Guest Writers from Ireland highlight July WordFest

On Tuesday, July 3, WordFest will be meeting at the Backstage Cafe, 216 S. Pacific Avenue, in Kelso.

Orla Parkinson and Scott Coombs live in the wilds of county Leitrim in the northwest of Ireland with their three children. Leitrim is well known in Ireland for its arts community and Orla and Scott are both active in local writers groups. Orla, who works as a librarian in a local village on the border with Northern Ireland, will read from a selection of her poems, short stories, and from a play she is currently working on. Scott works in Dublin for an Information Technology consultancy and will read from a collection of short stories he is preparing. He also enjoys letterpress printing and runs the Barking Angels Press in his spare time.

In the second hour, Longview attorney David Rorden will read from a novel he is writing about a jury trial for an involuntary mental commitment case. Set in Longview and Stevenson in Skamania County, the story centers on a high profile case involving a bearded young man wearing a white robe  who sits in the lotus position on the I-5 freeway. His attorney soon learns that his client’s bizarre behavior was designed to put the state’s system of forced mental health treatment on trial. The novel draws on Rorden’s experiences as Cowlitz County’s contracted public defender in ITA (Involuntary Treatment Act) hearings.

In honor of Independence Day, WordFest regular Mary Lyons will read from her writings on patriotic themes, and people are invited to participate in the open mic period following Mary’s’ reading, sharing their own patriotic reflections in prose or verse (10 minute limit.)