year it will be Japan.”

Alan will read excerpts from the novel and discuss how the idea for the characters and the book came to be and how they developed.BH_logo_K_H

 

In addition to Tokyo, Alan is the author of The Legacy of Emily Hargraves (2007) and The Unforgiven, published by Bold Strokes Books in 2012. He coordinates the monthly WordFest gatherings, hosts the KLTV program “Book Chat,” and is the book reviewer for The Columbia River Reader.

 

 

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

 

935883_565758236803712_227947471_n

The 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.