Saturday, November 20, 1999

Richard Hoyt

Richard Hoyt is the author of twenty-one mysteries and thrillers; two under the alias of Nicholas van Pelt. His first novel, Decoys, a John Denson mystery, was published in 1980. Since then, he has published seven John Denson mysteries and eight James Burlane international thrillers.

Richard, born in Hermiston, Oregon, grew up on a small farm outside Umatilla, Oregon. His father was a moonshiner and a rodeo cowboy; his mother was manager of the school cafeteria. He has a Master of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon and a PhD in American studies from the University of Hawaii. He served as a counterintelligence agent for the United States Army and was a fellow in international editing and reporting at the Washington Journalism Center. He served briefly as a Washington correspondent for newspapers in the Pacific Northwest and was a reporter for two years for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and three years for the Honolulu Advertiser. He taught journalism and mass media courses at the University of Maryland, College Park, and for six years at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

In researching his thrillers, I learned that he has traveled to Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Gibraltar, Canada, Jamaica, England, Portugal, Hong Kong, Brazil, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands, Spain, and Belize. His last overseas trip to he Philippines lasted over three years. In 1984, he rode Soviet trains from Nadhodka, near Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan to Finland. In 1987, he rode riverboats from the headwaters of the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean.

Richard’s novel, Siege, won the American Mystery Award as the best espionage novel of 1987. His latest novel, Stomp, set in 1957, is an existential mystery and a coming of age story. It is largely autobiographical, based on Hoyt's growing up in Umatilla. The book deals with true love, a series of rapes, a bit of stalking, near-death train-proximity sex, a murder attempt (by the heroes), ruined lives, a body found after forty years, and the return of the exiled author in time for his appearance tonight, one more stop on an extended book tour.

Jane Glazer

Jane Glazer grew up in small-town Iowa, in a large family, among animals and books. Her father was a veterinarian; her mother an artist. Jane was widowed at 30 but went back to earn an MA in English Literature while raising three children. After a Fulbright year in Dublin, Ireland, and a two-year Peace Corps stint in South America, she taught in Eugene and Portland schools for twenty years. During that time, she began to publish her poetry in small journals.

Her first book of poems, Some Trick of Light, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards in 1994. Her work has been described as "poems of precise observation and social conscience, informed by an educated sensibility and a first-rate mind."

Poems from Some Trick of Light take us to Ireland, Russia, Italy, and Beijing. The first poems in her book are dramatic and provide description of foreign lands with painfully stark commentary. The book’s second section delves into family memories, deaths of grandparents, and the suicide of her husband. The poems are tender and unpretentious, with no trace of the melodramatic.

A second collection, Moles and Mausoleums, is ready for publication.

Saturday, October 16, 1999

Kevin Sampsell

Kevin Sampsell is the force behind Future Tense Press of Portland, which received an Oregon Literary Arts grant in 1998. Future Tense is dedicated to publishing work by people often thought of as weirdoes or outsiders. As part of his promotion effort, Kevin organized the Future Tense Reading Series at Umbra Penumbra and produced a series of readings in bookstores and cafes that mixed the spoken word with music. Debuting this month, Kevin curated and hosted The Kamikaze Reading Series at the snazzy little theater and café called Raindog in North Portland.

Kevin’s own books include How To Lose Your Mind With The Lights On, The Patricia Letters, Children’s Book, Haiku You, and Invisible Radios: re-mixes, statistics, jokes, etc. A new short story collection, Stuck, is due out from Incommunicado Press in early 2000. His poems, collages and stories have appeared in many zines and journals.

Kevin is also a part-time book critic and writes reviews and articles for Plazm, Snipehunt, Anodyne, Willamette Week, Resonance, Besmirched, and Carbon 14. Plus, he works at the famed Powell’s City of Books in Portland where he schedules author appearances.

He has a four-year-old son Zach and is married to Ritah Parrish.

Ritah Parrish

Ritah Parrish has made a name as a humorous performance poet and in 1996 and 1997 was the queen of Portland’s poetry slam scene. Her work has been cited for its outrageous jocularity combined with unflinching details of brutality.

