Sept. 24, 2012
Oregon poet laureate and 7 top writers to read at Corvallis fundraiser Nov. 2
Source: Gail Wells, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-752-1692 and 541-760-3070
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon poet laureate Paulann Petersen, environmental essayist Kathleen Dean Moore and Portland author Brian Doyle will join five other distinguished writers Nov. 2 in Corvallis in a reading to fight hunger.
Oregon Book Award nominees and winners include essayist Moore, essayist and fiction writer Doyle, fiction writer Marjorie Sandor, and poets Clemens Starck and Peter Sears. Also on the program are CALYX’s founding editor Margarita Donnelly and popular young adult novelist Katie Kacvinsky.
The writers will read brief selections from their poetry, fiction and essays for the 19th annual Magic Barrel (www.magicbarrel.org).
All proceeds go to Linn Benton Food Share to fight hunger in the Corvallis-Albany community. Last year’s event raised more than $2,500 for the food bank.
For the first time, The Magic Barrel will be held in the Whiteside Theatre, a 1920s Italian Renaissance movie palace in downtown Corvallis that is being restored to its former glory.
Iranian-born memoirist Aria Minu-Sepehr will emcee the evening, and readings will be interspersed with live music by Corvallis jazz quartet Sideways Portal. Music starts at 6:30 p.m.; readings begin at 7 p.m.
A reception will feature free hors d’oeuvres and sweets from local chefs. Authors will greet listeners and sign books, which will be available for purchase from Grass Roots Books.
Admission is a sliding scale starting at a suggested donation of $7 at the door, but listeners are encouraged to give what they can. Nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
“This is the mid-valley’s liveliest literary event of the year,” said Magic Barrel steering committee chairwoman Sarah Williams. “It is always a magical evening of storytelling that transforms words into tons—literally—of food for the hungry.”
According to recent USDA data, almost half a million Oregonians—almost 40 percent of them children—suffered “food insecurity” between 2009 and 2011, meaning they lacked consistent access to adequate nutritious food. In Linn and Benton counties, one in every five families depends on an emergency food pantry at least once a year. “Last year we saw 11 percent more people asking for emergency food help than the year before,” said Linn Benton Food Share director Mike Gibson.
In 2011, Linn-Benton Food Share distributed 5.3 million pounds of food to emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and gleaning groups—serving nearly 50,000 people.
“The folks who put on the Magic Barrel have been great supporters of our program for many years,” said Gibson.
Here is the Magic Barrel’s 2012 lineup:
Paulann Petersen, author of five books of poetry, The Wild Awake, Blood-Silk, A Bride of Narrow Escape, Kindle, and The Voluptuary. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and won the Stewart H. Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts in 2006. She was named Oregon’s sixth poet laureate in 2012 by Gov. John Kitzhaber. In her role as poet-ambassador, Petersen has given hundreds of workshops and readings throughout Oregon. She lives in Portland.
Kathleen Dean Moore, winner of the Oregon Book Award and author of four essay collections about nature and the environment: Wild Comfort, Holdfast, Riverwalking, and The Pine Island Paradox. Moore has published articles in Audubon, Discover, Orion, the New York Times Review of Books, and other publications. She is Distinguished Professor of philosophy at Oregon State University and director of OSU’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.
Margarita Donnelly, founding editor (now retired) of CALYX, an internationally known journal of women’s writing and art. Donnelly has co-edited seven anthologies, including Bearing Witness/Sobreviviendo, the first anthology of Latina/Native American women; and The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women’s Anthology. Her honors include the American Book Award, the Stewart H. Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts, and the Oregon Governor’s Arts Award. She is at work on a memoir, Swimming with Piranhas. She lives in the Corvallis area.
Brian Doyle, author of nine books of essays, nonfiction, and “proems,” most recently Thirsty for the Joy: Australian & American Voices. Doyle’s nonfiction books also include The Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling Through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wild World; Grace Notes; Spirited Men: Story, Soul, and Substance; Epiphanies & Elegies: Very Short Stories; and The Wet Engine: Exploring Mad Wild Miracle of Heart. Doyle’s debut novel is Mink River. He edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland.
Katie Kacvinsky, author of three novels for young adults, Awaken, First Comes Love, and Middle Ground. Awaken was nominated for YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Assoc.) awards and was a 2012 Young Adults’ Choice pick by the International Reading Association. A former high-school English teacher, Kacvinsky now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and son in Corvallis.
Marjorie Sandor, author of the memoir The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction and the short-story collection Portrait of my Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime, which won the 2004 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction. Sandor’s essay collection, The Night Gardener: A Search for Home won the 2000 Oregon Book Award for literary non-fiction. Her stories have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize, and her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, House Beautiful, The Georgia Review, and other publications. Sandor directs OSU’s MFA program in creative writing.
Peter Sears, author of three full-length poetry collections: Tour: New and Selected Poems, The Brink, and Green Diver, and articles and essays in many magazines and newspapers, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Mother Jones, Saturday Review, Christian Science Monitor, and Rolling Stone. Sears teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University in Forest Grove and divides his time between Portland and Corvallis.
Clemens Starck, whose first book of poems, Journeyman’s Wages, won the 1996 Oregon Book Award and the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. His other books include Studying Russian on Company Time and China Basin, both finalists for the Oregon Book Award, and Traveling Incognito, a letterpress chapbook from Wood Works in Seattle. Starck’s newest book is Rembrandt, Chainsaw. He lives in rural Polk County, Oregon.
EMCEE Aria Minu-Sepehr, author of We Heard the Heavens Then, which won the John Guyon Prize for literary nonfiction. A native of Iran, Minu-Sepehr sought refuge in the United States after the fall of the Shah in 1979. He writes and speaks on issues concerning Iranian culture and U.S. foreign policy. He created and directed the Forum for Middle East Awareness at Susquehanna University, where he also taught world and Middle Eastern literature. He lives with his family in Oregon.
MUSIC Sideways Portal: Rob Birdwell (trumpet and flugelhorn), John Bliss (guitar), Page Hundemer (bass), Dave Storrs (drums).