Saturday, November 17, 2001

Ron Price

To write the introductions of featured writers for this series, I read as much material as possible about them from book reviews and interviews, whatever is available on the Internet. Usually there is enough to get a sense of a writer, their background and personal interests. Often there is more than enough. Sometimes there is too much. Occasionally, there is way more than I want to know. Or you want to know. Writers. Sheesh.

Ron Price is an exception. There is a lot of material available in praise of his work, his abilities as a wordsmith, much mention of his deep sense of place and kinship with the natural world, as well as his very deep concern about racism in America.

But there isn't a lot about Ron Price himself. Though raised in the Mississippi Delta by parents from the Midwest and east, he describes himself as a southerner by geography but not by culture. He studied with black poet icon Etheridge Knight in the late Seventies in Memphis, moved to Philadelphia just in time to live within fifteen blocks of the bombing of the MOVE house by the Philadelphia Police Department, which resulted in the destruction of sixty neighboring rowhouses. He wasn't happy about it, but managed to carry on.

He is co-founder of the Free Peoples Poetry Workshop, a participant in the following programs: Poet in the Parks, Poet in Prisons, and Poet in the Schools. His work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. He is the author of Surviving Brothers and a recording called A Crucible for the Left Hand. His latest work is A Small Song Called Ash From the Fire.

He now labors as Poet in Residence at the Juilliard School, where he teaches creative writing. He describes his current life "as about as interesting as woodlice." A curious statement, especially when one considers his past proximity to those bombings in Philadelphia. Or that the Juilliard School is located in Manhattan, recent former home of the New York World Trade Center. Woodlice? A person has to wonder where Ron is contemplating moving next.

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Peter Sears

Peter Sears was born in New York, grew up in the East, graduated from Yale and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He won the 1999 Pergrine Smith Poetry Competition for his book of poems, The Brink. His first book-length collection, Tour,was published in 1987. He has also published four chapbooks of poetry and two teaching books, Secret Writing and Gonna Bake Me a Rainbow Poem. His work has been published in many magazines and literary journals and widely anthologized.

Besides having the reputation of being affable, Peter Sears is an extremely busy guy. He founded and manages the Oregon Literary Coalition and co-founded The Friends of William Stafford. He formerly taught creative writing at Reed College and has since taught for the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark. At this time, he splits his time between the publishing company Rubberstampmadness Inc. in Corvallis and Community of Writers in Portland.

Peter Sears has a well-earned reputation for promoting the literature of other writers, both from his teaching and time spent with the Oregon Arts commission, but tonight we honor him for his own work.

Rubber Stamp Madness

Pam Houston

Pam Houston is the author of two short story collections, Cowboys Are My Weakness, which won her the 1993 Western States Book Award, Waltzing the Cat, and a memoir, A Little More About Me, and numerous articles.

Pam Houston is also the sort of writer that Hollywood loves. Not only because she tells a good yarn, but because she actually has gone to the trouble and inconvenience of having adventures to write about, rather than just making up a pack of lies, like the rest of us. Hollywood is going to sniff her out. We've been treated to Ernest Hemingway sagas in his minimalist style. We've had to suffer through Hunter S. Thompson's adventures with recreational pharmaceuticals in his paranoid gonzo-journalism style. Norman Maclean's beautiful A River Runs Through It: and Hole in the Sky. The wry coming of age memoir, This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolf. But they're all guys.

Now we've got the chance to see a real woman adventurer at work, a huntress, licensed river guide, horsewoman, skier, mountain trekker and rock-climber, sailor and glider-pilot, a traveler of continents, mountains and rivers. I could say how good her work is, how she uses the back-drop of her experience to explore the rough country of relationships and her own inner journey, but it would take a long time.

From her memoir, A Little More About Me, she says this: "The two best things a writer can be, in my opinion, are honest and brave. In the moments when a writer can be both these things, he or she speaks for every living thing, without trying."

Saturday, September 15, 2001

Blake Nelson

I think that it is safe to say that in our collective consciousness there exists the character-concept of the young, emerging writer. A someone who goes to college, dabbles in whatever youth-driven pop-culture exists at the time, and by dint of talent, an unerring ear, dedication to craft and unrelenting hard work, finds a strong and unique narrative voice to write a simple, unembellished story about coming of age.

That novelist actually exists, his first novel was an immediate success and now in its tenth printing.