Her first book of poetry was Ribbed For Your Pleasure. She is also the author of the short story collection, Pink Menace, which contains an assortment of harsh examinations of human perversion written in a most engagingly droll way. Reviewers have said these stories are devilishly twisted views on our inner dilemmas and complex psychological issues without any hint of misery or angst. The characters just do what they must.

Ritah starred in the one-woman shows: I Think He’s A Sociopath But the Dance is Saturday Night, and Bite Down Hard. Her latest two-woman show, Bottomless, ended its Portland run last night.

Saturday, September 18, 1999

Judith Arcana

JUDITH ARCANA is the founding director of the Union Institute Center for Women in Washington, D.C., and a professor of literature and women’s studies in the union’s Graduate School. She has also taught at Loyola University of Chicago, Columbia College, and The Prison Project at the Illinois State Reformatory for Women among many other places. She has participated in workshops at Fishtrap, Flight of the Mind, and Ragdale Retreat for Writers and Artists and has produced videotapes on feminine sexuality for the Union Institute Center for Women.

Judith is the author of Our Mothers’ Daughters, Every Mother’s Son, and Celebrating Nelly. Her most recent book is Grace Paley’s Life Stories, A Literary Biography.

Judith is a longtime teacher of writing and literature and is a prolific writer of articles, essays and speeches about women’s issues, including abortion, mother-blaming, ethnic and racial stereotypes. Her work has been published in the US, England, and Canada. She is a poet and story writer as well with work appearing recently in Nimrod, CALYX, The Temple and Sojourner, ZYZZYVA, and Fireweed: Poetry of Western Oregon, as well as Poetry Motel, 13th Moon, Rhino, Exit 13, and the 1996 contest issue of Passager. She also had recent work in the Cleis Press anthology Nice Jewish Erotica and the Ann Landers Encyclopedia.

She states,
I write for pleasure, I write to satisfy my own desire for writing, my longing for it; I write for an audience, I want to engage that audience, I want anybody who reads or hears my work to be taken into the words, the images, their rhythm and meaning. Performing my work is important to me, a source of joy and exhilaration, and of course offers one way I can actually contact my audience. When I read, I'm like any other live performer, putting out and responding to the vibe/energy.

Saturday, August 21, 1999

Vern Rutsala

Vern Rutsala was born in 1934 and is a native of Idaho. He received his BA from Reed College and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Nine books of his poetry have been published, four chapbooks, and over 700 poems which have appeared in literary reviews and anthologies. He has won numerous prizes including the Carolyn Kizer Poetry Prize (twice), a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Oregon Masters, and two from the National Endowment for the Arts. He received the Juniper Prize for his book, Little Known Sports, and won the Oregon Book Award in 1992 for Selected Poems.

Vern Rutsala is currently a professor of English at Lewis & Clark College.

Ronald Turco

Ronald Turco, M.D., is a widely recognized psychiatrist, author and wilderness enthusiast who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of five books whose subjects range from explorations of psychiatric issues to artistic profiles and mystery novels. His book, Walk East on Burnside, is a mystery novel set in the Pacific Northwest. A well-known contributor who has been instrumental in clearing some high profile cases, Ron draws on a lifetime of experiences to weave a haunting tale of crime and criminals

Ron’s second book, The Architecture of Creativity–-Profiles Behind The Mask, uses the same methods of psychoanalysis to define the personalities of eight famous artists based on their artwork.

Closely Watched Shadows is a true crime murder mystery and a personal account of what it took to develop the psychological profile that helped convict Westley Dodd of the murders of three young boys from Washington state. This book penetrates the mind of a pedophile and reveals the harrowing revulsion that drives the hunter, a sensitive man, to examine the dark corners of his soul. It describes Ron’s personal struggle to re-establish his sense of goodness and innocence.

Ron Turco received a BA in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College where he received an award for his thesis on dream interpretation. He did his psychiatric training at the University of North Carolina. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians, and Associate Clinical Professor at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He received the Outstanding Physician Award from the American Medical Association in 1970 and the Milton Erickson Award of Scientific Excellence by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in 1971.

