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.