Friday, November 13, 2009

Craig Carothers

CRAIG CAROTHERS grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His parents, both music teachers, introduced him to a wide range of music including jazz, classical and blues. Carothers also cites a number of Motown, pop and folk influences.

His song, Little Hercules, recorded for Trisha Yearwood, went Gold. Craig is now traveling the country in support of his most recent CDs, Solo and Nothing Fancy.

Craig Carothers has toured with or opened for Mose Allison, Karla Bonoff, Jonatha Brooke, Rosanne Cash, Bruce Cockburn, Paula Cole, Robert Cray, Catie Curtis, Crash Test Dummies, Donovan, Peter Himmelman, John Hiatt, Leo Kottke, Patty Larkin, Michael McDonald, Dennis Miller, Anne Murray, Danny O'Keefe, Leroy Parnell, Paula Poundstone, Boz Skaggs, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Richard Thompson, Jethro Tull, Romeo Void, Loudon Wainwright III, Tim Weisberg, David Wilcox, Warren Zevon, and many others.

To learn more about Craig Carothers, visit his website at, his last appearance at the Nye Beach Writers' Series, or on our past presenters archive.

Don Henry

Grammy Award winner DON HENRY'S songs have been recorded by legends like: Ray Charles, Patti Page and Conway Twitty, by country crooners like: Gene Watson, John Conlee and B.J. Thomas and by young hit makers of today like: Blake Shelton, Lonestar and Kathy Mattea...and the list goes on.

But his songs shine most when heard by the very artist who wrote them in the concerts he performs across the country...

At Don's shows, you'll easily spot those who have yet to hear his songs; upon first experiencing them, the listener is often moved to laughter or tears, sometimes both at the same time! And everyone leaves humming, because Don Henry songs stay with you.

Don's unique perspective is expressed in instantly memorable melodies and equally smart arrangements that appeal to listeners across musical borders, and across the nation.

As Dirty Linen observed about his Philadelphia Folk Festival appearance: "The crowd was won over by this guy and his guitar. Long may he write."

To learn more about Don Henry, visit his website at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Marianne Klekacz

MARIANNE KLEKACZ graduated from Marylhurst University with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing, and received her M.F.A. from Pacific University. She is the author of the chapbook, "Life Science," which won the Edna Meudt Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies in 2003, and the full-length poetry collection, "When Words Fail," was released in 2009 by Dancing Moon Press.
Words Fail Me

Marianne has extensive experience winning prizes in poetry, serving as a judge in poetry contests, and leading panels on the topic of poetry. She is the recipient of a Binford Writing Scholarship at Marylhurst and a former president of the Oregon State Poetry Association and a board member of Writers On The Edge.

She recently resigned from Intel Corporation and now lives fulltime in a remote valley on the west side of Oregon's Coast Range mountains, along with a husband and an enormous variety of wildlife.

Laurel Blossom

Prize-winning poet LAUREL BLOSSOM's most recent book is Degrees of Latitude, a book-length narrative prose poem exploring the geography of a woman's life (Four Way Books, 2007).

Laurel is a lifelong swimmer and, when not actually immersed in some body of water, swimming, she likes to be immersed in reading about it. Thinking that others might feel the same way, she has collected stories, essays and poems into an anthology called Splash! Great Writing About Swimming.

Since moving to South Carolina, she has edited an anthology of 20th century Edgefield poetry called Lovely Village of the Hills, available through Paperwhites, 102 Courthouse Square, Edgefield SC 29824, (803) 637-0600.

In addition to poetry, Laurel has written essays and book reviews for such publications as Publishers Weekly, American Book Review, and Small Press Review. Her interviews and essays on cultural and political topics, ranging from writers' colonies and amusement parks to art forgeries, libraries, and nuclear non-proliferation have appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Empire State Report, and things (UK), among others.

Laura's official website:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jules Boykoff

Jules Boykoff is the author of two poetry collections: "Hegemonic Love Potion," and "Once Upon A Neoliberal Rocket Badge". Besides "Landscapes of Dissent" his political writing includes "Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States," and "The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch US American Social Movements." Boykoff's critical writing has appeared recently in The Nation, The Guardian, The Oregonian, and Wheelhouse Magazine. In November 2006 he was an invited speaker at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where he presented research he carried out on U.S. media coverage of global warming.