Ron Turco is a consultant psychiatrist practicing in Portland, Oregon, with an emphasis on psychotherapy and the minimal use of medications. He is also Certified in Wilderness Life Support, and is an avid horseback rider. Find out more information about Ron and his books at

Saturday, July 17, 1999

Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber comes from a Palestinian-American family. Her first novel, Arabian Jazz won the Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the national PEN/Hemingway Award.

Diana received her doctorate in English literature from the State University of New York. Her short fiction has appeared recently in Story and Kenyon Review. Most recently, she wrote and produced an hour-long personal documentary for National Public Radio called "The Language of Peace." She writes book and film reviews for The Oregonian, the LA Times and the Washington Post. She is currently Writer-In-Residence at Portland State University.

She recently returned from Amman where she’d traveled on a Fulbright grant to conduct interviews with Jordanian and Palestinian women in preparation for her novel, Memories of Birth, a book based on her grandmother’s life.
She married my grandfather at age 14 and had seventeen children. When she moved into the desert with my grandfather, who was a descendant of the Bedouins, she built one of the first libraries in Jordan in her home because so many people brought books to her.
-- Diana Abu-Jaber

She also received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant while writing this book.

To learn more visit her website at

Brent Walth

Brent Walth is an Oregon journalist whose focus has been on the state's politics and environmental issues. An Oregon native, he attended the University of Oregon where he studied both journalism and political science.

Early on, Brent worked for Willamette Week in Portland, where he won the national Gerald Loeb Award for business and financial reporting. He spent five years in Eugene as chief political correspondent for The Register-Guard and won the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's top investigative reporting award for his reports on campaign finance.

Brent’s first job out of college was covering the Oregon legislature, and he spent the next ten years reporting on Oregon politics and Congress as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for The Oregonian. During that time, he reported on the downfall of Sen. Bob Packwood and helped reveal the phony military record of Congressman Wes Cooley. Last year he uncovered the checkered financial history of Republican Bill Sizemore, a story that won the state's top reporting prize, the Bruce Baer Award.

His 1994 book, Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story, chronicles this state's most flamboyant and influential governor. The biography of Tom McCall, now in its third printing, has won wide critical acclaim. Among those praising the book, President Bill Clinton called it a "remarkable biography."

Saturday, June 19, 1999

The Memory Place

What does it mean to remember? The ancient cartographers found that to represent the world in perspective, they had to draw it in the shape of a heart. I began to notice in working with people on the poetry of their stories that landscape shaped memory in particular ways, and in this sense, shaped the character of the person remembering. Like the land itself, autobiography is a living, breathing, moving, changing dance.
-- writes Susan Banyas, co-founder of Dreams Wells Studio and the eclectic theatre, SO&SO&SO&SO, Inc., in Portland.

The Nye Beach Writers’ Series welcomes the six performers in "THE MEMORY PLACE," a choreographed literary performance. The show is a combination of f storytelling, dance, comedy, song and drama performed in Portland this past winter to sold-out audiences.

THE MEMORY PLACE layers film, dance and monologue into 10 scenes of memories. Normally, the Nye Beach Writers’ Series hosts just two writers each month, but in this Special Performance, we are privileged to experience a collaborative foray into words and linked pieces expressing perception and memory where love and food and landscape play prominent roles. The result is a tight and meaningful wander through deep conceptual waters presented in a mix of storytelling, dance, comedy, song and drama.

Susan Banyas, a writer and the director of Dreams Well Studio, spent the past several years developing a method for helping performers turn their own personal histories into performing material. Her title piece, which begins the show, incorporates dance into two love stories evoking 1940s San Francisco.

Elizabeth Tschalaer, a movement artist, performs her bilingual passage from Switzerland to Portland in "Between Places," a haunting and sparse memory drama.

Gregg Bielemeier, dancer and choreographer, recalls a Catholic holy day of his childhood in the dance monologue "Pilgrimage to Crooked Finger," which is as much about the physical images of a story as it is about the story itself. He also provides smooth dance cameos with his signature quirkiness and intuitive awareness of how movement reads on the stage.