If you're thinking of J. D. Salinger and Catcher in the Rye, you're out of luck. J.D. isn't here tonight, so he's out of luck too. Salinger was hot stuff in the Fifties, but didn't attempt to write his novel from a feminine point of view. Besides, Hollywood never made Catcher in the Rye into a movie. But Hollywood did film Blake Nelson's first novel, Girl, and he IS here.

Comparable to the strong, narrative voices reminiscent of Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge and the character Mattie Ross in Charles Portis' classic, True Grit, Blake's creation of Andrea Marr in Girl is compelling and unsentimental, as tough as the meanest street in Portland. I think she'll be around a long, long time.

A product of Portland and Jesuit High School and educated at Wesleyan University and New York University, Blake knocked around New York and San Francisco performing poetry at spoken word events, but eventually found his way back to Portland where he wrote Girl in 1993. Girl was picked up by Simon and Shuster in 1994, and the film version was released in 1999. Blake's second novel, Exile, saw print in 1997, also by Simon and Shuster. His third novel, User, will be released this fall by Versus Press.

Sam Hamill

When Carla requested biographical information about him, poet, editor and translator Sam Hamill made a very specific statement about introductions:

"The shorter the Intro; the better I like it,"

which presents me with a dilemma. In preparation, I read a lot of material on each guest writer presented here. I've come to realize that some writers have more interesting writing than lives, and others, more interesting lives than writing. Then along comes Sam Hamill, who is damned interesting on both counts, but who says: 'keep it short.' Yet the purpose of intros, of course, is to acquaint the audience with the writer. So, here goes nothin'.

Whelped in 1943
orphan of the Last Good War,
adoption and battering by Utah farm-folk
escape to jail, heroin, San Francisco
a turn-around at words of Beat Poets Rexroth and Snyder,
wrong turn into Marine Corps and Okinawa
slow turn into conscientious objector
long-term immersion in Confucius and Cantos
birthed Copper Canyon Press
water-hauling, wood-splitting
twenty-foot trailer
electricity a stranger
fifteen books of poetry
twenty-eight translations from Ancient Chinese, Japanese, Estonian and Ancient Greek
editing, editing
two Pushcarts, a Guggenheim
awards, fellowships
scholarship by candlelight
ever seeking the way of poetry.

Copper Canyon Press

Saturday, August 18, 2001

Robert Michael Pyle

Like many writers who come to the Nye Beach Writer's Series, Robert Michael Pyle has amassed an impressive array of credits and accomplishments. Fifteen books, ranging from butterflies to Bigfoot. Awards, including a John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Washington Govenor's Writing Awards, a Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology.

Besides founding the Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation, he has worked as Land Steward for the Nature Conservancy and a butterfly conservation consultant in Papua, New Guinea. He has lectured on conservation and taught field courses and creative writing seminars and served on numerous faculties around the country and abroad.

I could go on. There's more. But if he sounds a little too cerebral, not to worry. Many writers start out with terrific brains, which often become fossilized under the tremendous dry weight of academia. To the delight of his readers, Bob Pyle combines an informed imagination, encyclopedic memory and sense of humor with the enthusiasm of an extemely articulate ten-year-old boy.

One reason for this may be, fortunately for both us and Bob, is that in 1982 his house burned down. "Out of this came three good things... I decided to...resign several roles of influence in conservation... to write full time." The second thing was a new romance that has maintained ever since, and the third, his book Wintergreen, of which Bob says, "defined my trajectory as a writer."

He had seen how colleagues in the professional conservation world sometimes became cut off from the natural world to become "office and airplane bound, prisoners of committees, meeting mired." His hands-on approach to life and his work are summed up best in Walking the High Ridge, Life as a Field Trip: "Since my conviction is that heaven is to be found in deep attention to the billowing brilliancy and ordinariness of the world as we find it, it seems to me that the way to know time and to honor the world is to use the days as well as can be."

barbara Lefcowitz

Barbara Lefcowitz has recieved writing fellowships and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and Maryland Arts Council, among others. Her fiction and essays have appeared in over 400 journals. A native of New York, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, a Masters in English from State University of NY in Buffalo and a Ph. D. in English from the University of Maryland.

Recently retired from her professorship of English at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, Lefcowitz is also a visual artist who creates collages and silk paintings, studies languages and has educated herself in astronomy and neurology. Teacher, world traveler and a prolific writer of poetry, fiction and experimental essays, her work is a reflection of her life, the arts, science, memory and the landscape of the mind. A self-described loner, she distances herself from the current self-defined literary schools and feels that university-based creative-writing programs in America are more problematic than helpful to aspiring writers.

