Northwest Voices is a collaboration between the Longview Public Library and Lower Columbia College. The Library welcomes this opportunity to bring community and writers together. Come listen, join in the dialog, and celebrate the voices of our region and our community.
Libraries and writers are natural community partners. Both seek to reach out to readers, to stimulate thinking, to engage people in the pursuit of ideas--the writer as creator and the library as enabler.
Funding comes from the Longview Public Library and the Longview Library Foundation, the Lower Columbia College Foundation, the Friends of the Longview Library, and the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College. All events are free and open to the public.
|Wednesday, November 29, 2017|
Come join us for the next NW Voices events on Wednesday, November 29 featuring author and poet Michael Schmeltzer. The author of A Single Throat Opens will present a workshop from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at LCC in Main 145 and a reading at the Longview Public Library beginning at 7:00 p.m. downstairs in the Marion J. Otteraaen Room.
Michael Schmeltzer was born in Japan and eventually moved to the US. He is the co-author of A Single Throat Opens, an epistolary memoir which explores addiction, childhood, and family, as well as two books of poetry: Blood Song, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards, and Elegy/Elk River, winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. His writing can be found in numerous journals such as Black Warrior Review, Mid-American Review, The Shallow Ends, and PANK, among others. He currently lives in Seattle but is most often procrastinating on Twitter at @mschmeltzer01.
|October 16, 2017|
Come join us for the next NW Voices events on Monday, October 16 featuring author Devery Anderson. The author of Emmitt Till: The Murder that Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement will present a workshop from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at LCC in Main 146 and a reading at the Longview Public Library beginning at 7:00 p.m. upstairs in the Magazine Room.
Devery S. Anderson is an editor and marketing manager at Signature Books in Salt Lake City, and is currently working on a master's degree in publishing at the George Washington University. He is the editor or co-editor of several books on Mormon History, and in 2015 the University Press of Mississippi published his book, Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. It will be the basis of a Hollywood miniseries produced by JayZ, Will Smith, Casey Affleck, and Aaron Kaplan. He has spoken on Emmett Till at colleges, universities, and elsewhere in the United States and the UK. His research into Emmett Till resulted in over a dozen trips to Mississippi and Chicago, where he interviewed key players in the case, and conducted extensive archival research. He is currently working on a book on Clyde Kennard, another book on Mississippi civil rights.
|September 5, 2017|
Stephen E. Murphy was born and raised in Washington, and earned a BA from UW and an MBA from Columbia University. He has been actively engaged in Brazil and Latin America for 40+ years, advising international language institutes, software, clean energy, Brazilian media firms, and the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund in Washington D.C. He served during the G.W. Bush Administration as Director, Inter-Americas & Pacific Region, the Peace Corps, supervising 2,200 volunteers and 1,000 staff in 23 countries. In the previous George H.W. Bush Administration, he was appointed Director, Worldnet Television, USIA (now State Department) managing 320 employees and its satellite TV network.
On the Edge is a reflective look at Murphy's life, the decisions he made and why, as he sought his calling on paths less traveled. Starting in his youth, when he dropped out of Harvard Business School and later served in Vietnam, Murphy outlines the hope and dreams he had, and why some things worked out and others did not. His course led him back to business school (this time at Columbia University), down to South America, away from banking, into the film industry and later politics -- while often looking for ways to help children and young people he met along the way. Murphy peppers his chapters with "turning points" that marked his adventurous life. His story is both a walk down memory lane for baby boomers, and an instructive tale for young professionals looking to push the envelope in their careers.
|April 26, 2017|
Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry, winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award-an honor that has previously recognized early work by the likes of Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, and Alice Munro-and two previous books of poetry, Notes from the Journey Westward and Killing the Murnion Dogs. His collection, When We Were Birds, was selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series and was recently named a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. A Pushcart Prize winner and National Magazine Award finalist, Wilkins has published essays, poems, and stories in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Ecotone, The Sun, Orion, and Slate. Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in western Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield College.
|April 20, 2017|
Maggie is the author of youth services staff favorite, The Raven Cycle, which begins with The Raven Boys, as well as the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Printz Honor Book The Scorpio Races.