Wendy Westerwelle, master storyteller, shines like a diva, casually fanning herself as she recounts the flamboyant characters of Storefront Theatre’s glory days and of her childhood summers at a Jewish resort community.

Steve Sander reflects on discovering the world of sensuality through literature in "The Burrough of Queens," as he recounts his first experiences of erotic literature in a tale woven around family life.

Leanne Grabel shows a polished craft in the beat-poetry saga "The Family That Fate Ate" and paints her landscape — 1950s Stockton, California -- in hilarious detail as she searches for a Bohemia paradise.

Saturday, May 15, 1999

Jeff Meyers

Jeff was born in Miami, Florida in 1965 but grew up in a small fishing village on Long Island where he was subjected to all the awfulness the 70’s could bestow upon a teenager. From the joy of gas-rationing (his father owned several gas stations) to the hell of Top 40 Radio, he managed to bury himself in books, acted in as much theater as possible and spent the summer of 1977 going to see Star Wars thirteen times.

He attended the University of Illinois-Urbana on a scholarship, transferring from the Theater Department to a major in Animal Science to a degree in Microbiology, thus losing his scholarship. In his final two years as a senior, he discovered the joys of writing and film... and picked up a Minor in Cinematography.

In 1988, Jeff moved to Chicago and began working at Northwestern University in Genetic Analysis. He started writing screenplays with his best friend and became loosely affiliated with the Neo-Futurists Theater Company. He also started experimenting with poetry because he wanted to impress women.

In 1993, he moved to Portland so his wife could start her residency in surgery. In February 1994, The Portland Poetry Slam was founded and since then Jeff lead five teams through national competition, organized the 1996 National Poetry Slam (which was made into the documentary, SlamNation), established The Great Northwest Salmon Slam (now in its fourth year) and started a monthly show. He won Seattle’s Bumbershoot Poetry Slam in 1997.

Jeff is the co-founder of Theatre Vertigo and is a well-respected theatrical director in Portland and the author of two chapbooks, Come Over Here And Leave Me Alone and Half Empty. His latest screenplay, The Darkest Way is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

His current projects include a play involving a religious cult, a manuscript of poetry based on the porno industry, moving his theater company into a new space and more screenwriting and directing. He makes his living as a molecular biologist.

Todd Davis

TODD STEVEN DAVIS was born at mid-century and grew up in a small Virginia mill town but has lived in the Northwest for twenty-five years and now resides in Seattle. He has an MA in Creative Writing, taught at the college level and has been writing and publishing since he was fifteen years old. He makes his living as a Registered Nurse specializing in spinal cord injury.

Todd says he writes poetry because he feels the compulsion to write, because it gives him great pleasure, and because he likes the adventure. He uses writing to organize his ideas and emotions. Often, he doesn’t know how he feels about something until he writes it down. Performing is the way he checks his editing. When he performs, he knows what he’s done by audience reaction.

Todd believes in poetry as an oral art. What people unconsciously love about language is rhythm, rhyme, repetition, word play, stress. The current generation of poets, he says, is lucky. After decades of academic verse, spoken word, Hip Hop poetry, and the sport of poetry slams has reached the forefront.

Todd is a regular performer in Seattle Slam and in 1995 was a member of the team that represented Seattle in the National Poetry Slam. He has toured nationally, performing in New York and Chicago and all over the west coast. He was the 1996 Grand Winner of the invitational Bumbershoot Poetry Slam.

He is also the author of three books:
  • Sun & Moon Rendezvous
  • Criminal Thawts
  • Like Wings Of Birds.
He is also a singer for the band Eldorado Drive-Thru.

Saturday, April 17, 1999

Carl Hanni

Featured on June 12th & 13th as part of Vaudvillianous Poets and April 17, 1999

April is NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, so tonight, for us, performance poet CARL HANNI will be the representative of all poet’s everywhere.

Carl is a vibrant, dramatic performer of poetry coast to coast in every conceivable situation, including headlining once at the Nuyorican Café in New York City and as a member of the Portland Slam team that went to the National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1995.

