With few exceptions, all writers seek recognition. Some hope that the quality of their work will bring this about, others crow mightily about themselves and take less pains with the work itself, still others are just damn lucky to be in the right place at the right time to write about some popular social phenomenon or person.
But how many quietly write well, win recognition, and also spend enormous time and energy promoting other writers?
Consider Carla Perry. After earning a BA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1970 and publishing her first collection of poetry, No Questions Asked, No Answers Given in 1971, she immersed herself in the life-experiences of marriage, typesetting, child-rearing, divorce, writing computer-software user manuals for Intel, research work for Bonneville Power Administration, and a long stint as co-editor/publisher of Wild Dog, An Erratic Publication of Unconventional Excellence, to alight at long-last in that veritable cosmic-vortex of artistic and philosophical miasma generally known as Yachats, Oregon.
After pondering her past and publishing her second book of poetry, Laughing Like Dogs, Carla was offered an opportunity to begin a writing event there. Thus, the Yachat's Writers’ Series was born. The Series was invited by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts to relocate in Newport in 1999, and the name was changed to the Nye Beach Writer's Series to reflect the new locale.
With 150 regional, national and international writers successfully presented, Carla was named the winner of the 2002 Oregon Book Awards’ Stewart Holbrook Special Award for outstanding service to the literary community of Oregon.
She still had energy enough to write her first short story, which was anthologized in Scent of Cedars (released Fall 2002), publish poems and short nonfiction in the Pronghorn Press anthology Dense Growth 2002, and to have her interview of Ken Kesey published in Tin House #11, then translated into Romanian for the publication TIMPUL. She also received honorable mention for a poem submitted to the 2002 Kay Snow Awards for Poetry.
In 2003 Carla received the Governor's Art Award for "extraordinary achievement and commitment to Oregon's art," and a 2003 Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts, Inc. for her fiction.
If she sounds like a busy literary icon, that's because she is, efficiently assembling press releases, making contacts and sending invitations for the 2004 Nye Beach Writers’ Series season, while reading submissions and planning future workshops, special events and projects for the non-profit organization, Writers On The Edge, Inc. Although some snidely assert that she is a workaholic, Carla maintains that she is having fun, and would rather do this than go shopping, even though our President maintains shopping would be a higher expression of patriotism.
For additional information www.dancingmoonpress.com
Introduction by Scott Rosin
Photo by Ed Cameron