Robert Crum is a writer and photographer, formerly of Corvallis, now living in Portland. He has published work in places like Sierra, Wildlife Conservation, Wilderness, Harvard Magazine, New York Times, Ploughshares, and Northwest Review. He also published two children’s books with Simon & Schuster, Let’s Rodeo (about kids in rodeo) and Eagle Drum (about Native America powwows), which was honored as a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. For the last 15 years he has been writing about public health for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012)He is the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon Book Award from Literary Arts of Oregon. His poems have appeared in McSweeny’s, Ploughshares, The Believer, The London Review of Books, Esquire Magazine and The New Yorker among others. Matthew Dickman is the Poetry Editor of Tin House Magazine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Henry Hughes grew up on Long Island, New York, and he has lived in Oregon since 2002. His poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Malahat Review, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Seattle Review and Poetry Northwest, and are represented in several anthologies including Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets published by Oregon State University Press. His first collection, Men Holding Eggs, received the 2004 Oregon Book Award. His second book, Moist Meridian, was chosen by Robert Pinsky as a finalist for the 2011 Oregon Book Award. His 2012 collection, Shutter Lines, features poem-photo collaborations with the artist, Paul Gentry. Henry Hughes is the editor of the anthologies The Art of Angling: Poems about Fishing (Knopf, 2011) and Fishing Stories (Knopf, 2013), and his commentary on new poetry appears regularly in Harvard Review. His website is at here.
Lauren Kessler is an award-winning author, (semi) fearless immersion reporter and self-designated guinea pig journalist who combines lively narrative with deep research to explore everything from the wild, wild west of the anti-aging movement to the stormy seas of the mother-daughter reltionship. She is the author of seven works of narrative nonfiction, including her latest, Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging. Her other work includes My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence; Pacific Northwest Book Award winner Dancing with Rose (published in paperback as Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s), Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl and Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club — which David Letterman, in fierce competition with Oprah, chose as the first (and only) book for the Dave Letterman Book Club. Kessler appeared twice on his late-night show. She is also the author of Oregon Book Award winner Stubborn Twig, which was chosen as the book for all Oregon to read in honor of the state’s 2009 sesquicentennial.
Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O magazine, salon.com, Utne Reader, The Nation, newsweek.com, Prevention, Ladies Home Journal and elsewhere. She blogs at www.counterclockwisebook.com about the hope and hype of the anti-aging industry and at www.myteenagewerewolf.com and mom.me about the rollercoaster ride of mothering a 21st century teen girl. Kessler is a national speaker and workshop leader and the director of the graduate program in multimedia narrative journalism at the University of Oregon. She divides her time between homes in Prague, Montepulciano and Eugene, Oregon. Okay, she lied about the first two.
Barry Lopez was born in Port Chester, New York, and grew up in Southern California and New York City before moving to Oregon, where he has lived since 1968. He is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. His essays are collected in Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. In 2004 he co-edited, with his wife, the writer Debra Gwartney, Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, a reader’s dictionary of regional landscape terms.
In his nonfiction, Lopez writes often about the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. In his fiction, he frequently addresses issues of intimacy, ethics, and identity. Lopez’s work has been widely anthologized and translated, and he is the recipient of major awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim, the Lannan and National Science foundations, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He collaborates regularly with a number of artists and has traveled to nearly 80 countries. His website is here.
Wendy Madar is a longtime Oregon writer and journalist. Her book about photographer Edward Weston, Through Another Lens, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, was a New York Times Notable Book and was the basis for the Emmy Award winning film Eloquent Nude. Her first mystery, Death Pans Out, published under her pen name Ashna Graves by Poisoned Pen Press, was heralded by Kirkus Review as one of the year’s outstanding mysteries and thrillers. Her articles, essays and short stories have appeared in dozens of popular and literary periodicals and have won regional and national awards. Her newspaper column, In Our Town, developed into a complex and often personal conversation with the Corvallis community that continued for more than a decade. Local events from that period formed the basis for her second mystery, No Angel, which came out in fall 2012, and for a third mystery, Gripper, due out in late 2013. Wendy is the associate director of The Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University.
Gina Ochsner lives in Keizer, Oregon and divides her time between teaching and writing. She is the author of the short story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall, which received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the story collection People I Wanted to Be. Both books received the Oregon Book Award. Her novel The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight was long-listed for the Orange Award (UK) and received the Grub Street Book Prize. Ochsner is the grateful recipient of grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Literary Arts, Inc., The National Endowment for Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Howard Foundation. Ochsner is an avid reader and collector of folk and fairy tales, myths and ghost stories.
Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and the first female winner of New Orleans’ Stella! Shouting Contest. Her collection of essays on the human voice in performance, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande), won the Gold Medal “IPPY” for nonfiction at the 2012 Independent Press and Publishing awards. A recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and the MacDowell Colony, Elena recently joined the faculty of Oregon State’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film. Her essays appear in Oxford American, Creative Nonfiction, Slate, Iowa Review, 9th Letter, and other places, including the 2011 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart. Elena lives in Corvallis with three cats and one man. Two of the cats have four legs and one of the cats has three legs. The man has two legs. All four creatures are adorable. Her website is here.
Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of two story collections: The Trouble With You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Beloit Fiction Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Quick Fiction and Prairie Schooner. She grew up in Connecticut and New York City, taught for many years at Kansas State University, and moved to Oregon in 2008 with her husband and three children. She teaches creative writing and literature at Oregon State University. Her website is www.susanjacksonrodgers.com.
Joe Wilkins’ memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry, captures life in the desolate badlands of eastern Montana, a landscape that shapes those who live there and rarely lets them go. The Mountain and the Fathers was recently named a finalist for the Orion Book Award and the Montana Book Award and has just been released in paperback. Wilkins is also the author of two poetry collections, Notes from the Journey Westward, winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize, and Killing the Murnion Dogs, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the High Plains Book Award. Wilkins’ work has been anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing, Writing Today, New Poets of the American West, Best New Poets, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, and his essays, poems, and stories have appeared in a host of magazines and journals, including The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Harvard Review, Orion, and Slate.
A National Magazine Award finalist and PEN Center USA Award finalist, Wilkins was the 2010 recipient of the Richard J. Margolis Award of Blue Mountain Center, which goes to “a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice.” As the winner of the Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency from PEN Northwest, he and his family will spend the summer and fall of 2015 living in a remote cabin along the Rogue River in southwest Oregon.
Deborah Kim, editor at the Indiana Review, writes, “The most striking component of [Wilkins' work] is its awareness of ‘the whole world.’ What is ordinary becomes transcendent. In places derelict and seemingly unexceptional, Wilkins compels us to recognize what is worth salvage, worth praise.”
Wilkins lives with his wife, son, and daughter in McMinnville, Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.