In 1994, his chapbook, Crash Worship was published and he produced the CD Talking Rain: Spoken Word and Music from the Pacific Northwest. Since then, his poetry has been featured on several CD and cassette compilations of spoken word. Carl also ran the Literary Arts Program at Portland’s Artquake Festival for three years.

His poetry appears regularly in innumerable literary journals, magazines and anthologies and it seems hardly a week goes by where the Portland papers don’t publicize his involvement at public poetry readings. His enthusiastic, appreciative audiences follow him from event to event. Carl’s first full collection of poetry, Night Shift, was published by Quiet Lion Press in 1996.

Mod Media is his one-man, independent publicity firm. Most of his clients are musicians or record labels, although he also works with writers, dancers, theater people, comics and filmmakers. He promotes their work locally, regionally and nationally.

Carl graduated from American University, in Washington, DC, in 1988 with a BA in Literature and a minor in Cinema Studies. He dreamt of going moving to Bisbee in 1999 and that's what he did and that's where he's been for the past three years.

Saturday, March 20, 1999

Barbara Drake

Barbara Drake received a BA from the University of Oregon in 1961, an MFA in 1966. She taught at the Department of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University from 1974 through 1983, was a visiting writer at Lewis & Clark College 1979-80 and 1982-83, and at Whitman College. She’s taught guest courses at Willamette University and Southern Oregon Community College, and since 1983 has been teaching writing and literature at Linfield College where she is a full professor in the English Department. Her teaching specialties include creative writing, Irish literature, American women writers, and environmental literature.

Her nonfiction book, Peace At Heart: An Oregon Country Life, was published by Oregon State University Press in 1998. Her books of poetry include Love At The Egyptian Theatre, Life In A Gothic Novel, What We Say To Strangers, Bees In Wet Weather, and Space Before A. She also wrote the textbook, Writing Poetry and is co-author of Concepts in Literature for grades 7-12.

Barbara Drake’s poetry and prose has appeared in numerous anthologies including the Prescott Street Reader, The Plain Truth of Things, O Poetry! and The Sumac Reader. Her articles, poetry, fiction and reviews appeared in Northwest Magazine, North American Review, Northwest Review, Centennial Review, Western Humanities Review, Green House, and Wormwood Review.

Barbara was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Graduation Award in 1966, a Northwest Arts Foundation grant to study British poetry in England during the summer of 1985, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1986, and the Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award from Linfield College in 1993.

She lives on a small farm in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range with her husband. They raise wine grapes and Romney sheep. She has eight adult children and six grandchildren. Her interests include photography, travel, hiking and art.

Dmea Roberts

Dmae Roberts is an Amerasian playwright, actress and radio producer. Her first Drammy-nominated full-length play was the autobiographical Mei Mei: A Daughter’s Song. Other plays include Breaking Glass, produced in 1995, Janie Bigo, The Journey of Lady Buddha, her multimedia play about Kuan Yin, and Picasso in the Back Seat, which received the Portland Drama Critics Circle award for Best Original Play in 1996, an Oregon Book Award in playwriting.

Dmae has also written and produced more than three hundred features, audio arts pieces and documentaries for National Public Radio, MonitorRadio, the Osgood Files, and Public Radio International.

Her honors include the George Foster Peabody award for her radio docu-play Mei Mei, an Oregon Institute of Literary Arts award, and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission and New Langton Arts.

Her 13-part radio series LEGACIES: Tales From America was hosted by James DePreist and broadcast on National Public Radio to more than one hundred stations. She just completed three one-hour radio documentaries distributed on National Public Radio called LEGACIES: Faith, Hope and Peace, winner of the Heart of America award for Best in Radio.

Dmae has also acted extensively on Portland stages as Mary Ann in ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS, as Lizzie Borden in BLOOD RELATIONS, as Lady Macbeth in MACBETH, as Hortensio in TAMING OF THE SHREW (for which she received a Drammy nomination), and as Mistress Ford in MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, for which she received a Drama Critics Circle award.

As the executive producer of MEDIARITES, a non-profit organization dedicated to multicultural arts production in radio, theatre and literature, she continues her personal mission to create works that bring diverse communities together.