|February 28, 2017|
Monica Drake has an MFA from the University of Arizona and teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her debut novel, Clown Girl, was published by the amazing indie press, Hawthorne Books, and has won an Eric Hoffer Award as well as an IPPY. It's been translated into Italian, and recently optioned for film by Kristen Wiig (SNL, Bridesmaids). Her other books include The Stud Book and her most recent, The Folly of Loving Life: Stories. She currently lives in Portland.
|January 25, 2017|
Tod Marshall, a poet and professor at Gonzaga University, is serving as the poet laureate from 2016-2018. He was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He studied English and philosophy at Siena Heights University, earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and graduated with his PhD from The University of Kansas. He directs the writing concentration and coordinates the visiting writer’s series at Gonzaga University where he is the Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Endowed Professor in the Humanities. His work has been published in many journals, including Narrative, The Southern Review, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Columbia Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Northwest, Volt, Interim, The Canary, Willow Springs, Cutbank, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He is the author most recently of Bugle (2014), which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015. He enjoys backpacking and fishing and spends about a month of every year in a tent.
|Lilly Robbins Brock|
|December 5, 2016|
Lilly Robbins Brock has recently retired from her interior design business in Olympia and she and her husband have settled in the Cathlamet area on the Columbia River. She has written and published a recipe book, Food Gift Recipes from Nature's Bounty, based on organic gardening which received a Readers' Review award. She has written a historical novel, Intrepid Journey, about a family in the 1850's travelling on a paddle wheel steamship from New York crossing the Atlantic Ocean via the South America route to their final destination, the rugged Pacific Northwest. This project was interrupted when she came across two letters written by her now deceased father when he was on the battlefront in World War II. The letters inspired her to find a World War II veteran who is still living and to tell his story. She found her veteran and wrote Wooden Boats & Iron Men which is the life account of one of our own World War II veterans who settled in Longview, Washington with his bride after the war. He chose the Navy when he enlisted and became a PT sailor. His love for the motor torpedo boat lasted over seventy years, and he became an active participant in the rescue and restoration of PT-658 - the only fully operational World War II motor torpedo boat remaining in the world.
|James R. Wells|
|October 17, 2016|
James R. Wells is the great-grandson of pioneering science fiction author H.G. Wells and the author of the science fiction novel The Great Symmetry, grand prize winner of the 2015 Cygnus Award for speculative fiction. The second installment in the series, named The Eternal Moment, will be published in 2017. His stories combine adventure with an exploration of themes around the freedom of ideas and information. A life-long caver and outdoor explorer, he has mapped new passages in many of North America's great caves. When not writing or with family, James can be found in a cave, on a mountain, under the sea, or anywhere else outside. For more information or to contact James, check out his website at www.TheGreatSymmetry.com.
|May 20, 2016|
Lyndsay Faye is the internationally bestselling author of five novels including her latest, Jane Steele, a reimagining of Jane Eyre as a heroic vigilante murderess. The first book in her Timothy Wilde trilogy, The Gods of Gotham, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel and translated into fourteen languages. She writes Sherlock Holmes pastiches regularly for the Strand Magazine, and these plus several others will be gathered into a collection for her forthcoming The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. Faye grew up in Longview, Washington, where she attended Robert. A. Long High School and took advanced English classes from Northwest author Jim LeMonds. She lives in Queens with her husband and fellow RAL graduate Gabriel Lehner.
|April 13, 2016|
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg's idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. She also writes the Bakeshop Mystery Series as Ellie Alexander for St. Martin's Press set in the charming Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon where pastry chef Juliet Montague Capshaw has returned home to heal her broken heart and run the family bakeshop. Recipes included! Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet - at all three.
