Watch the video of the January WordFest on Zoom below.
WordFest coordinator Alan Rose will read from his new novel at the next “WordFest on Zoom” event, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm. Released on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020, by Amble Press, As If Death Summoned tells the stories of people caught in the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s. Alan, who worked at Cascade AIDS Project in Portland from 1993 to 1999, captures the pathos, resilience and the death-defying humor of those years. Foreword Reviews calls the book “as heartwarming and hope-giving as it is heartbreaking,”
About the Book: In 1936, a man was caught in a blizzard on Australia’s Bogong High Plains. Found unconscious by a search party, he was taken to the nearest township where an old aborigine woman made the cryptic comment, “They brought back only his body.” He died soon after. In the decades since, there have been reports of a lone figure seen wandering in the region. When approached, the man vanishes without a trace.
Almost sixty years later, a young American returns from Australia, exhausted after ten years on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic and haunted by dreams of the Bogong High Plains. He, too, is lost in a kind of blizzard, struggling to remember a time when life was about more than death. Working at an AIDS organization in Portland, Oregon, he will eventually come to understand the old woman’s words and his mystic connection to the Bogong High Plains: When he returned to the States, he brought back only his body.
The historical event known as the Mt Bogong Tragedy is the seed for this fictional story of profound loss and profound healing. With expected pathos and unexpected humor, As If Death Summoned testifies to the power of grief to erode a life, and—for those who can find a way through their grief—the power to rebuild and renew it.
Hold the Dates:
Book Signing (properly masked, socially distanced) from 1:00-4:00 pm, in the Merk in downtown Longview on Saturday, January 16. Paperbacks Galore will sell copies at a discount of $17.
Virtual Book Discussion with Alan via Zoom on Friday, February 12, 1:00-2:00 pm, hosted by Vikki J. Carter, producer of the podcast series, Authors of the Pacific Northwest. (Register for free Zoom invitation link with Alan at email@example.com, or Vikki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dayle Olson, a poet and short story writer living in Wahkiakum County, will read “What Sets Us Free,” which first appeared in Seaside Libraries’ 2019 short story anthology.
Dayle’s short stories were selected two years running by Seaside Libraries for publication in their annual anthology. She lives with her husband David and two opinionated cats in Cathlamet. Her poem, “Water Highway/SR 4 at Stella,” was one of eight chosen statewide for inclusion in Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna’s Washington Poetic Routes broadsheet project. In addition to writing poetry during the pandemic, Dayle has been researching the stories of early residents buried in the local Pioneer Cemetery.
Longview poet and essayist Mary Lyons is a WordFest favorite, known for her often humorous accounts of life in the (now) twenty-first century. Mary will be reading a short story, “Joy to the Whirled!” about preparing for the Christmas season during the current pandemic, involving domineering cats, two grandchildren, and three Baby Yodas.
The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account, but one must register for the (free) monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation link.
For more information, go to www.alan-rose.com