Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ogden Nash


The firefly's flame
Is something for which science has no name.
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a person's posteerier.

from Good Intentions, 1937


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stuart Dybek wins MacArthur, then the Rea Award

from Google News

NEW YORK (AP) — Stuart Dybek, already a winner this week of a MacArthur "genius" grant, is this year's recipient of the $30,000 Rea Award for "originality and influence" on the short story.

Dybek, 65, is a Chicago native known for story collections such as "The Coast of Chicago" and "I Sailed With Magellan." His previous honors for short fiction include the PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize and four O'Henry awards.

"With three distinguished collections of short stories, Stuart Dybek has created his own country," said a statement from Rea judges on Tuesday. "The coast of Chicago is his landscape, one he has inhabited, pondered, remembered and made hauntingly real."

On Monday, Dybek was one of 24 "genius" fellows announced by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Each will receive $500,000 over the next five years.

The Rea award was established in 1986 by Michael M. Rea, a publisher and collector of first-edition short stories who died in 1996. Previous winners include Ann Beattie, Richard Ford and Alice Munro.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Portland Arts & Lectures line-up

Portland Arts & Lectures series all at 7:30pm at the Schnitz:

Orhan Pamuk ~ Tues. Oct. 16,
Diane Ackerman ~ Tues. Nov. 20
Colson Whitehead ~ Tues. Jan 15
Mary Oliver ~ Tues. Feb. 5
Stephen Sondheim & Frank Rich ~ Tues. Mar. 11
Marjane Satrapi ~ Mon. April 7


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kim Stafford to be honored at Oregon Book Awards, Sunday, Dec 2nd

"Special Awards Recipients Announced

Literary Arts is pleased to specially honor Mark Mizzel and Kim Stafford at the 21st Annual Oregon Book Awards. The honorees will receive their awards at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, December 2nd at 7:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum (1119 SW Park Avenue). Poet Naomi Shihab Nye will host the ceremony. Tickets are $15 at or 503.227.2583."

Please see the Literary Arts website for more details.

And get your tickets early. Last year many were turned away, those who (like me) had waited until the last minute. I am glad that the awards are being held at the Portland Art Museum; gives the ceremony a certain gravitas.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Julie Dearborn at The Summerset Review

My pal Julie Dearborn has a fine and funny essay up at The Summerset Review. Click on "Unsolicited."

Julie and I were at Queens together. Here's her contributor's bio:

Julie Dearborn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte where she worked with Robert Polito. Her prose poetry has appeared in The Party Train: An Anthology of North American Prose Poetry.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Marvin Bell reads Tuesday, Sept 18 at Lewis & Clark

Marvin Bell will read on Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 7:00 pm Manor
House, Armstrong Lounge, Lewis & Clark College.

This is ironic, in that Lewis & Clark has decided to disband the Northwest Writing Institute, truly a short-sighted move, and a great loss for both students and teachers.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

possible Bartlett Yarn in Portland

There is a chance that Dublin Bay, a yarn parlour in NW Portland, may carry Bartlett Yarn. Bartlett is my favorite yarn. A sturdy yarn, it softens with use, feels good on the hand and the needles, and comes in a range of beautiful colors. It is the very yarn that Elizabeth Zimmerman used. And in fact, Rangeley (one of the Bartlett line) is available at Schoolhouse Press, the online store run by Meg Swanson (EZ's daughter).


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Portland Writers Room

Check out the Portland Writers Room. I'm very excited about this. I've been looking for something like the Writer's Grotto in San Francisco, and now Jeffery Selin is creating one, right here in north Portland.


more Anne Bogart

"It is actually not difficult to make everyone in any audience feel and think the same thing at the same time. It is not difficult to lock down meaning and manipulate response. What is trickier is to generate an event or a moment which will trigger many different possible meanings and associations. It takes craft to set up the circumstances that are simple and yet contain the ambiguities and incongruity of human experience." p. 106

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Anne Bogart

Although A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre is aimed at directors and others interested in theatre, there is much that is useful for the writer. I've often heard about using method acting techniques to get inside a character. I was an actor, and then became a director, and I find the directorial approach more useful, particularly for revision.

"When in doubt, when you are lost, don't stop. Instead, concentrate on detail. Look around, find a detail to concentrate on, and do that. Forget the big picture for a while. Just put your energy into the details of what is already there. The big picture will eventually open up and reveal itself if you can stay out of the way for a while. It won't open up if you stop. You have to stay involved but you don't always have to stay involved with the big picture." p. 135

If you have the chance, do go see the productions of Anne Bogart's SITI Company. Her Midsummer Night's Dream was the best I have ever seen, and I've seen dozens of productions of Dream.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jim Shepard at Marylhurst Feb 7, 2008

Jim Shepard will read from his new short story collection Like You'd Understand, Anyway at Marylhurst, in The Old Library, BP John Administration Building, at 7:30 pm.

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RIP Mabel's

My local yarn parlour is no more. Mabel's is now Tandem Coffeehouse, which is a fine establishment, with all the old gang, but where am I going to get Bartlett Yarn locally?