|Robert Michael Pyle|
|January 13, 2016|
Robert Michael Pyle writes essays, poetry, and fiction from an old Swedish farmstead along a tributary of the Lower Columbia River in the Willapa Hills of southwestern Washington. His eighteen books include Wintergreen, Chasing Monarchs, and Walking the High Ridge. A Guggenheim Fellow, he has received the John Burroughs Medal, three Governor's Writer's Awards, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award and several other writing awards. He has a Ph.D. in Lepidoptera Ecology and Conservation from Yale University. In 1971 he founded the international Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. For his work in butterfly ecology and conservation, Bob received the John Adams Comstock Award and a distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology. He was recently appointed Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He has taught writing and natural history seminars throughout the world including being the Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Montana.
|November 30, 2015|
Dave Tucker lives in Bellingham, Washington. He has a Master's degree in geology and is a research associate in the geology department at Western Washington University. He leads public field trips and gives presentations about the geology of northwest Washington, and is author of a popular blog, Northwest Geology Field Trips. Geology Underfoot in Western Washington is his first book. Dave is a director of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that raises funds to support research at the active volcano and educate the public about volcanic hazards of Mount Baker. Tucker has been mapping Mount Baker's geology since the mid-1990s, in particular the distribution of volcanic ash deposits. He has also done geologic studies throughout the Cascades, Alaska, and in Chile.
"Ancient volcanoes preserved as deeply eroded scraps. Seafloors forced high into the sky. Fossils of a long-extinct, 385-pound flightless bird that roamed subtropical floodplains. From the crest of the Cascades to the Pacific, and from the Columbia River north to the Canadian border, the ghosts of deep time are widely exposed in western Washington. But geology never really dies. It is very much active and alive in the region: volcanoes periodically erupt, showering their surroundings with ash; earthquakes shake Earth's surface and the constructions of humans, sending tsunamis ashore to wreak havoc; and melting alpine glaciers send forth great floods of water. Geology Underfoot in Western Washington, the most recent addition to the Geology Underfoot series, author and geoscientist Dave Tucker narrates western Washington's geologic tales, covering sites from its low-lying shorelines to its rugged mountaintops. The book's 22 chapters, or vignettes, lead you to easily accessible stops along Washington's highways--and some trails, too. A healthy dose of full-color illustrations and photos compliments the author's illuminating prose, further demystifying Washington's geologic wonders. With Geology Underfoot in Western Washington in hand, you'll soon feel like an Evergreen State geology expert."
|November 10, 2015|
Courtney Shah has been teaching history at Lower Columbia College for 8 years. She received her Ph.D. from University of Houston. She specializes in the history of gender, sexuality, medicine, and race. Her work has been published in academic journals and encyclopedias. Sex Ed, Segregated is her first book and the product of 12 years of effort.
"Against the backdrop of the Progressive Era, World War I, and the 1920s, sex education burgeoned in the United States through institutions like the YMCA, the popular press, girls' schools, and the US military. As access to sexual knowledge increased, reformers debated what the messages of a sex-education curriculum should be and, perhaps more important, who would receive those messages. Courtney Shah's study chronicles this debate, showing that sex education then, just as in our own era, had as much to do with politics and morals as it did with biology and medicine. Examining how different population groups in the United States were given contrasting types of sex education, Shah demonstrates that such education was used as a tool to reinforce or challenge racial segregation, women's rights, religious diversity, and class identity."
In her free time, Courtney enjoys hiking, kayaking, and reading.
|Elizabeth Austen and Joseph Green|
|April 27, 2015|
Elizabeth Austen is the Washington State Poet Laureate for 2014-16. Her collection Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She's also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010). Elizabeth earned an MFA in Poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles. She produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9 and makes her living at Seattle Children's Hospital, where she also offers poetry and reflective writing workshops for the staff. Her visit is being funded by Humanities Washington.
Joseph Green retired from teaching in 2010, his twenty-fifth year at Lower Columbia College. His poems have been appearing in magazines and journals since 1975, and many have been collected in five chapbooks, most recently That Thread Still Connecting Us, from MoonPath Press. A new, longer collection, What Water Does at a Time Like This, was released this spring.
|Robert Michael Pyle|
|January 20, 2015|
Robert Michael Pyle writes essay, poetry, and fiction from an old Swedish farmstead along a tributary of the Lower Columbia River in southwestern Washington. His eighteen books include Wintergreen and The Tangled Bank. A Guggenheim Fellow, he has received the John Burroughs Medal and several other writing awards. Pyle's poems have appeared in magazines including the North American Review, and in a chapbook, Letting the Flies Out. Evolution of the Genus IRIS is his first full-length book of poems.
