Friday, February 20, 1998

Dan Raphael

Dan Raphael gives innumerable readings all over the Pacific Northwest. Most of his e-mail correspondence is a litany of the dates and places where he will be performing, or places where he is hosting readings of the people he publishes. He’s recently performed at Portland’s Artquake and Poetry Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot and Red Sky Poetry Theater, at Eastern Oregon State College, Blue Mountain Community College, Linfield College and Southern Oregon State. One enigmatic e-mail message said he’d just given a reading that night at Merry’ Barefoot Boutique. Last month he held a reading called 26 WOMEN, which featured several women represented by his press, 26 BOOKS. Tomorrow he will be reading at Oregon Books at noon in Depoe Bay, where, by the way, Walt Curtis, Glegg Kleiner, Clemens Starck, and Carla Perry will also be reading.

Besides his job with Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles, his family -- which includes a wife and very tall son-- and other interests like home brewing, basketball and computers occupy his time.

Dan Raphael is the publisher of 26 BOOKS, which so far has published 17 of its planned 26 books of 26 pages by 26 Northwest poets. The newest of the series is TEXTS, by Tom Taylor from Oysterville which has just been released. Dan also hosts a monthly reading series at Borders Books in Downtown Portland.

Trees Through the Road is Dan Raphael’s 13th book of poetry. Other recent books include Molecular Jam (published by Jazz Police Books, La Grande), The Bones Begin to Sing (published by 26 BOOKS) and Rain Away (from Leaping Mountain Press, Fort Collins.) Some, or most of these books are available here tonight.

Dan claims, and I have no reason to doubt him, that over 300 of his poems have been published in over 100 magazines, most recently in Hubbub, Tight, Paper Radio, Talus & Scree, and The Temple.

Rebecca Cohen

My love of stories well-told comes from my family where no incident was too small to make a good story. My father, a Danish immigrant, raised me on Hans Christian Andersen. My mother, an elementary school teacher, read to me daily until I could read for myself. With no television, we were always sharing our reading aloud. These roots gave me the background to develop the skills necessary for carrying on the oral tradition.

My career is that of a children's librarian, but my avocation is storytelling. With story well told, history, values, and consciousness are passed on in such a way that they remain available for use when needed. In my work with children, stories told orally prove invaluable for developing listening and cognitive skills, which are the foundation of speech and reading.

The stories I will tell in Yachats are from the Yakonan-speaking people who once lived on this coast between Heceta Head and Cascade Head. The stories were written verbatim from tellings by Alsea George and William Smith. Both men were very old at the time and the Yakonan language was from their childhood. The written works are often repetitive and rambling. What I have done is make these stories "listenable" for the current generation of Lincoln County dwellers. I do this work with the permission of Siletz tribal members and money I receive from these tellings will be used to enhance the tribal library.
A Lincoln County native, Rebecca Cohen has been telling stories in the oral tradition for over 20 years. She currently works as a Youth Services Librarian at the Newport Public Library.