Boykoff is also an enthusiastic soccer fan who played soccer at the University of Portland and represented the U.S. Olympic Team in international competition. He played professional soccer for the Portland Pride, Minnesota Thunder, and Milwaukee Wave. Boykoff teaches politics and writing at Pacific University and co-curates the Tangent Reading Series with Kaia Sand and Rodney Koeneke.

"Part primer, part field guide to pull from satchel during actions, Landscapes of Dissent skillfully compresses all the theory you need to take poetry out of the page and into the Spaces Formerly Known as Public. By focusing attention on where the poem happens (freeway signs, corporate shopping districts, chain link fences policing the commons), rather than its content or form, Sand and Boykoff open a fresh window on the hand-wringing question of poetry and politics."

—Arch Llewellyn, Amazon review.

Kaia Sand

Kaia Sand and Jules Boykoff are performance poets and activists for political and social justice. They combined their talents to co-author the book, "Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and Public Spac," a book that explores what dissent looks like when framed and made by poets, and how dissent alters our understanding of what poetry might be and become.

Kaia Sand's poetry collection, "interval," was selected as a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year. She created several chapbooks through Dusie Kollektiv (, which published her wee book, "lotto," and "tiny arctic ice," re-configured as a broadside by Bowerbox Press. Sand recently performed poetry collaged entirely from the North American Free Trade Agreement, at the Positions Colloquium of the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her investigations of Portland, Oregon geography, including a poetry map and guided walk, will be published this fall as "Remember to Wave" through Tinfish Press. Her poems comprise the text of two books in Jim Dine's "Hot Dreams" series (Steidel Editions), as well as the text for a choral composition by Matthew Sargent, "Riverbed Echo." Sand co-edits the Tangent Press (, and co-curates the Tangent Reading series.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dori Appel

Dori Appel is an Ashland writer whose poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple and The Best Is Yet To Be, the audio recording of which was a 1997 Grammy finalist. Her recent collection of poems, Another Rude Awakening, was published in 2008 by Cherry Grove Collections.

Dori is the author of eighteen full-length plays, plus many one-acts and monologues. She was the winner of the Oregon Book Award in Drama in 1998, 1999, and 2001, and her most recent play, Hat Tricks, published by Samuel French, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in 2008. Girl Talk and Hot Flashes, both co-authored with Carolyn Myers, are also published by Samuel French.

Two full-length plays, WHEN GOD CAME TO BABYLON and I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, are being translated into Bulgarian for presentation by director and actress Victoria Koleva to professional theaters throughout Bulgaria.

Dori Appel's official website:

David Lee

Since the publication of his first book of poems, The Porcine Legacy (1974), David Lee has written sixteen volumes of poetry, including So Quietly the Earth, Driving & Drinking, and News from Down to the Cafe. Two new collections will be released in 2009; the first, A House Made of Time, is a collaboration with former poet laureate of Nebraska, William Kloefkorn (Logan House Press); the second is Texas Wild Flowers: A Triptych (Wood Works Press).

David Lee, first and former poet laureate of the State of Utah, has studied in the seminary for the ministry, was a boxer and is a decorated Army veteran, played semiprofessional baseball as the only white player to ever play for the Negro League Post Texas Blue Stars, and was a knuckleball pitcher for the South Plains Texas league Hubbers.

David has raised hogs, worked for years as a laborer in a cotton mill, earned a Ph.D. with a specialty in the poetry of John Milton, and is the recently-retired Chairman of the Department of Language and Literature at Southern Utah University. He has received the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award in Poetry, and the Western States Book Award in Poetry, the Utah Governor's Award for lifetime achievement in the arts, and been honored as one of Utah's top twelve writers of all time by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities. David splits his time between Bandera, Texas, and Seaside, Oregon, where he scribbles and wanders available roads, trails and beaches, all at about the same rate and pace. After an 8 year hiatus, which may or may not relate to the bush administration, he has returned to the narrative format in his new work.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Craig Carothers

Tonight's featured writer is Craig Carothers. We often hear about the "music" of a certain piece of poetry or prose. But Craig approaches music in his work more directly: He writes songs.

Now nationally and internationally famous, Craig started his career in Portland. He moved to Nashville in 2000, but it seems like he's almost never there. He's likely to pop up almost anywhere for a performance, whether it's solo, as this evening's show is, or with a
group of his friends for a "songwriters in the round" gig.

