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Waterston workshop begins January 17th

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Ellen Waterson’s “The Story You Came To Tell” Workshop Starts January 17th
Popular Seven-Session Series Helps Writers Explore Poetry, Fiction and Literary Nonfiction

Bend, Ore. — Dec.19, 2011. Award-winning author and poet Ellen Waterston will lead her popular seven-series workshop, “The Story You Came To Tell,” starting Tuesday, January 17, 2012, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Waterston, founder and Executive Director of The Nature of Words, invites new writers and those with ongoing projects to gain experience and inspiration, while taking their writing to the next level. The seven-series workshop explores poetry, fiction and nonfiction with a special emphasis on the relationship of literary nonfiction and fiction. The series includes in-class writing prompts, reading and writing assignments. The class meets Tuesdays from January 17 through February 21 at The Nature of Words, 224 NW Oregon Ave. in Bend. The workshop concludes with a reading on February 23. To enroll, visit Central Oregon Community College’s Community Learning link.  Class number is 16809 and the fee for the entire series is $289.
Feedback from students in previous workshops includes these comments:
“You have the natural gift of a great teacher, always giving exactly the information we needed at the right moment in our progression as writers. Thank you for offering these workshops.” — Carol Sternkopf, Bend, OR

“Your ability to connect with each person in class is inspiring. This is certainly a gift you possess. Your encouragement and suggestions…have motivated me to become a more complete and accomplished writer.”—Michael Reeves, Christmas Valley, OR

“Thank you seems a meager sentiment to express my gratitude for what you’ve given me. Taking your class has opened creative gates that have been shut for many years. May other fledgling writers bask in the glow of your support.”—Dee DelDrago, Bend, OR
About Ellen Waterston
Just released in December 2011 by Fishtrap, Inc., Cold Snap, assorted writings by Ellen Waterston, is available at Where The Crooked River Rises, a collection of Ellen Waterston’s award-winning personal and nature essays about Central Oregon’s High Desert, was published by OSU Press in fall 2010. She was the winner of the 2008 NW Perspectives Essay Contest. Waterston’s memoir, Then There Was No Mountain, was rated one of the top ten books by the Oregonian in 2003. Poetry awards include the 2009 and 2005 WILLA Award in Poetry for her collections Between Desert Seasons and I Am Madagascar, respectively, and the 2007 Obsidian Prize in Poetry. Waterston has been awarded many writing residencies including, in 2011, Playa, Fishtrap’s Werner Fellowship, and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. She was one of two 2011 finalists for the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers. Waterston delivered the keynote address at the 2011 Women Writing the West Conference in Seattle.

Submissions open for journal, PHANTOM DRIFT

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


Call for Submissions.

Phantom Drift Limited announces that we are accepting submissions for our second  issue, “Writing the Weird, Wyrding the Word,” beginning December 1, 2011. We will be reading through March 31, 2012. Our first issue, “Perfect Conditions for Magical Thinking,” was a perfectbound, 160 pg. journal released October 1, 2011, and included an outstanding field of diverse and talented writers from around the country and overseas. We encourage you to read a copy so you can familiarize yourself with the range of work we are seeking. We’re looking for flash fiction, short stories, poetry and prose poems, work readers might label as new weird, slipstream and/or fantastic, work our poetry editor, Matt Schumacher, says “shatters or valuably distorts reality, whether this means surrealism, magic realism, fantastique, or bizarrerie.” Fiction editor Leslie What likes stories “that favor the unusual over the usual…stories that create a milieu where anything can happen.” We pay on publication ($10-$25 for flash fiction up to 2,000 words and $50 for short stories 2001 – 6500 words, $10 per poem, $10-$50 for interviews and critical essays—plus one contributor copy). Submissions can be made on our website at:  Just click on SUBMIT button and you can use to submit your story, poem or article in Word or Rich Text Format. Phantom Drift 1 may be purchased from our site for $15 postage paid. Subscriptions to #2 can be made by sending payment to: Phantom Drift, c/o Wordcraft of Oregon, LLC,  PO Box 3235, La Grande, OR 97850. There are no submission fees.

Phantom Drift Limited is a non-profit organization dedicated to building an understanding of and appreciation for New Fabulism and a Literature of the Fantastic. The journal will be published in the fall of each year. Donations are deductible.