Robert Michael Pyle's poems respond to details, events, and emanations from the real, physical world and its species: humans and all the rest. The poems are based on or drawn from personal experiences and perceptions, mostly out-of-doors, and will appeal to the intelligent general reader, lovers of land and literature, fans of a good poem and a good story, and naturalists - which means anyone interested in the world and its occupants beyond themselves and their immediate self-concern.
|December 3, 2014|
Kristine Kibbee is a Pacific Northwest native with a love of language, nature and animals. Kristine's passion for creative writing began in her early youth and led her to the doors of Washington State University, where she earned a degree in Humanities with a focus in Professional Writing. Kristine has since had works published in The Vancougar and The Salal Review Literary Review, S/Tick Literary Review and is a featured columnist for the nationally syndicated magazine, Just Frenchies. Her latest book is Whole in the Clouds, a fantasy novel for middle-grade youths - and anyone else who has a love of imaginative adventures and a youthful heart! Amazon description of Whole in the Clouds reads: "An unhappy orphan, Cora Catlin is a misfit at best, an outcast at worst. She feels out of place in her life, as if everything is backwards and part of her is missing. But her long, tormented hours in hum-drum Harborville take a decidedly upward turn when she encounters an elfin stranger who takes her to a mystical world that awaits her atop the clouds. Complete with trees that sprout children, shy unicorns, elves who move at dizzying speeds, inchworms who wear spectacles, and even a pudgy little girl who is magically transformed into an ethereal beauty. Exploring this new land alongside her devoted dog Motley, Cora unearths secrets and wonders beyond her wildest imagining. She discovers the meaning of genuine friendship, true love, and what it means to finally feel whole."
Kristine makes her home deep on the heart of a forest on the outskirts of Longview, WA. Over the years she has been involved in her local community by way of dog rescue, Animal Assisted Therapy and promotion of the creative arts.
|November 3, 2014|
|In his own words, "Brian Doyle is a hirsute shambling shuffling mumbling grumbling muttering muddled maundering meandering male being who edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon - the best university magazine in America, according to Newsweek, and "the best spiritual magazine in the country," according to author Annie Dillard, clearly a woman of surpassing taste and discernment. Doyle is the author of 14 books of essays, poems, stories, nonfiction (The Grail, about a year in an Oregon vineyard, and The Wet Engine, about the "muddles & musics of the heart"), and the sprawling novels Mink River and The Plover (April 2014). His books have seven times been finalists for the Oregon Book Award, and his essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion, The American Scholar, The Sun, The New York Times, The Times of London, and The Age (in Australia), among other periodicals. 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, mysteriously, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008, this last particularly amazing because previous recipients include Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O'Connor, and Mary Oliver, and wouldn't that be great table talk? His greatest accomplishments are that a riveting woman said yup when he mumbled a marriage proposal, that the Coherent Mercy then sent them three lanky snotty sneery testy sweet brilliant nutty muttering children in skin boats from the sea of the stars, and that he once made the all-star team in a Boston men's basketball league that was a really tough league, guys drove the lane in that league they lost fingers, man, one time a guy drove to the basket and got hit so hard his right arm fell off but he was lefty and hit both free throws, so there you go."|
|May 29, 2014|
Joshua Howe is Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Reed College. His new book, Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014), explores the political history of climate change since the 1950s, and he continues to work on historical questions about sustainability and the global environment that bridge environmental history, the history of science, and the history of American foreign policy.
Josh grew up in Boise, Idaho, where an excellent public school education and a supportive family nurtured a passion for writing and storytelling that he shares with his two sisters, one (Jess Thomson) a Seattle based food writer, and the other (Allison Howe) a freelance travel and outdoor blogger based in Bozeman, Montana.
