you been to the Small Press section of Powell's lately? It is seriously
one of the sexiest parts of the store. Come hear 13 of its authors in
action: Oregon Book Award finalist Carrie Seitzinger! Memoirists Lindsey
Kugler and Chloe Caldwell! Zinester Aaron Dactyl (Railroad Semantics),
novelist Barry Graham, fiction writers Nancy Rommelmann, Janey Smith,
and Jeremy Robert Johnson! Poets W. Vandoren Wheeler, Thomas Patrick
Levy, Mindy Nettifee, Donald Dunbar, and Susan Denning! Hosted by
inimitable master of ceremonies and Powell's small press champion, Kevin
Monday, March 18, 6pm - 10pm.
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland
I was contacted by a producer for KOIN, who heard about my on-going work looking into Amanda's life, the circumstances leading up to her dropping her children from the Sellwood Bridge in May 2009 (lead up as in, decades), how the community responded well and badly, who wants to keep things hidden and why. This will not all be revealed, I am sure, in a two-minute clip, but Amy Frazier, the interviewer, is a super-pro and I am in her good hands. The piece will be part of the 11pm newscast tonight, January 10, KOIN-TV Portland, Channel 6.
Some of you have read the essays I posted in 2009-2011 about Amanda. Those are currently offline as the book, "To the Bridge," is written. We had interesting, sometimes heated conversations on this blog, and I invite you as always to be in contact with me.
I have been working mostly in a vacuum for 3.5 years a book about Amanda Stott-Smith and what led her to drop her children from the Sellwood Bridge in May 23, 2009, and then last week I am asked twice by the media for an update on this work, the first time by Alison Hallett, in a piece about the new Alison Barker translation of Beside the Sea, just out from Tin House, and the second by a TV station, who will film on Friday. I admit to having trepidation about the latter, as I told Hillary Johnson at Dymaxicon, "I feel very weird being interviewed." To which she replied, "Now you know how the people you interview feel."
Tim Sampson, known around our house as my daughter Tafv's dad, is guest-starring tonight on Grimm, a show filmed here in Portland that we've quite come to enjoy. Check it out. Below is a photo of Tav and her dad by his trailer on-set. He's also about to leave for New York for a part in big, big movie, but more about that anon.
Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit From the Good Squad, which deservedly won about 6000 literary awards in 2010, in conversation with Wordstock Executive Director Greg Netzer (Saturday, 1pm, National Endowment for the Arts Stage)
Lili Ristagno, author of the true crime graphic novel, Short Fuse, will appear on the panel, “Graphic Novels: Not Just for Geeks” (Saturday, 1pm, Oregon Cultural Trust Stage)
Mega-brilliant author Barry Lopez (Saturday, 3pm, National Endowment for the Arts Stage)
Blake Nelson reading from Recovery Road (Saturday, 4pm, Wieden + Kennedy Stage)
Ursula Le Guin (Sunday, 11am, Attic Institute Stage)
Chelsea Cain reading from her latest thriller, The Night Season (Sunday, 3pm, McMenamins Stage)
Nancy Rommelmann, reading from her novel The Bad Mother, and Jennifer Lauck, reading from Found. (Sunday, 5pm, Oregon Cultural Trust Stage)
Ristretto Roasters, coffee of the literati, pouring cold brew and selling beans. (Saturday/Sunday, Beer Garden)
Please stop by Dymaxicon, booth #705, where we will be raffling a new Kindle loaded with Dymaxicon’s 2011 fall list, including Short Fuse, The Bad Mother, BeBop Garden, The Sushi King’s Daughter, Physical Culture, The Elements of Scrum and others.
I will be reading (from The Bad Mother), with author Jennifer Lauck, at 5 PM, Sunday, October 9, on the Oregon Cultural Trust Stage. (Sounds pretty fancy, huh?) My publisher, Dymaxicon, will have a booth [#705], so I will be around much of the weekend. Ristretto will be there, too, by the Beer Garden. Full list of readers, events, vendors on the Wordstock site.
There is also time to interview authors about their work, for instance, Molly O'Neill on her latest book, One Big Table, and what's wrong with $8 bunches of organic arugula tied with twine, and why she needed to get out of "the little girls' ghetto" where cookbook writers tend to be corralled. The interview posted today, on Culinate.com, and it is one of my favorite ever. All props to Molly, for being so smart and so tart.
And then there is the author elbow-rubbing, such as last night's, with John Sayles, before his reading at Powell's from his latest novel, A Moment in the Sun.
