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.