It's difficult to characterize Craig's music, but it has inspired an enthusiastic following perhaps comparable only to the "Dead-heads." When tonight's show leaves you wanting more, take home some music from the book table in the back of the room or catch him live on Tuesday July 19 at the Buffalo Gap saloon in Portland, where you can listen with your hands wrapped around a pretty good margarita.

It's good to have Craig back in Oregon. And it's good to anticipate some wonderful acoustic guitar and lyrics on such a lovely evening on the coast.

Please welcome Craig Carothers.
-Marianne Klekacz
CRAIG CAROTHERS grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His parents, both music teachers, introduced him to a wide range of music including jazz, classical and blues. Carothers also cites a number of Motown, pop and folk influences. His song, Little Hercules, recorded for Trisha Yearwood, went Gold. Craig is now traveling the country in support of his most recent CDs, Solo and Nothing Fancy.

Craig Carothers has toured with or opened for Mose Allison, Karla Bonoff, Jonatha Brooke, Rosanne Cash, Bruce Cockburn, Paula Cole, Robert Cray, Catie Curtis, Crash Test Dummies, Donovan, Peter Himmelman, John Hiatt, Leo Kottke, Patty Larkin, Michael McDonald, Dennis Miller, Anne Murray, Danny O'Keefe, Leroy Parnell, Paula Poundstone, Boz Skaggs, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Richard Thompson, Jethro Tull, Romeo Void, Loudon Wainwright III, Tim Weisberg, David Wilcox, Warren Zevon, and many others.

Video and Photo copyright by Carla Perry

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spike Walker

Walker practices what he calls “literary journalism.” His aim, he says, is to bring to the page a fine collection of Alaska adventure stories that connects the reader’s heart to the written word.

Walker brings to the page a journalist’s eye for important facts, a poet’s sense of image and detail, and a true storyteller’s gift for narrative.

Walker says he discovered literature while at OSU on a full athletic scholarship as a record-holding shot-putter. He cites as major influences Steinbeck, Hemingway, London, and Saroyan. But he came to believe early on that non-fiction was more interesting than fiction. He graduated from OSU in 1974, tried logging for awhile, and in 1978 he went to sea fishing for crab in the frigid waters off the coast of Alaska. In 1981, deciding he’d had enough of the back-breaking, bone-grinding work of crab fishing, he discovered that he could write. He has drawn his stories from his experiences with the fishing fleet. His fourth book, Survivor’s Edge, is with the printer now. He has served as a consultant for three episodes of the TV series “After the Catch.”

I picked up Walker’s first book, Working on the Edge, intending to just skim it. It consumed about two days of my attention. It displaced housework, watering the garden, even reading the new New Yorker magazine. I found it difficult to put down long enough to cobble together meals. After the dramatic conclusion, I reflected on how much I had learned in the process of being gripped by this amazing narrative. It should be required reading for any young person who has dreams of going to Alaska and “making it big” in the fishing industry.

I know from our conversations and from his writing that he truly has the gift of gab, and I can hardly wait to hear what he has to say.

- Marianne Klekacz

Video Copyright Carla Perry

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jessica Lamb

JESSICA LAMB walks the night rounds of the spirit in this first, unflinching collection of poems, keeping her accounts of desire and disappointment, loneliness and kinship, fertility and decay. The book is animated by a fierce, imperfect love–a mother's love for her young son; a woman's love for her long-time husband; a human's love for this afflicted earth. In poems of gratitude and lament, Jessica Lamb explores the private, and often silent, negotiations a woman makes between the longings of the solitary heart and the demands of marriage and parenting. In the midst of hunger, plunder, and surrender, she finds small stubborn signs of promise and renewal.

Raised in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Jessica Lamb received a master’s degree in Italian literature from Stanford University before settling in Portland, where she has taught writing for many years through the Northwest Writing Institute, Portland Community College, and Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools program. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, The Southern Review, and Willow Spring.

To learn more about Jessica Lamb, click here

Video copyright by Carla Perry
Photo copyright by Carla Perry

John Witte

John WitteJOHN WITTE's poems have appeared widely, in publications such as The New Yorker, Paris Review, and American Poetry Review, and been included in The Norton Introduction to Literature, among several anthologies. He is the author of Loving the Days (Wesleyan University Press, 1978), The Hurtling (Orchises Press, 2005), and Second Nature (University of Washington Press, 2008).

John is also the editor of The Collected Poems of Hazel Hall (Oregon State University Press, 2000), and a former editor of Northwest Review. He is the recipient of two writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a residency at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He lives with his family in Eugene, Oregon, where he teaches literature at the University of Oregon.

