May WordFest combines myth, whimsy, ale and food

Next Tuesday, May 14, WordFest dives into folklore and food, beginning at 6:00 pm, at the Cassava Coffeehouse, 1333 Broadway in Longview.

Stevan Allred reads from his second novel, The Alehouse at the End of the World, published by Portland’s Forest Avenue Press in November 2018.

When a fisherman receives a mysterious letter about his beloved’s death, he sets off in his skiff to find her. A whale swallows him, then deposits him on the Isle of the Dead, which is ruled by a trio of giant bird gods. The fisherman must negotiate with the self-proclaimed leader—a narcissistic, bullying crow—to return his beloved to physical form. This is an epic comedy set in the sixteenth century, involving bawdy Shakespearean love triangles, shapeshifting avian demigods, and a fertility goddess who’s into bio-dynamic gardening. Stevan’s book is a juicy farce as well as a hopeful fable for our troubled times.

Stevan wowed the WordFest audience several years ago when he read from his first novel, A Simplified Map of the Real World. He teaches creative writing at the Pinewood Table in Portland and his stories have appeared in various literary journals.

Local poet Carolyn Caines has written seven books of verse on topics close to her heart and funny bone, about travel, teaching and family.  Her latest collection, The Obstinate Apple, focuses on food as “both the pleasure and bane of our existence.” The title poem is about an apple that would not let someone eat it. Carolyn explains, “True story. Many of these silly poems come from experiences with children who are prone to playing with their food.”

A popular presenter at WordFest, Carolyn is a retired teacher living in Southwest Washington. More than 200 of her poems have appeared in magazines, journals, and newsletters, and have been dramatized on radio and on video.

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. 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.