Saturday, November 15, 2008

Walking Bridges

"Walking Bridges" authors featured at November 15 Nye Beach Writers' Series.

Seven contributors to the 70-poet compilation "Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass," were featured on November 15, 2008: Jonah Bornstein, Don Colburn, Cecelia Hagen, Margaret Gish Miller, Rita Ott Ramstad, and Sandra Stone.

Sharon Wood Wortman, co-editor of the book, is also the author of "The Portland Bridge Book," which had its first and second editions published by the Oregon Historical Society Press in 1989 and 2001. "After OHS went out of the business of books, I founded my own press, took out a loan on our house, and published a third edition in 2006," said Wortman. That edition was awarded the 2007 Silver Medal from Independent Publisher. Wortman is also the driving force behind the ongoing "Portland Parks & Outdoor Recreation Bridge Walks" series held since 1991, which evolved into "Poetry and Bridge Walks" in 2006. Wortman is also involved with the 2009 Portland-Vancouver Bridges & Rivers Calendar, a fundraiser for the 100-year birthday celebration of the Hawthorne Bridge planned for 2010. Additional information about her many projects is posted at

Jonah Bornstein was raised in Southern California and received a Master's in creative writing from New York University before moving to Oregon in 1989, where he co-founded the Ashland Writers Conference. His published books include "A Path through Stone" and "Voices from the Siskiyous." His poem, "Night Blooming Men," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2000 and two of his poems are included in the nationally acclaimed anthology September 11, 2001, American Writers Respond. His many accolades include the Oregon State Poetry Association Prize and the inaugural Southern Oregon Prize for service to the writing community of the region.

Don Colburn lives in Portland where he is a reporter for The Oregonian. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, he worked for many years at The Washington Post. Colburn became interested in poetry and started writing poems while on a mid-career Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. In 2006, he had two collections of poetry published: His chapbook, "Another Way to Begin," won the Finishing Line Press Prize; and his full-length book, "As If Gravity Were a Theory," won the Cider Press Review Book Award. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Cecelia Hagen grew up Norfolk, Virginia, and studied writing and dance at Connecticut College, later receiving a Master's of fine arts in poetry from the University of Oregon. Her work has been published in many national magazines, and in 2007, Passager magazine in Baltimore chose her as its poet of the year. Presently, Hagen teaches memoir writing and coordinates the monthly Windfall Reading Series for the Lane Literary Guild in Eugene.

Margaret Gish Miller was born in Palo Alto, California and now lives in the Willamette Valley where she is a retired English teacher. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and she has received awards from New Millennium Writings and The Writers Digest.

Rita Ott Ramstad's first book, "The Play of Dark and Light," won the 2003 Stafford-Hall Award for Poetry at the Oregon Book Awards; and her poem "Night Beach" traveled on Portland's TriMet buses and MAX trains as part of Poetry in Motion, a campaign that showcases the work of local and national poets on transit vehicles. She teaches English at the Center for Advanced Learning, a charter high school in Gresham.

Sandra Stone is the 2007 winner of the Dana Award in poetry, which is presented to an under-recognized American poet for mastery of craft, inventive use of language, and substance. Her first collection of poems, "Cocktails with Breughel at the Museum Cafe," was selected in the Cleveland State University annual manuscript competition. The following year, "Cafe" received an Oregon Book Award. Stone's work has appeared in numerous national publications and in several anthologies.