For more info:

Video copyright by Carla Perry
Photo copyright by Carla Perry

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Michele Longo Eder

Introduction by Marianne Klekacz:
Michele Longo Eder's first book was published in 2008. Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman's Wife, draws on Eder's journals, public records, interviews, essays, and other sources to reflect the realities of the life of a commercial fisherman and his family.

Just as Overstory Zero, by Robert Leo Heilman, did for the logging industry several year's ago, Salt in Our Blood opens a window to look in on a unique and endangered Oregon way of life.

Eder's book is aptly titled. Oceans contain roughly the same percentage of salt as do our blood, sweat, and tears. Salt in Our Blood is full of all four.

Eder's narrative shows us the joy, frustration, hard work, and tragedy in the life of a commercial fisherman. Coming from the outside to join her husband in his chosen environment and career, she casts a clear eye not only on the fishing but on the politics, pettiness, and lack of comprehension that endanger Oregon's fisheries and fishermen, and on the very real dangers they face with each trip to sea to harvest food.

Salt in Our Blood is a gripping read.
All of us have, in our veins, the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.

President John F. Kennedy
Newport, Rhode Island
September 14, 1962

Born in upstate New York, Eder graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1976, moved to Portland, Oregon, and graduated from the Lewis & Clark law school before moving to Newport. She currently serves on the board of directors of the North Pacific Research Board, and, as a two-term Presidential appointee, is a Commissioner with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. She also serves on the board of directors of the Newport Library Foundation.

To learn more visit

Jim Lynch

Video by Carla Perry

Introduction by Marianne Klekacz:
Jim Lynch's first novel, The Highest Tide, was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. It's loosely described as a "coming-of-age fable." I'm not sure that description does the book justice. From the wonderful foreshadowing on page 2 -- " freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame, and suggestions of the divine"­- Lynch had me. I read the book in one sitting.

Lately, I've been chatting with a number of folks about the things we seem to lose as we "grow up" ­the sense of wonder, the less-jaded eye, the curiosity, those sorts of things. It takes a skilled and thoughtful writer to reconstruct the sense and sensibilities of childhood and adolescence and to reproduce those on the page. Jim Lynch is clearly both skilled and thoughtful.

Like Harper Lee's Scout Finch and J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, "little Miles O'Malley," self-described wimpy nerd, teeters on the brink of big life changes. He guides us through a momentous summer in his adolescence with the unflinching eye of "an increasingly horny thirteen-year-old" who looks about nine but is blessed with a brain that wraps itself around the events in the story in a sophisticated way. He took me by the hand, and I gladly shared his journey.
The Highest Tide
Jim Lynch's second novel, Border Songs, will be released this summer. I can hardly wait.
Lynch grew up on a lake near Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1985, with degrees in creative writing and journalism, he worked as a reporter in a tiny Alaskan fishing town. He then escaped for Washington, D.C., where he wrote columns for syndicated muckraker Jack Anderson and short fiction for literary magazines.

When he returned to the Northwest, it was to Spokane, where his stories won national honors including the Livingston Young Journalist Award. Later, he wrote for The Seattle Times and served four years as the Portland Oregonian's Puget Sound reporter. He now devotes himself full-time to writing fiction. Lynch lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

To learn more visit

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Matt Love

Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Anthology


February 14, 2009 marks the 150th birthday of the State of Oregon.

In celebration, several local writers included in "Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon's Sesquicentennial Anthology" will be the featured authors of the Nye Beach Writers' Series event held that night.

Matt Love chose the anthology's title from a quote by Oregon's celebrity author Ken Kesey: "Oregon is the citadel of the spirit." The book contains 63 original essays by writers who have called the State of Oregon home. In addition, 61 excerpts from primary documents related to Oregon history are included.