Barbara Lefcowitz is the author of seven books of poetry and one novel. Her newest collection, The Politics of Snow, contains the poem "Pacific Shadows," which she wrote while visiting Newport in 1999. The collection contains poetic conjecture on subjects ranging from the Great Cosmic Yawn to Andalusia, from Josef Mengele to Joe DiMaggio, from Warsaw to Brooklyn. Resisting the current tide of literary obfuscation, her poetry is decidedly comprehendable and accessible.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Alexander Knapp

Alexander Knapp is traveling all the way from his home in London, England to read at the Nye Beach Writers’ Series in conjunction with his appearance at the Ernest Bloch Music Festival.

For the past thirty years, Alexander Knapp has published articles and lectured on ethnomusicology world-wide. He is a composer, arranger, conductor, broadcaster on radio and television, and performer. He has been a consultant and accompanist to cantors and choirs recording Jewish music.

In 1992, Alexander was appointed the first Joe Loss Research Fellow in Jewish Music at City University, London. In 1993, he was invited to present the first-ever series of lectures on Jewish music at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He returned to China in 1994 and 1996 for additional lectures. His anthology of essays on Jewish music published by the Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts in 1998 is the first and only book in the Chinese language devoted exclusively to aspects of Jewish music.

Knapp’s lecture series for Spring 2001 at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies includes three categories: Jewish Music, Arabic Music and Miscellaneous. Among the many topics listed for Jewish Music, we find Temple Chant: Before and After, Jewish Music in the First Century, The Golden Age of the Cantor, The Life and Music of Ernest Bloch, and The Music of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley.

"Arabic Music" consists of a ten-session course covering geography, history, society and general culture, religion, sacred and secular vocal music, voice production and performance practice, solo instrumental music, melodic and rhythmic modes, dance, form, improvisation, composition, acculturation and interculturalism, modern developments, and popular styles.

Under "Miscellaneous," Knapp lists Aspects of Performing Arts and Ritual in Present-Day Buryatia (Eastern Siberia), Music From Around the World, Communicating through the Musical Score, and Musical Transcription.

All this is backed up with a dry wit and sparkling eyes. It might not seem so, but the audience is in for a real treat.

Karen Braucher

Featured on April 17, 1998 AND July 21, 2001

Poet Karen Braucher grew up in Massachusetts and has worked as a high-tech manager, consultant, business writer and teacher. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Masters of Education from Lesley College.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with the late poet Richard Hugo. Her poetry won the Worcester Poetry Prize, the Grolier Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize. She was awarded a 1996 Oregon Literary Fellowship for her poetry. Her first book, Heaven's Net was the winner of the 4th Annual Bacchae Press Chapbook Contest.

If you think she's a stuffy academian, you couldn't be more wrong. Braucher is a playful writer and she's charming and funny in front of an audience.

Her new book of poetry, Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances is an exploration of her August 1992 journey to Changsha, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China. She went there to adopt a daughter who was then just eight weeks old. Braucher is donating all royalties from this book to the Foundation for Chinese Orphanages, a non-profit organization that sponsors projects in cooperation with the Chinese government to support children still living in Chinese orphanages.

Braucher is also the founding editor of The Portlandia Group, a fine poetry press that holds an annual Poetry Chapbook contest.

From her poem Travel Instructions for China:

Travel lightly
The itinerary can change at any time without notice
Your baby is liable to suffer from under-stimulation
She will be in culture shock
Your life will be permanently changed
In China, everything is difficult
But nothing is impossible
Bring coffee
Bring comfort foods
You are a woman
Travel lightly

Saturday, June 16, 2001

Win McCormack

McCormack was an honors graduate of Harvard College and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. He was editor of the New Oregon Publishers books Profiles of Oregon, Great Moments in Oregon History, and The Rajneesh Files.

Win McCormack is a major publisher in Oregon and the president of McCormack Communications. His latest publishing endeavor was a 1999 foray into creative writing when he launched Tin House Press and produced the first issue of Tin House literary journal, a serial named for the tin-covered Victorian home in Portland that acts as the journal’s West Coast headquarters. Tin House is a very upscale, intelligent, bi-coastal, book-size publication with offices in Manhattan and Northeast Portland. It publishes–as stated on the cover–Fiction, Poetry, Pilgrimages, Profiles, Lost Books, Food and other Obsessions. McCormack serves as the publication's editor-in-chief and publisher.