Josh holds a B.A. in History and Creative writing from Middlebury College, after which he worked variously as an editorial intern at Ski Racing Magazine, a freelance sports journalist, an English teacher, a photographer, and a ski coach, before finally settling into a career in academia as a graduate student at Stanford University. Josh earned his Ph.D. in History from Stanford in 2010, and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow with the National Science Foundation's John Tyndall Correspondence Project at Montana State University in Bozeman Montana until he moved to Portland to take up his position at Reed in the fall of 2012.
As a graduate student and since then, Josh has continued to write for a variety of popular outlets, including Mountain Outlaw Magazine, the Big Sky Weekly, and a popular cycling website called Velominati. He tries to carry the same attention to narrative (and sense of humor) that makes for successful popular writing into his academic work, which has appeared in the journals Climatic Change and Historical Studies of the Natural Sciences, as well as in a forthcoming collection on Scientific Naturalism, and now in Behind the Curve.Originally an Idahoan and now an Oregonian with stops in California and Montana in between, Josh considers himself a Westerner through and through. When he is not in the region's archives and universities studying its history or grading papers in its coffee shops, you can find him fishing in its rivers, riding its waves, exploring its deserts, and playing in its mountains.
|April 14, 2014|
Before his thrillers landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list, Kevin O'Brien was a railroad inspector. He quit his job in 1997, when his novel, Only Son, was picked up by Readers Digest and also optioned for film, thanks to interest from Tom Hanks. He has been writing full time ever since. The author of 15 internationally-published thrillers, he won the Spotted Owl Award for Best Pacific Northwest Mystery (The Last Victim). He is a core member of Seattle 7 Writers. In May, look for Kevin's new thriller, Tell Me You're Sorry.
In Tell Me You're Sorry, a family is wiped out after a burglary gone wrong. An executive accused of embezzling kills himself and his loved ones. A house fire claims the lives of all its inhabitants. Separate incidents with two common threads-a first wife who took her own life, and a secret the victims took to their graves. Stephanie Coburn has barely recovered from her sister's mysterious suicide when her brother-in-law and his new wife are murdered, her face disfigured beyond recognition. She knows something is desperately wrong. The police won't listen. Her only ally is another victim's son. Step by step, they're uncovering a trail of brutal vengeance and a killer who will never relent-and whose forgiveness can only be earned in death.
|February 11, 2014|
A writer since the age of ten, Brooks published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It became the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller List, where it remained for over five months. He has written thirty bestselling novels, movie adaptations of Hook and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and a memoir on his writing life titled Sometimes the Magic Works. He has sold millions of copies of his books domestically and is published worldwide. His Magic Kingdom series is currently under option at Warner Brothers. The Elfstones of Shannara is scheduled to be adapted as a television series on MTV. His next novel, The High Druid's Blade, will be published in August 2014. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife Judine.
|January 22, 2014|
|Carolyne Wright has published nine books of poetry, four volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a collection of essays. Her latest book is Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene. Previous books include A Change of Maps, finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the PSA, and nominated for the LA Times Book Awards; and Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire, which won the Blue Lynx Prize and the American Book Award. Wright is a Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes; and a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, for which she is co-editing an anthology of poems on women and work, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (forthcoming 2014). In 2005 she returned to her native Seattle, where she is on the faculty of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts' Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program. She received a 2013 4Culture Art Projects award and a 2014 CityArtists Project Award from Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture, for a book in progress of new and selected poems, This Dream the World.|
|October 21, 2013|