Sayles and Maggie Renzi are friends of my mom's. I told her yesterday, I would be going to the reading, and she insisted I introduce myself. I told her, mom, it's going to be mobbed; I am not going to bother them. And then I walked in and Sayles was standing right there, so I did, and he was very nice, and Maggie put her arms around me and said, "We've heard so much about you," and insisted a photo be taken of she and I, to post on the blog for the book and their latest film, AMIGO.
"Now you and John," Maggie said, and scooted us together, making me as you can see very happy, and prompting a woman in the audience to ask, "Are you one of the actresses in his movies?"
The Portland Monthly site says it best: This Saturday, April 2nd, face the wind and the rain to score some delectable baked goods and raise money for Peace Winds Japan’s emergency relief operations. As part of a nationwide bake sale (41 sales in 27 cities), Ristretto Roasters and Barista will both be selling countless scrumptious goodies for the cause between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., featuring more than 40 home bakers alongside Portland’s top professional baking aces.
Here’s the impressive list of contributors:
Alder Pastry and Dessert Alma Chocolate Baker & Spice Bakery Bar Bees & Beans Confectionery Fleur de Lis Bakery & Cafe Kim Boyce of Golden Oven (who bakes for Ristretto!) Helena Root of Irving Street Kitchen Kir Jensen of The Sugar Cube Little T American Baker Little Branch Jam Miss Zumstein Kristen Murray of Paley’s Place Petunia’s Pies & Pastries Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery Suzette Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry
During a visit last week to a center for homeless teens, I get a phone call from someone I have not been in contact with in 30 years, saying he needs money or will be evicted. What are the chances? New essay at LA Observed explores.
When I moved to Portland from Los Angeles, in 2004, I knew no other writers here. I had, however, been given an introduction, by Matt Welch, to Michael Totten, a blogger writing about the Middle East. Michael and I were not covering the same terrain, but nevertheless, met for a coffee at the then-rather wonderful Gotham Building Tavern, and made what might be considered small shop-talk. It was not until we were walking to our respective cars that we really got going, about how serious each of us was about the work we do; about sharing opportunities, and about what it was like to be a very ambitious journalist in a town that preferred its news within a 20-mile radius (or from wire service). A friendship was born.
Over the years, I have watched, in awe, Michael make his career: beholden to no one, on his own terms, and on his own dime, often with money donated by his loyal, many-thousands fan-base. We have, at least a half-dozen times, spoken of the books we are working on, how we want to publish them, how we don't, and when the hell was all this going to happen?
Or, you can read one of the very finest pieces of journalism you will encounter, "In the Land of the Brother Leader," a piece Michael orginally wrote for the LA Weekly, about his time in Libya, a piece with special resonance right now.
Ristretto is thrilled to host Loggernaut Reading Series, featuring three outstanding writers -- Carl Adamshick, Debra Gwartney and Mary Rechner -- responding to the prompt, "wild." Two dollars at the door, coffee and wine inside. Come; it's going to be a great evening.
Carl Adamshick's debut collection, Curses and Wishes, was selected for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. The recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship, his poems have appeared in numerous journals, including American Poetry Review, the Harvard Review, and Narrative. He lives in Portland.
Debra Gwartney is the author of the memoir Live Through This (2009), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award as well as the PNBA award. [I met Debra and her daughters and had the privilege to write about them.] She is also the co-editor, along with her husband Barry Lopez, of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Triquarterly Review, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Salon, The New York Times "Modern Love" column, and elsewhere. She is a faculty member at Pacific University's MFA program.
Mary Rechner is the author of the story collection Nine Simple Patters for Complicated Women (Propeller Books, 2010). Her stories, criticism, and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review, The Believer, and New England Review. She is originally from Long Island, lives in Portland, and directs the Writers in the Schools program at Literary Arts.
Come meet Mary Adams, author of "The Party Dress Book," this Thursday, January 20 at 7 PM. We are talking seriously gorgeous dresses here, dresses qua dresses, dresses that make you feel like the prettiest person in the room, because you are.
Paper Magazine said, of Adams' work:
Never one to hotfoot it after the latest trendsetters, Mary Adams happily refuses to step into the 20th century, preferring instead to hand-sew lavishly detailed party dresses from fine silk organzas. From barely there slips to princess gowns that require their own mini storage units, Adams delivers only the best.
I often tell my husband, "I want to wear a gown!" Shall we make some?