The whole idea was to commemorate Oregon's 150th birthday, said Matt Love, owner of Nestucca Spit Press, the book's publisher. Citadel merges past and present Oregon voices and stories. I wanted to produce an unconventional book that integrated the old stories and new perspectives and reflects Oregon's maverick nature.

a sampling of Citadel contents:

  • "Lake Electric," written by Newport High School student Miri Goldade musing on the sometimes-eerie magic of Crater Lake
  • "Its Great Vigor: A Letter on the Origin of the Himalayan Blackberry" by Luthor Burbank
  • "Break Every Yoke: A Report on the Women's Suffrage Movement in Oregon" by legendary Oregon suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway
  • "The KKK in Oregon" by Eckard Toy Jr.
  • "That's When I Saw It: A Bigfoot Sighting" by Dr. Matthew Johnson
  • "Mainstreaming Cannabis" by Alicia Williamson
  • "I Voted to Stay as a Remaining Member: A Klamath Termination Oral History" by Delphine Jackson
  • "An Ale Tale" by Brian Doyle
  • and - believe it or not - "She is a Sexy Thing," a diary entry by the infamous, impeached U.S. Senator Bob Packwood
  • Other topics include the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, physician-assisted suicide, the Grateful Dead, Oregon's rivers and the animals who live there, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the perennial University of Oregon vs. Oregon State University rivalry.

Matt Love made a point of having the anthology printed by an Oregon printing press. "I could have shipped my order to Asia and saved a lot of money. Thousands of dollars. But, a book celebrating Oregon's 150th birthday printed in China? Are you kidding me? I'm a real Oregonian - I know who my neighbors are and I don't rationalize my capitalism at their expense."

Nestucca Spit Press

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes is a long-time noted Portland poet, writer and translator. Most recent book of poetry: A Suitcase Full of Crows (1995). Forthcoming poetry from Lost Horse Press in Spring 2004: At the Edge of the Western Wave. Books of translations: Poemas de la Isla/Island Poems by Josefina de la Torre (Eastern Washington University Press, 2000); Puertas abiertas/Open Doors by Edwin Madrid (2000), Hojas sueltas/Scattered Leaves by Josefina de la Torre (2002) and Páginas de Arena/Pages of Sand by Selena Millares (2003). Of interest is the fact that Open Doors has been translated into Arabic and this year was published in Baharain. Reyes has completed translating the Obra poética completa (Complete Poetic Works) of the preeminent Ecuadorean poet Jorge Carrera Andrade, which will be published this year in a bilingual edition in Ecuador. Current translation project: Mario Benedetti, Rincón de los haiku / Corner of Haikus. Publisher/Editor Trask House Books, Inc. Former poetry reviewer for Willamette Week, a weekly newspaper in Portland, Oregon. He travels often to Ireland where he maintains an 18th century Irish cottage and is a frequent visitor to Spain and Ecuador.

Carlos Reyes is an Irish-American poet blessed with a Hispanic name. He is the bard of Cloonanaha (County Clare, Irleand) and a poet in Portland, Oregon. Carolyn Kizer has said:
Mr. Reyes is one of our local and national treasures. His poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things, and his ability to capture a mood, a world, in a handful of lines.


--for Tonja Larsen and Judy Fisher

At the bar words in Irish
sough between publican and customer.

He looks our way, a fisherman up
since six this morning,

abandons his half-finished pint.
Foam slides down the glass

like the tide falling away
from the stone quay a mile from here.

Uncertain of his landlegs, he staggers
away toward hearth.

We finish Guinnesses at our ease,
return to the carpark.

A man sells mussels from a burlap bag
out the boot of his car.

On the road through Letterfrack village
the freshly laid tarmacadam sizzles:

smoke and fog burn away
the soft evening sky.

Travis Champ

Nehalem born and bred. Travis Champ recently released a thirty-poem collection, Old Nehalem Road.

In the hearty tradition of Gary Snyder, Phillip Whalen and Walt Curtis, Nestucca Spit Press is proud to present Manzanita’s Travis Champ, and the release of his collection of poems, Old Nehalem Road.

Featuring thirty poems, all set in Oregon, Old Nehalem Road represents a remarkable literary debut for a 25-year-old poet.

As Nestucca Spit Publisher Matt Love wrote in his introduction to the book:

I first heard Travis Champ read his poetry in January of 2007, at an annual Friends of William Stafford gathering in Lincoln City. He had hitchhiked 80 miles from Manzanita to read one short poem, and when I heard it in a church that winter night, I was transfixed. It voiced the raw wet alienated stuff of what living at the Oregon Coast can do to some people—a perspective few poets had ever conveyed because they had not grown up here, as Travis had. After the reading, I asked him to send me all of his poems with an Oregon connection. I read them and knew at once I wanted to publish them.
Perhaps as equally remarkable is the story of Old Nehalem Road’s production: Champ set all the type for the book, printed its pages on a hundred-year-old press, and bound all three hundred copies of the first edition print run.

Published by Nestucca Spit Press.

Click here to order a copy of Old Nehalem Road