|Growing up as a conservative pastor's kid in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sarah shattered the glass ceiling of her family's expectation and traditional upbringing to become the first woman in her family to graduate from college and then go on to earn a Master's degree in Medical Science from Yale School of Medicine. While studying Journalism at Columbia University in pursuit of becoming a medical journalist, her forward trajectory came to a grinding halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27. After she lost everything, she moved to Portland, Oregon, with just a suitcase of clothes, and started over. It was at that point that she had a chance encounter with a Somali refugee family on the train in Portland. Sarah developed a relationship with them, and over the next few months, while she taught the single Somali mom and her five daughters how to live in America, they taught her how to love and be loved again. It's this story that she turned into her first book The Invisible Girls. Additionally, Sarah's writing has appeared in Just Between Us, Relevant Magazine, and Christianity Today. In addition to writing and speaking, Sarah is a clinical manager for a Portland-based medical company, and the Director of Communications at Imago Dei Community.|
|May 23, 2013|
|James Zerndt's fiction has most recently appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal and SWINK Magazine, and his poetry occasionally appears in The Oregonian. His first novel, The Cloud Seeders, is based on a short story that originally appeared in The Salal Review. His second novel, The Korean Word For Butterfly, came out in April.|
|April 29, 2013|
|Langdon Cook is a writer, instructor, and lecturer on wild foods and the outdoors. His books include Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, which the Seattle Times called "lyrical, practical and quixotic," and forthcoming The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America. Cook has been profiled in Bon Appetit, WSJ magazine, Whole Living, and Salon.com, and his writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Sunset, Gray's Sporting Journal, Outside, The Stranger, and Seattle Magazine. A graduate of Middlebury College (MA) in Vermont and the University of Washington (MFA), he lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.|
|Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni|
|April 1, 2013|
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet and teacher. Her honors include an American Book Award, a PEN/Josephine Miles Award, two PEN Syndicated Fiction awards, and a Distinguished Author Award from the South Asian Literary Association. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and a Pushcart Prize anthology. Her sixteen books have been translated into 29 languages. Two novels, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into films. A frequently sought-after op-ed commentator regarding South Asian-American culture, Divakaruni is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Her latest work, Oleander Girl is about seventeen-year-old Korobi Roy, orphaned at birth, the scion of a distinguished Kolkata family who has enjoyed a privileged, sheltered childhood with her adoring grandparents. But she is troubled by the silence that surrounds her parents' death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the unfinished love note she found hidden in her mother's book of poetry. Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents', and it seems her wish has come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family. On the night of their engagement party, Korobi's grandfather dies of a sudden heart attack. His death reveals the family's unexpected financial problems as well as a dark secret. This secret will shatter Korobi's sense of self and will thrust her - against the wishes of her fiancé and his family - out of her sheltered Kolkata life into a courageous and troubled search, in the company of an attractive stranger, across post 9/11America, a country that she finds at once dangerous, unwelcoming and alluring. What she discovers at the end will force her to make the most difficult choice of her life.
|January 17, 2013|
|Alice Derry was born in Oregon and raised in Washington and Montana. She received her M.F.A. from Goddard College (now Warren Wilson College) in 1980, taught by poets William Matthews, Lisel Mueller and Louise Glück. She has published seven books of poetry and read widely from her work. Strangers to Their Courage, was a finalist for the Washington Book Award in 2002. Her latest collection is Tremolo, from Red Hen Press. After thirty-seven years teaching writing and literature, she recently retired from Peninsula College. For more than a quarter century, she co-directed the Foothills Writers Series, hosting about fifteen readings a year.|
|October 25, 2012|
|Award-winning author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet. Her novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser, is based on the true story of a black woman who became a spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War--by pretending to be a slave to the family of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Leveen is a regular contributor to Disunion, the New York Times on-going coverage of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and her poetry, short humor pieces, and scholarly essays have appeared in literary magazines, anthologies, and on National Public Radio. A former university professor, she frequently gives talks on race, writing, history, and literature at universities, museums, libraries, and conferences throughout the country.|
|October 22, 2012|