Fiction inquiries can be sent to Leslie What at 

Poetry inquiries to Matt Schumacher at   

All other inquiries can be sent to David Memmott, Managing Editor,

LENNON & ME, new e-book by Greg Herriges

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

It’s 1964, the height of Beatlemania, and thirteen-year-old Jamie Presto (true to his name) pulls a rabbit out of a hat by striking up a pen-pal friendship with none other than John Lennon! 

It’s a good thing, too, because Jamie needs a magic trick in his life.  He finds his Catholic school education at best downright oppressive.  His parents are trapped in a loveless marriage that grows increasingly violent.  And Father Alberto, his parish priest, the one authority figure he actually respects, betrays him in one of the worst ways imaginable an adult can do to an adolescent.

But he has that one bright spot—his letters to and from a world-famous Beatle. 

Or does he?  Is Jamie telling us the truth—or is he unreliable,  so desperate for a silver lining that he grows delusional, fabricating for us and for himself a relationship that he only wishes could be real?

There are ominous times ahead, literal and metaphorical nightmares—for Jamie, his mother, his father, and even for Jamie’s hero and best friend, John Lennon.  Life is, at times, hell on earth. But there are saviors, and they tend to make their entrances quietly and inconspicuously.  Jamie’s ultimate messiah is an ordinary one, a teacher who achieves extraordinary results in the life of his young student.

Written in the tradition of Candide, Lennon and Me is a comic-tragic social satire, presenting a corrupt world as seen through the eyes of an innocent, a showdown between ancient tradition and modernity, between parochialism and pop culture. John Lennon drew the line in the sand in 1966, with his infamous off-handed comment to journalist Maureen Cleave about The Beatles being more popular than Jesus, and in Herriges’s witty, iconoclastic novel, the twain not only meets, it implodes.  Available beginning next week from and from Herriges’ website:



New Poets of the American West reading in Pendleton, July 9th

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Nine Northwest poets will read from the anthology New Poets of the American West, Ed. Lowell Jaeger (Many Voices Press, FVCC:2010) at the Arts Center of Pendleton, 214 N. Main St., at 7 p.m. on July 9th. David Axelrod, Boyd Benson, Barbara Drake, M.E. Hope, Bette Lynch Husted, Penelope Scambly Schott, Pamela Steele, Lisa Steinman, and Ellen Waterston will read. Axelrod, Husted, Steele and Waterston have published books of poetry with Wordcraft of Oregon, LLC. Refreshments will be served and copies of the anthology will be available for purchase courtesy of Armchair Books.

Greg Herriges STREETHEARTS Availalbe as E-Book

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Streethearts, a sequel to Greg Herriges’ novel, Secondary Attachments, is now available for Barnes and Noble Nook and will be available in all e-book formats next week. You can read a description of the book and view the cover art by Michelle Everst at:

“Waiting in the wings,” Greg says, “is another e-book, Lennon and Me, about a teenage boy who becomes John Lennon’s penpal in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania.”

Serving House Books, edited by Walter Cummins and Thomas E. Kennedy, will be publishing The Bay at Marsailles and Other Stories this fall.

Websites for these books are in developmental stage. Blogs and photos forthcoming on Greg’s website: 

Patty & Vince Wixon read poetry at Bloomsbury Books

Friday, March 25th, 2011
Thursday, March 31, at 7 PM
Get a head start on Poetry Month by hearing Patty & Vince Wixon read poems from their new books—Patty’s first book, Airing the Sheets (Finishing Line Press) & Vince’s book, Blue Moon: Poems from Chinese Lines (Wordcraft of Oregon).
Bloomsbury Books
290 East Main
Ashland, OR

Kennedy’s novel reviewed in Washington Post

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Thomas E. Kennedy’s novel, Falling Sideways, was reviewed by Johnathan Yardley in the Washington Post.  Check it out. Kennedy will be reading at Powell’s on Hawthorne, Monday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.

