Local historian Irene Martin launches her newest book at January WordFest

Irene Martin, author of several books on Columbia River history, will be launching her newest book this Tuesday at WordFest.

The Flight of Bumble Bee, One Hundred Years of the Columbia River Packers Association and the Pursuit of Fish tells the story of what became the largest salmon packer in the world. The book covers developments in 19th century salmon canning technology, the expansion into Alaska in the 20th century, and the beginnings of the west coast tuna industry. Numerous historic photographs, engravings and salmon labels illustrate the volume. Started by Roger Tetlow and completed by Irene after his death, the book presents the history of a corporation that has been in business over a hundred years and became a national icon in brand names. Copies will be available for sale and autographing.

Irene has been a writer for nearly forty years, specializing in Northwest regional history, particularly that of fishing and the Columbia River. Among her publications are Legacy and Testament, the Story of Columbia River Gillnetters, The Beach of Heaven, a history of Wahkiakum County, and Sea Fire, Tales of Jesus and Fishing. She lives in Skamokawa, Washington, with her husband who is a commercial fisherman in Alaska and on the Columbia River. She is also an Episcopal priest at St. James Church in Cathlamet.
Following Irene, Kelley Jacquez will be reading from her collection of short stories, Holding Woman and Other Stories of Acceptable Madness. The book is being published by Bilingual Press, Tempe, Arizona, due out in May.

WordFest is a gathering of readers and writers who meet on the first Tuesday of each month at The Brits, 1427 Commerce Avenue in Longview.

The event is free and open to the public. Following the presentations, there is an open mic period.

Doors open at The Brits at 5:30, with the readings starting at 6:00 pm.

Writings for the holidays at December WordFest

The community is invited to share holiday stories and reflections at the next WordFest on Tuesday, December 6.

 Local optometrist Terrence Tack will be leading with a short story he wrote titled, “Off the Grid” which, despite its title, is a Christmas story.

“Several years ago I began writing non-fiction vignettes about life changing encounters, the kind that you like to tell your grandkids.  It started out as a casual exercise, a ‘value checker’, so to speak, and has become a way for me to pass on my heritage and to tell the same story more than once and not lose the details…or my audience,” says Terry.

Raised on a farm in Rose Valley and a Kelso High graduate, Terry graduated with honors from Pacific University College of Optometry in 1970, then practiced optometry in the US Air Force before establishing his private practice in 1974 in Longview. His oldest son joined the practice in 1991.   

Following Terry’s reading will be an open mic time when people are invited to share their poems, short stories, memoirs or chapter from their novel that focus on the holidays. There is a 10-min limit.

Doors open at The Brits at 5:30, with the readings starting at 6:00 pm.

Carolyn Caines launches book of poetry at November WordFest

At the next WordFest on Tuesday, November 1, local poet Carolyn Caines will be launching her book of poetry, titled “In the Noiseless Night,”
 a collection of poems evoking what it was like to grow up in the 1950s.

Carolyn, active in the WordFest poetry group, was a teacher (K-12) for thirty years and is now retired. She has published short stories in the past and has written for the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. She recently completed a novel based on the lives of  her Finnish grandparents coming to America that began as an article in the CHQ

Carolyn has been writing poetry for the last fifteen years, and has published more than 125 poems in devozine, Evangel, The Salal Review, and various other magazines and journals. Since 1998, she continues to write Poems For You, a weekly e-mailing.

Copies of her book will be available for $10 each.

 Also that evening, WordFest regular Mary Louise Lyons will read from a collection of Memoir and Poetry that she has been working on this past year. Mary has conducted Memoir workshops at the annual Kalama Word Catcher events.

Doors open at The Brits at 5:30, with the readings starting at 6:00 pm. There will be an open mic time following the presenters.

Former Newspaper editors headline October WordFest

At WordFest on Tuesday, October 4, two former newspaper editors will provide advice on how writers can improve their fiction or nonfiction, by using skills and techniques from journalism.

Jack Hart, former managing editor and writing coach at The Oregonian will be discussing the application of fiction techniques to nonfiction writing.

Jack is the author of A Writer’s Coach and Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction, just published this year. During his time with The Oregonian, the paper won a number of Pulitzer Prizes for stories that he helped craft and shape, using these principles. Jack has been a popular workshop presenter at the Kalama Word Catcher events. Copies of both of his books will be available for purchase.

David Rorden, Longview attorney and former reporter and editor for The Daily News, will offer tips for developing and honing reporting skills to sharpen one’s fiction or nonfiction writing. David was city editor of The Daily News and part of the news staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. He was also one of four writers of the 1980 best-seller, Volcano! The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, and is currently working on a novel. 

Doors open at The Brits at 5:30, with the presentations starting at 6:00 pm. There will be an open mic time following the presenters.

Lutheran minister discusses same-sex relationships and the Bible at September WordFest

At the WordFest gathering on Tuesday, September 6, Gilbert Rossing will be discussing and reading from his book, Dignity, Dogmatism, and Same-Sex Relationships: What Science and Scripture Teach Us. A retired Lutheran pastor (ELCA), Gib and his wife, Beth, began an unexpected journey of study and understanding when their oldest son came out to them that he was gay. Gib’s book is both a personal account of their struggle to understand and what they learned from their investigation of scripture and modern science.

 He writes: “In the beginning, I cared about information about homosexuality only to help me understand my gay son. But soon, I realized that I needed to reconcile understanding about my son with larger issues raised by traditional religious judgments about homosexuality.”

Gib served Lutheran parishes over a period of 30 years in Spokane, Portland, and in Texas. He has a Master of Theology degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Portland State University. After retirement from parish ministry, he was a computer software developer and database designer in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

 During the second hour, Daniel Iddings will read from his manuscript, Happily Depressed, for which he is currently seeking a publisher. Born and raised in Kelso, Dan moved to Seattle where he lived for 20 years. Suffering from severe bouts of depression, he lost his job, marriage and home, and became homeless, living out of the back of his pickup truck. With the support of family and friends, he got back on his feet and returned to Longview, where he wrote his book. Happily Depressed discusses how he recovered from major depression by discovering and implementing four key principles to building a happier life.

During the open mic time, Kelley Jacquez will be reading a poem that was recently accepted for publication.

The Brits doors open at 5:30, and the readings begin at 6:00.