|Peter Fletcher began guitar study at the age of seven under classical guitar instructor, John Sutherland. He made his formal debut at the age of fifteen under the auspices of The Brasstown Concert Association in North Carolina. Fletcher furthered his studies in Master Classes with David Leisner, David Russell, Oscar Ghiglia and Pepe Romero. In 1990, the Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA) awarded Fletcher a prize at its National Level Competition, and in 1995 he received the Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music under Nicholas Goluses, and was twice the recipient of an Eastman Graduate Award. His recordings include The Art of Classical Guitar, A Peter Fletcher Recital, Federico Mompou: Guitar Works, Peter Fletcher plays Erik Satie, and Peter Fletcher Plays Baroque Music for Guitar. Interests outside of music include reading and cross-country running. He lives in New York City.|
|May 24, 2012|
|Jonathan Case writes and draws books in Portland, Oregon, as a member of Periscope Studio, the largest cooperative of comics creators in America. He is the creator of the critically acclaimed Dear Creature, from Tor Books, and the artist of Green River Killer, from Dark Horse Comics. His work is currently up for several awards including the Eisner award for Green River Killer as Best Reality-Based Work. Both Dear Creature and Green River Killer are up for Stumptown Comics Awards for Best Artist, Best Letterer (GRK), and Best New Talent (for both GRK and Dear Creature). He is currently at work on several new projects with Dark Horse comics.|
|May 14, 2012|
|Kathleen Flenniken is the 2012-2014 Washington State Poet Laureate. Her new collection, Plume (University of Washington Press), is a meditation on the Hanford Nuclear Site. Her first book, Famous (University of Nebraska Press), won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association and a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Flenniken's awards include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust, and she teaches in the schools through arts agencies like Writers in the Schools and Jack Straw Foundation. Her job, as Poet Laureate, is to build awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations, with an emphasis on visiting each county in Washington. Her visit is being funded by Humanities Washington.|
|May 8, 2012|
|Irene Martin is an award-winning author, known particularly for her books and articles on Columbia River regional and fisheries history. She has fished commercially with her husband, Kent, on the Columbia River, at Willapa Bay, and in Alaska. Her books include Legacy and Testament, the Story of Columbia River Gillnetters and The Beach of Heaven, a History of Wahkiakum County. Her latest title is The Flight of the Bumble Bee, the Columbia River Packers Association and a Century in the Pursuit of Fish. She lives in Skamokawa, Washington, where she is an active community member. She is currently serving on the Board of the St. James Family Center, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, and on the Board of Trustees of the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.|
|March 6, 2012|
|Since 1975, Joseph Green's poems have been appearing in literary journals, and many have been collected in His Inadequate Vocabulary (1986), Deluxe Motel (1991), Greatest Hits 1975-2000 (2001), The End of Forgiveness (2001), and now That Thread Still Connecting Us (2012). He was PEN Northwest's Boyden Wilderness Writer for 2000, at the Dutch Henry Homestead in Oregon's Rogue River Canyon; and in 2002 he held a residency at Fundación Valparaiso, in Mojacar, Spain. Through his Peasandcues Press, he produces limited-edition, letterpress-printed poetry broadsides, using hand-set metal type; and at the C.C. Stern Type Foundry, in Portland, he is part of a team working to preserve the craft of casting the type itself. He retired from teaching in his twenty-fifth year at Lower Columbia College.|
|January 26, 2012|
Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, and the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft and Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford. He serves as the literary executor for the Estate of William Stafford, and teaches frequently at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology and the Fishtrap Gathering.
|Mary Doria Russell|
|October 12, 2011|
|The daughter of a Navy nurse and a Marine Corps drill sergeant, Mary Doria Russell's early talent for a "dismaying" vocabulary turned into a writing career that includes four bestselling novels and numerous international awards. Her fifth novel, Doc, explores the life of Wyatt Earp and gambler/dental surgeon John Henry Holliday. Before she began writing, she earned a doctorate in biological anthropology and taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry. Her many awards include a Campbell Award, an Arthur C. Clarke Prize, an ALA Readers Choice Award, and a 2005 Pulitzer nomination for A Thread of Grace, her third novel. Russell currently lives in Ohio with her husband Don, a golden retriever named Leo Lebowski, and a tubby, opinionated daschund who answers to the name Annie Fannie Sweet Feet. Her website.|
|October 3, 2011|
|Jennifer Blomgren, the award-winning author of Where Do I Sleep?: a Pacific Northwest Lullaby, was born and raised in Forks, Washington, where her love of verse began while being read to by her parents. She now lives and works in Port Townsend, Washington. She has also written another picture book entitled Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree and a book for young adults entitled The Tale of Alice's Quilt. Jennifer also illustrates her own line of greeting cards, 24 Carrot, Inc. The idea for the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Book Award-winning Where Do I Sleep came to her one night, and she wrote most of it in one sitting. She loves nature walks, gardening, and her dog Joe.|