Thomas E. Kennedy reading in Portland, April 4

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Thomas E. Kennedy, an American living in Copenhagen, will be coming to Portland as part of his U.S. book tour for the release of the second novel in his Copenhagen Quartet, Falling Sideways (Bloomsbury, March 2011). Kennedy will be reading at Powell’s Hawthorne Bookstore, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd. on Monday, 7:30 p.m., April 4. Kennedy is no stranger to Oregon having done reading in Portland, La Grande and Enterprise and conducted a fiction workshop at Eastern Oregon University. He’s published four books with Wordcraft of Oregon, most recently the novel, A  Passion in the Desert (2007), a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in Literary Fiction. He has also been a contributor to the Portland literary journal, Glimmer Train.


The first novel in the Quartet, In The Company of Angels received wide acclaim from, among others, the Washington Post, New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and, in England, The Times, Guardian and elsewhere. In The Company of Angels is now available in paperback (January 2011). Kennedy has published eight novels, three story collections, four books of essays and four books of literary criticism in addition to editing several anthologies. Hundreds of short stories, personal essays and literary criticism have appeared in magazines and journals and he has won an O. Henry Award, Pushcart Prize, Gulf Coast, and European Prizes, the Charles Angoff Award and the Frank Expatriate Writing Award and two Eric Hoffer Book Awards. An essay published in New Letters received a National Magazine Award—winning over the finalist essays from the New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, Elle, and Entertainment Weekly. In 2007, Kennedy’s work was celebrated in a panel during the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) annual conference with presentations by six professors, editors and writers. All of the presentations were later published in literary magazines and South Carolina Review devoted two issues to Kennedy’s work.

Kennedy has lived in Denmark for more than thirty years, but often visits the United States where he teaches in the low-residency MFA program of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Kennedy will also be reading in Seattle at University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 7 p.m, April 5 and in San Francisco at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, 7 p.m. on April 6.

About Falling Sideways :

The Tank, a high-profile firm in Copenhagen, has just announced a period of downsizing, and the game playing has begun.

Top executive Frederick Breathwaite is frantically trying to ensure a foothold on the career ladder for his son Jes. Harald Jaeger, estranged from his wife and daughters, harbours desperate passions for an alarming number of women but has somehow managed to catch the CEO’s eye – as a possible replacement for Breathwaite. Meanwhile the CEO’s son Adam should be following in his father’s alpha-male footsteps but instead is head-over-heels in puppy love with his au pair. And in a nearby shoe repair shop, Jes, who personally can’t imagine anything worse than his father’s corporate life, is pursuing a very different kind of future.

As the city settles into autumn, a season of brittle days and foreboding nights, the impending downsizing causes a ripple effect that touches not just every employee in the Tank but their spouses, children and lovers as well. Sharp, funny and remarkably tender, Falling Sideways is a shrewdly observed tale of ambition and anxiety, of backstabbing and backsliding, and of office politics and family affairs.

Advance reviews:

“A clever spoof about work and the relationships formed there.”Kirkus Reviews

“Kennedy’s force is his ear for good dialogue, those understated conversations between irony and intimacy of which Anglo-Saxon and Irish literature have always been world champion.   And the book is also a novel about love.”            -Bo Tao Michaélis, Politiken (Copenhagen)

“…a whirlwind of intense, rich language and a poetic vision of the things that really matter in a man’s life.” – South Carolina Review

Link to Minneapolis Star-Tribune review of Falling Sideways.

More Alex Kuo Readings Scheduled

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

In addition to readings at EOU in La Grande on February 23rd, Watermark Books in Anacortes on March 21, and the Anchor Art Space in Anacortes on March 25, Alex Kuo will be doing the following readings:

 Hong Kong,  Bookazine, March 10
Moscow ID, Book People,  April 6
Seattle, WA, Elliott Bay Books, April 7
Seattle, WA, U of WA, University Bookstore, May 12
Beijing, Beihang University, May 17
Beijing Forestry University, May 23
Chuckanut Writers Conference, June 24

Read more about A Chinaman’s Chance: New and Selected Poems 1960-2010 at

RATTAPALLAX selects Raphael as one of Northwest’s Innovative Poets

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Rattapallax has posted a piece on the Northwest’s Innovative Poets and Dan Raphael is among them. The feature includes 5 of Raphael’s poems, an audio recording of him reading his poetry and an interview with John Olson. “The poets presented here are at the froniter of the most recent efforts.”