OWC will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help expand our new Oregon Book Club program. We have rewards from some of our favorite Oregon publishers. More information will soon be available on our Kickstarter page.
Join us on Sunday, August 4 at Colonyhouse in Rockaway Beach to celebrate OWC’s Founders Day.
If you haven’t seen our writing retreat overlooking the ocean, this is the best time to visit—the one time each year our writers aren’t silently focused on getting that next page down. The beds will be made, the kitchen might be somewhat clean, and good conversation absolutely will flow.
If you’ve been to Colonyhouse, this is an excellent time to renew old acquaintances and meet some of our newer members. Networking while you’re walking the beach, sitting at the picnic table, or sharing a mid-day brunch—that’s what Founders Day is about.
Check our event page for the most update information about Founders Day.
Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine
We at the Oregon Writers Colony have been reading new and forthcoming books by Oregon authors through the holidays, and it gives us great pleasure, at last, to announce the Oregon Book Club Winter Selection: Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine, from the independent publishing pioneers at Graywolf Press.
who will pity us when the bees disappear into their shadows
who loves the dank earth, its wolves and tigresses
-Mary Szybist, from “How (Not) to Speak of God”
When we talk about poetry (those of us who read and write it), we often find ourselves addressing a reluctant audience: readers of fiction and memoir, politics and pop science. What does poetry do in a world of social media and smart phones, drones and climate change? If Incarnadine is our measure, the answer is: poetry speaks to what it is to be human, to be flesh, blood, bones, and spirit.
Incarnadine commences with a notable beginning, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and moves back and forth in time, from atrocities of the Crusades, to the national scandal on display in The Starr Report, to the Portland woman who threw her children from the Sellwood Bridge.
And yet, these poems are frequently intimate. While sharply examining womanhood through Mary, mother of Jesus, Szybist also examines “Mary,” the modern woman, teacher, and wife. Whether the subject is personal, historical, religious, or political, each poem reads like a meditation on a minor annunciation–the ephemeral beginning of a great, soul-testing event. Incarnadine, like the best poetry, invites us to contemplate the delicacy and potential of a single moment.
Mary Szybist has won many national awards and fellowships. Her first collection, Granted, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Portland and teaches at Lewis & Clark College.
No, we’re not that O Book Club. We’re your regional, independent-minded, beachcombing, wood-chopping alternative. Oregon Book Club exposes Oregon Writers Colony members to unheralded Oregon writers. We mail a newly published book four times a year, and host a public salon for selected authors, with lively interviews, readings, and conversation. For more information on the Oregon Book Club, contact Alexis Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re excited to announce our inaugural Oregon Book Club selection Disorder, written by author Dan DeWeese, and published by Portland independent press Propeller Books.
Disorder is exactly the sort of book we had hoped to dig up for our Oregon Book Club members. It’s not something you would find on your own. You won’t see it on the front table of Barnes & Noble. It was written, published, and designed by an Oregon publisher and author without a publicity machine behind him. And yet if you are one of the lucky few who get your hands on it, you’ll find its stories unforgettable.
It’s almost a shame to tell you what to expect from Disorder because DeWeese does such a good job of never telling you himself. In “Continuity” a man returns over and over to a paint store, unable to get the paint color right for a room he’s painting for his son. But in his brief exchanges with the paint store’s manager and customers, the man changes his story in small ways. It’s not even something the reader notices until the end, when the man gets angry, storming out of the paint store because he hasn’t been listened to.
Not since Hemingway’s classic short story “Hills Like White Elephants” have I met an author so skilled at revealing the things our conversations hide. Between the lines of DeWeese’s stories are entire novels—busted relationships, custody battles, children lost—but DeWeese only gives us the aftermath, the banter of the victims at a paint store.
The Oregon Book Club exposes OWC members to unheralded Oregon writers. We mail a newly published book four times a year. If you’re not yet a member, there are a few days left until we ship Disorder. If you would like to join, please visit the Membership page. If you’re curious, read more about the Oregon Book Club.