|May 10, 2011|
|Peter Rock was born and raised in Salt Lake City. He is the author of the novels My Abandonment, The Bewildered, The Ambidextrist, This is the Place, and Carnival Wolves, and a story collection, The Unsettling. Rock attended Deep Springs College, received a BA in English from Yale University, and held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He has taught fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Deep Springs College, and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. His stories and freelance writing have both appeared widely. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and other awards, he currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Reed College.|
|Lana Hechtman Ayers|
|January 31, 2011|
|Lana Hechtman Ayers is a local poet from Kingston, Washington. She runs Night Rain Poetry, publishes the Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook Series, and is Poetry Editor of Crab Creek Review. She has won several awards for her poetry collections, and has been published in many journals.|
|October 18, 2010|
|Naseem Rakha is the author of The Crying Tree. Naseem is an award-winning journalist whose stories have been heard on NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth. Prior to journalism Naseem taught Holistic Resource Management to farmers, ranchers and tribes throughout the US and Canada. Naseem is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where she received her degree in Geology. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and many animals. When Naseem isn't writing, she's reading, knitting, hiking, gardening, collecting rocks, or just watching the seasons roll in and out.|
|April 19, 2010|
|Scholes, the author of the fantasy novels Lamentation and Canticle, was the featured artist for April. Ken Scholes grew up in a small logging town not far from the base of Mount Rainier in the Pacific Northwest. After a long break away from writing, Ken returned to it after logging time as a sailor, soldier, preacher, musician, label gun repairman, retail manager and nonprofit director. He won the Writers of the Future contest in 2004. Ken lives near Portland with his wife and twin daughters.|
|March 2, 2010|
|Ford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet which was an IndieBound NEXT List Selection, a Borders Original Voices Selection, a Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection, and a National Bestseller. Visit Ford's website.|
|January 25, 2010|
|Floyd Skloot is the author of 15 books, among them The Evening Light, Approximately Paradise, The End of Dreams, and his newest, The Snow's Music. He has won numerous awards, including The PEN USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction; the Independent Publishers Book Award in Creative Nonfiction; two Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Awards in poetry; Oregon Book Awards in both Creative Nonfiction and Poetry; and three Pushcart Prizes. Learn more about Floyd Skloot.|
|October 20, 2009|
|Nena Baker is the author of The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being. Nena Baker graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 1981 and made her career as a reporter and an editor for a number of magazines and newspapers before turning to books. "These days, I live in Portland with my partner, two dogs, and three cats. I've reluctantly agreed to quit bringing home stray pets. So I write, practice yoga, and work part-time as a licensed private investigator." Visit her website.|
|May 4, 2009|
|"Give women the vote!" Go back 100 years to spend an evening with two Washington State Suffragettes--prim and proper Emma Smith Devoe (portrayed by Barbara Callander) and outrageous and flamboyant May Arkwright Hutton (portrayed by Toni Douglass)--as they work together towards a common goal, that of getting women of Washington State the right to vote.
Barbara Callander and Toni Douglass each bring over 25 years of professional acting experience to their performances. Ms. Douglass, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, has performed in theatres throughout the western United States. She is also an established director, playwright, and teacher.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Ms. Callander has appeared with theatres nationwide, and has also worked extensively as an arts administrator. Together, Barbara Callander and Toni Douglass have been touring original plays about women's history for over a decade.
|March 9, 2009|
|Molly Gloss was 2009's Cowlitz Reads author, part of an annual celebration of literacy in Cowlitz County.
The prize-winning author, Molly Gloss, is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland. The Hearts of Horses, her fourth novel, is the moving tale of a young woman breaking horses for several ranchers in northeastern Oregon in the winter of 1917. The book addresses themes of war, alcoholism, illness and death, commitment to the land, and a sometimes lonely, often harsh way of life. It is a story not soon forgotten.
The Cowlitz Reads project is supported by a grant from the Washington State Library with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.