Sunday, March 6, 2016

Soapstone Literary Announcements 3/6/2016

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A reading by Marilyn Stablein

7 PM, Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pond House, 2215 SE Harrison Adjacent to the Ledding Library

Marilyn Stablein is the award-winning author of thirteen collections of poetry, essays and fiction. Splitting Hard Ground: Poems won the New Mexico Book Award and the National Federation of Press Women Book Award. Other books include: Sleeping in Caves: A Himalayan Memoir, and a collection of environmental essays set in the Northwest,Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination

She is also an award-winning visual artist working in collage, assemblage and artist books. She has exhibited her work internationally in journals and books including Lark's 1000 Artist Books and 500 Artist Books, Vol. II. A catalog of her artists books, Bind, Alter, Fold: Artist Books was recently published.

A former book critic for the Seattle Times, she teaches memoir, poetry, fiction and an introduction to artist books. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Making the Impossible Happen: Magic in Memoir & Fiction

Humans have told each other stories for millennia and written stories for at least 6,000 years, starting with oracle bones and glyphs. What truly makes a story magical?

It seems to begin when we carry a sense of whimsy and absurdity in our lives, and we see the impossible happening around us. Magic is a particular feeling, an atmosphere shifting just before the narrative rises to a new level and transforms the story. It could be something deeply longed for by a character or the author of a memoir (a single mother of three meets the ostensibly perfect second husband, Abigail Thomas’s Safekeeping); a change in realistic fiction (time bends into a dream sequence at the end of A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki); an almost inconceivable, rendered believable moment (a starving, thirsty shaman and student in a boat discover an entire village living on the sea, the lengthened Earthsea trilogy, Ursula K. Le Guin), or something that arises from the story because it must (Arthur finally pulls the long-buried sword from the stone, Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy).

How do we make the incredible credible? Come learn some techniques and write your kind of magic during the weekend of Eostre, Easter, when we celebrate spring, the descent and return, and the women, keepers of magic, roll away the tombstone to make the impossible happen.

Workshop includes writing exercises and discussions of concepts about magic from authors Jessica Roeder, Gabriel García Márquez, Edwidge Danticat, Lindsay Moore and others.

Time & cost: 12-6 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Fabulous GF lunch (with Otis Café molasses bread for those who cannot resist). $75. Limited to eight on a space-available basis.

Place: 4924 NE 34th Avenue, Portland, 97211, just north of Wilshire Park.

For more information, or to register, please write

Former Portlander Sandra Dorr is currently working on her fourth book, a novel set on the Oregon Coast, at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (see bio at, where the impossible -- living among the giant trees, with the sound and smell of the sea, not measuring the hours, just writing more deeply, letting the days pass – keeps happening.


Another Read Through Bookstore events:

Local Author Steve Theme: Thurs Mar 10 7pm. Reading + harmonica playing.

Historical Fiction Panel (Fictitious History) with 5 local authors: Sat Mar 12 1:30-3 Maryka Biaggio, Lori Lake, BJ Scott, Chris Gniewosz, and Lars Hedbor.

Local Author Joyce Cresswell: Thurs Mar 17 7pm. Reading, Q&A, signing.

Local Poets Willa Schneberg, Paul Lapier, and Patricia Bollin: Thurs Mar 31. Reading and signing.


The Studio Series: Poetry Reading and Open Mic will feature Judith Barrington and Lex Runciman on March 13 at Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Avenue, Portland 97239 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Free and open to the public, the Studio Series is held monthly on second Sundays. For additional information, please contact

Judith Barrington has published four poetry collections, most recently The Conversation, the title poem of which was the winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. Judith gave a guest reading from this book at the International Poetry Festival in Cork, Ireland. The Conversation was published in 2015 by Salmon Poetry (Ireland).

One of her recent chapbooks: Lost Lands was the winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Award. Lifesaving: A Memoir won the Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN Martha Albrand Award and Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art is a best-selling book in college classes and writing groups. Her poems have appeared in many journals.

Lex Runciman taught for eleven years at Oregon State University and is now Professor of English at Linfield College, where he has twice received the Edith Green Award for teaching excellence.

His fifth book of poems, One Hour That Morning & Other Poems was published in 2014 by Salmon Poetry (Ireland) and won the Julie Olds and Thomas Hellie Award for Creative Achievement. Recent work has appeared in Ploughshares, Nimrod, Crannog (Ireland), Stand (UK), Valparaiso Poetry Review and Terrain. A new and selected volume is due in 2017. Runciman is also the author of Luck (1981), The Admirations (1989) which won the Oregon Book Award, Out of Town (2004), and Starting from Anywhere (2009).


MONICA DRAKE and RIOS DE LA LUZ TO READ AT BROADWAY BOOKS MARCH 23rd Broadway Books is pleased to announce that Monica Drake and Rios De La Luz will read and discuss their newest works on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7 pm.

The Folly of Loving Life is a new collection of linked stories from novelist Monica Drake. Future Tense, the book’s publisher, calls this collection “the best of what we love about Monica’s writing – the sly laugh-out-loud humor, the sharp observations, the flawed but strong characters, and the shadowy Van Sant-ish Portland settings.” Drake’s previous novels are Clown Girl (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Fiction) and The Stud Book.

According to Rios De La Luz, “The Pulse between Dimensions and the Desert is a mixture of stories from the perspectives of raw women, inquiring teenage minds, and children still enchanted by the environments around them.” Her stories incorporate magical realism and a bit of science fiction, including one about a grandmother who travels in a time machine! This is her first published collection.