"This was a dream I had for many years, but it always seemed too impractical an undertaking," McCormack said. "I was sort of getting into my 50s and realized if I was going to do it, I should do it now." The idea of the upscale, well-designed quarterly, was to pay its writers well, present funky features, and not be too trendy.

McCormack’s own writings go back to his arrival in Portland from New York City when he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. He is also an honors graduate of Harvard College.

He has been investing in magazines since the 1960s when he helped create Mother Jones. He has been treasurer of Oregon Business Magazine since 1984, and is president of two publishing companies: New Oregon Publishers, and McCormack Communications. He is an official of the Democratic Party of Oregon, and has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon and the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem.

McCormack's feature article, "Deconstructing the Election," appeared in the March 26, 2001 issue of The Nation.

Karen Karbo

Portland writer Karen Karbo’s new book Generation Ex: Tales From the Second Wives Club, is a wildly funny, at times painfully accurate portrayal of an underreported social trend: the "ex-relationship." Many people, including Karbo, have married, divorced and remarried and find themselves in a tangle of relationships that require diplomacy, delicate negotiations and tact. Generation Ex, Karbo's fourth book, tells the stories of women who have survived dating, marriage and divorce and now find themselves in the middle of messy situations.

Karbo's three previous books have all been named New York Times Notable books of the Year. Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me is a novel of babies and friendship, mothers and fathers, and the havoc of procreation. Trespassers Welcome Here, Karbo's first novel, was published in 1989 and deals with Soviet émigrés in Los Angeles. Her other books include Big Girl in the Middle and The Diamond Lane.

Karbo is a contributing editor at Conde Nast Women's Sports and Fitness, a correspondent for Outside magazine, and writes for Vogue, Elle, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company, and The New Republic. Her current specialty is the professional guinea pig story, where she puts herself through terrifying and humiliating experiences for the enjoyment of smarter people everywhere. Past guinea pig exploits include diving the World War II shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, surf camp, flying trapeze school, and shark handling in the Bahamas.

Karbo is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a past winner of a General Electric Younger Writer Award. She grew up in Whittier, California and graduated from USC film school.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

June & Joren Rushing

JUNE RUSHINGcomes from a large family of performers–including both parents, grandparent, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her roots are in Country Western and Germanic folk, with special training in jazz and classical.

Her husband, JOREN RUSHING, played his first live concert in July 1966 and has played most Friday and Saturday nights for the past twenty-six years. He has opened for Commander Cody, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Kingfish, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Robert Hunter, Merle Haggard, Ferlin Husky, Earl Thomas Connely and more. Both June and Joren have played with several bands, the most recent were Lonesome Ghosts and Three Bricks Shy. Their new CD features the title track "Walker After Midnight," a song with lyrics by Robert Hunter and music by Joren Rushing

June Rushing performing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with the June Rushing Band
at Cafe Mundo, Newport, Oregon, April 24, 2009.
Video Copyright Carla Perry

David Gans


David Gans is a songwriter, producer/host of the nationally syndicated GRATEFUL DEAD HOUR, and co-producer of the Dead boxed set So Many Roads (1965-1995). He spent twenty-five years gigging around Northern California while earning his living as a journalist and radio producer. He has strong ties to the Grateful Dead, and has recently co-written two new songs with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, "Like a Dog," and "Shut Up and Listen," but he says it would be unwise to infer too much from the Dead connection.

"I was a musician and songwriter before I ever heard of the Grateful Dead. I was a songwriter before I ever picked up an electric guitar and before I ever knew what improvisation was all about. No matter how good you are at jamming, it eventually comes down to the song."

David recently co-produced Might as Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead, a critically-acclaimed collection of Dead songs by the legendary a capella band. He is on a three-month tour promoting his new CD Solo Acoustic. The tour takes him through California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia. He is playing at the Newport Performing Arts Center through arrangements with Joren Rushing.

He is also the author of Playing in the Band, an oral and visual portrait of the Grateful Dead, and Conversations with the Dead. He is the editor of Not Fade Away: The Online World Remembers Jerry Garcia.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

William Kittredge

William Kittredge became a major cultural voice with his 1987 collection of essays Owning It All, which mapped the emotional terrain of the modern West. His memoir, Hole In The Sky,

was marked by questionings, qualifications, wonderings. His task was introspection, the examined life, a cutting away of rationalizations, self-dissection. He explained from the outset that his was a memoir of failure. The book describes his childhood and youth farming in the Warner Valley of southeastern Oregon, up to the point when he is thrust out of that isolated insular Eden.