This event is free and open to the public.


Need a haven for your project? The Rice Place (author Clyde Rice's homestead on the Clackamas River) is available as a retreat for artists, writers, musicians, naturalists, (or groups) who would like a serene place in which to create. For more information


“Sappho and her Sisters: Greek and Roman Women Poets”

A Soapstone Study Group led by Paul Merchant

The Greek poet Sappho and the Roman poet Sulpicia are the only women poets of the classical period whose work survives in any appreciable quantity. Sappho and Sulpicia are interesting to compare, since they are both writers of startling inventiveness and vivid personality. They are also, for modern readers and writers, valuable reminders of a lost world of women's writing that now has to be reimagined, and in their different ways can be an inspiration for courage and honesty in our own writing lives.

We will meet for three sessions June 11, June 25 and July 9 from 9:30 to 2:30, with a break for lunch. There will be opportunities for writing, especially between the sessions, but this is a study group, not a writing workshop. The first session will be an introduction to the women poets of Greece and Rome, with a discussion of what they represent, and the reasons for their survival or otherwise. The second session will be devoted to Sappho, and the third to the first of the two Sulpicias.

The study group will meet in the ArtSpace room at TaborSpace (5441 SE Belmont) where there is ample parking and a bus that stops right outside the front door.

To register, send an email to and a check for the fee to Soapstone, 622 SE 29th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. Scholarships are readily available.

The fee is $82 and includes the text, I. M. Plant's Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome (University of Oklahoma Press), a carefully researched, comprehensive anthology of all the surviving poems, prose, and fragments written by women in antiquity. The book can be picked up in SE Portland by arrangement once you have registered.

Paul Merchant graduated in Classics from Cambridge and taught for fifteen years at Warwick University, at the University of Tennessee, and finally at Lewis & Clark College, where he was also William Stafford Archivist for many years. Among his books of poetry and of translation from Modern Greek the collection Bone from a Stag's Heart was a British Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and Some Business of Affinity was shortlisted for an Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His Yannis Ritsos translations (Monochords and Twelve Poems about Cavafy) were published by Trask House and Tavern Books.


The Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop ( is now accepting registrations for its next conference, July 11 - 15, 2016. The course is held directly beside the ocean in the exquisite town of Oceanside, Oregon. There will be eight instructors total, five experienced authors (YA, MG, nonfiction, picture book, poetry), two children's book editors (from major NY houses), and one children's book agent (from Writers House, NYC). A number of our students have been published. We'd like you to be the next.

Please go to our website -- -- for much more information. Or contact us at


Soapstone: Celebrating Women Writers 

We are pleased to announce that we are now offering two new opportunities for readers and writers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Small Grants to an Individual Woman or an Ad Hoc Group of Women

These funds are to support events and study groups celebrating the work of women writers. The application process is simple and the time between applying and notification short. For the first year, Soapstone board members will serve as the grant review committee.

We’ve made some changes to the guidelines for study group grants. Go to our website for more details and to see a list of programs funded thus far:

The next deadline for applications is March 15, 2016.


Mountain Writers Series at Concordia University

Concordia University Libraries' Arts & Culture Program and Mountain Writers Series present a reading featuring Barbara Drake & Brian Doyle

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM George R. White Library & Learning Center - GRW 108 Concordia Univeristy, 2900 NE Liberty Street, Portland OR 97211

Free and open to the public. Author bios and photo below. See flyer

Mountain Writers Series at Vie de Bohème presents a reading featuring Barbara Drake & Brian Doyle

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Vie de Bohème SE 7th & Clay on Portland's Distillery Row 1530 SE 7th Avenue, Portland 97214

Suggested donation $5

Barbara Drake is the author of both nonfiction and poetry. Her newest book, Morning Light (Oregon State University Press, 2014), is a finalist for this year’s Oregon Book Award in nonfiction. Her earlier memoir, Peace at Heart: an Oregon Country Life, was an OBA finalist in 1999. Drake is also a poet, with numerous collections, most recently Driving One Hundredfrom Windfall Press (2009). She is the author of Writing Poetry, a widely used college textbook, in print since 1983. Her prose and poetry appears in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. After teaching at Michigan State University, she joined the faculty at Linfield College in 1983, retiring as Professor of English Emerita in 2007. Drake lives with her husband in rural Yamhill County Oregon.

Brian Doyle is an Oregon Book Award finalist for two of his books: Children and Other Wild Animals (OSU Press) and Martin Marten (St. Martin’s Press). His published work includes collections of essays, nonfiction books, collections of “proems,” a short story collection, a novella and the novel Mink River. Widely published in newspapers and magazines around the world, he is editor of several anthologies, most recently HO`OLAULE`A. Among various honors for his work is a Catholic Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, the John Burroughs Award for Nature Essays, Foreword Reviews' Novel of the Year award in 2011, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008. Doyle edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland in Oregon.


Join Write Around for Prompt, a 10-week workshop devoted to generative writing and the transformative power of writing in community. Based on the successful Write Around Portland model, this dynamic workshop incorporates many of our favorite exercises designed to inspire the writing life, including free-writing; group discussion; imagery, character, plot and poetry development; and early-draft revision. This workshop will meet for ten Tuesdays from March 29th to May 31st. For more information visit

All proceeds from Prompt go directly toward funding Write Around Portland workshops and programs in hospitals, prisons, schools, treatment centers, low-income housing facilities and more.


Community Announcements from Soapstone by soapstone

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