In his book of short stories We Are Not In This Together, and book of essays Who Owns The West?, Kittredge pursued and dismantled the Western moral code that emphasized independence, hierarchy, private ownership and resource exploitation. Kittredge’s most recent book, published by Knopf in December 2000, is a wide-ranging inquiry. He ponders how to create physical and spiritual sustainability of all creatures. He touches on the cave-paintings at Lacaus, France, the World Bank, Twelfth Century Italian mosaics and the life of Frederico Garcia Lorca. The goal is to reconcile the needs of people with the needs of places and creatures. The Nature of Generosity, Kittredge says, "proceeds more like a dance than an argument."

William Kittredge grew up on the MC Ranch in southeastern Oregon, farmed until he was 35, studied in the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, and became the Regents Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Montana until he retired in the spring of 1997. He received numerous prestigious awards including a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, two Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and two Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Awards for Excellence. He was co-producer of the movie "A River Runs Through It."

He is also the author of Western novels of the "Cord" Series, the short story collection The Van Gogh Field, and a book of essays Owning It All. With Annick Smith, he edited The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology.

Garrett Kaoru Hongo

Garrett Hongo was born in 1951 in the back room of a general store built by his grandfather in Volcano, Hawaii. His family left Volcano when he was less than a year old and Hongo grew up in South-Central Los Angeles. He received a BA cum laude in English from Pomona College, and a Master of Fine Arts in English from the University of California at Irvine. He also participated in graduate studies in Japanese language and literature at the University of Michigan and graduate studies in critical theory at the University of California-Irving. He lives in Eugene and is a Distinguished Professor of Arts and Science as the University of Oregon where he is Director of the Creative Writing Program. He speaks Japanese, German, Spanish and English.

Garrett is the author of three books: Volcano: A Memoir of Hawaii, Yellow Light, and The River of Heaven, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He also edited the anthologies The Open Boat: poems from Asian America and Songs My Mother Taught Me. He received the Oregon Book Award for non-fiction in 1996, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Saturday, March 24, 2001

Jan Clausen

JAN CLAUSEN was born in Oregon and attended Reed College in the late Sixties, but moved to New York in 1973 where she received Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the New School for Social Research. She then moved to Brooklyn and settled into a life of writing, demonstrating and activism on behalf of social justice–-especially for women.

After more than a decade of "marriage" to a woman with whom she was raising a daughter, she fell in love with a West Indian male lawyer she met on a fact-finding tour to Nicaragua in 1987. Her decision to move in with that man stunned the lesbian literary and political community and they forcefully and dramatically cast her out. The experience was, she writes,
like deliberately embarking on a sea cruise off the edge of a flat Earth.
Her story is told in the memoir Apples And Oranges: My Journey Through Sexual Identity.

Jan is a poet, novelist, liberal activist, book critic and reviewer. She has written eight additional books including the nonfiction Beyond Gay or Straight: Understanding Sexual Orientation, and the novels Sinking, Stealing, and The Prosperine Papers.

Her short fiction, articles, poetry and book reviews appear regularly in numerous magazines including Kenyon Review, The Village Voice, Ms., The Nation, Poets & Writers, and the Women’s Review of Books. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fiction fellowship.

Jan is the director of Eugene Lang College, a division of the New School University (formerly New School for Social Research) in Manhattan, where she teaches fiction and autobiographical writing. She is currently working on a book of poems, In the Dazzlegarden a novel, The Observable Moment When Things Turn Into Their Opposites.

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Jim Bodeen

Jim Bodeen is a literature and writing teacher of Latino students at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington, the publisher and editor of Blue Begonia Press, and the author of several books of poetry including Whole Houses Shaking, Impulses to Love (poems set in North Dakota, Chile and Vietnam), and most recently, This House: A Poem in Seven Books. His plan with This House was to write a single poem about a single morning spent in his garden, listening to "In This House, On This Morning" by the Wynton Marsalis Septet. The poem, an epic narrative, is based on dreams, interactions with his wife, his children, his students, his friends–- but it evolved into a book that took ten months to write.

Jim, who writes in both English and Spanish, edited the book, With My Hands Full, a bilingual anthology of transformational poems by thirty-five young Latino writers. These pieces are witness to loss, migration and arrival. They explore border crossings that are geographical, political and personal. Jim calls these writers abrecaminos–-those who make a way where there is no way.

Jim received a BA in Education and a BA in History, plus a Masters in English from Central Washington University and a Master of Religious Education from Seattle University. As part of the Lincoln County School District Goals 2000 grant, Jim taught a workshop yesterday at Waldport High School.

Bodeen says of his work --
Being called to poetry is being called to listen. It is listening to the deepest sounds. The principles are basic–-extreme sobriety, practicality and courage.
Jim Bodeen and his wife Karen, his book designer and typesetter, have devoted their lives to poetry and poets.

Saturday, February 17, 2001

Sandra Scofield

SANDRA SCOFIELD is the author of seven novels, the first published in 1989. Beyond Deserving was a 1991 Finalist for the National Book Award and a winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. A Chance to See Egypt won the Texas Institute of Letters 1997 Fiction Award. Three of her books were finalists for Oregon Book Awards. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oregon Institute of Letters, and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Sandra is a graduate of the University of Texas and the University of Oregon, and earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in 1979, with particular interest in language arts scholarship. She was on the faculty of Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) and has extensive experience as an educational planner, working with the Northwest Educational Laboratory, the Montana Department of Public Instruction, the Portland, Oregon public schools, the Alaska school districts of Tok and McGrath; and Southern Oregon State College, where she chaired the committee to develop their special education program.

In addition to writing fiction, Sandra is a regular book reviewer for national newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Oregonian, Dallas Morning News, and Newsday, and also contributes to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe.

She is currently working on Occasions Of Sin, a memoir-based fictional a memoir-based fictional account of how a precocious Catholic girl of fifteen forms wrongheaded notions about love and sex by over-identifying with her dying mother.

Larry Colton

Featured on October 17, 1997 AND February 17, 2001

Larry Colton’s resume begins in 1965 when he was a professional baseball player, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. His Major League Debut was on May 6, 1968 and he played one season. His next job was teaching English and journalism for the Portland Public School District.

Larry’s first book was Idol Time, published in 1977. The book is a profile of the Trail Blazers’ championship season. From 1984 to 1986 Larry worked as a corporate writer for Nike, then became a fulltime freelancer, and has since written over 250 feature stories for magazines such as Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Ladies Home Journal, and The New York Times Magazine.

In 1993, his second book, Goat Brothers, was published by Doubleday. The book became a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and was optioned for a movie. The story chronicles the lives of himself and four fraternity brothers from their days at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s to their present middle age.

His third book, Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball And Honor On The Little Big Horn, was published in September 2000 and immediately became the International eBook Foundation non-fiction book of the year. It is also in the running for a Pulitzer Prize.

In Native American tradition, a warrior gained honor and glory by "counting coup" – touching his enemy in battle and living to tell the tale. Larry spent fifteen months living among Montana’s Crow Indians to follow the struggles of a talented, moody, charismatic young woman named Sharon LaForge, a gifted basketball player and a descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer’s Indian scouts.

Larry lives in Portland and still has a day job. He works as Project Director of the Community of Writers, a non-profit organization in Portland dedicated to improving the quality of writing instruction in Oregon’s public schools.

Saturday, January 20, 2001

Doug Marx

DOUG MARX is a poet, essayist, freelance journalist and teacher. His first book of poems, Sufficiency was a 1994 Oregon Book Awards nominee. His literary journalism includes dozens of profiles and interviews of literary figures such as Czeslaw Milosz, Carolyn Forché and Barry Lopez.

He is a frequent contributor to the Oregonian, Willamette Week, Writer's Northwest, Left Bank, and Publisher's Weekly. His poems have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, WILD DOG Literary Magazine, Willow Springs and many other literary journals.

Doug was a founding member of Northwest Writers Inc., and is a board member of Oregon Literary Arts. His eight-week workshop So You Want To Write, offered through Mt. Writers Series in Portland, begins this coming week. This class, he says, is for "closet scribblers" and helps students become acquainted with fiction, creative writing, nonfiction and poetry, in addition to encouraging their own writing. Doug has participated in the Portland Public Schools’ Writer-in-Residence program since 1996.

Doug is also a professional land surveyor, rabid poker player, and fine blues guitarist.