Events and Readings



JANUARY – MARCH: Wild Writers Seminar: “The Nonlinear Memoir: It’s Not All About You.” An intensive dive into techniques of focusing a memoir not on chronology but on a leading idea, theme, or path of discovery.


JANUARY – MARCH: Wild Writers Seminar: Writing in a Dark Time. How do we respond to the political darkness in which we find ourselves? Writing is a crucial act of resistance. We will practice the very short nonfiction essay (room for poetry also) — and explore the work of exemplary writers including Orwell, Arendt, Jeffers, Solnit, Lopez, Duncan, Adrienne Rich, and many more. In the darkness, we must find our way to each other. Writing connects: It is the antidote to the isolating effects of propaganda and hate.


JANUARY – MARCH: Wild Writers Seminar: The Very Short Essay. Another round of this popular writer’s workshop. Focusing on the “750 word essay” and making room for poetry (they have a lot in common — concision, intensity. . .). Everyone comes away a better writer from the struggle to engage the reader, to feel and think vividly in a short compass. Write ten essays for ten meetings, refine and hone until ready to send off to magazines.


JANUARY: Reading, Peregrin Literary Series. West Linn “Holy Names” public room on the grounds at Marylhurst University. New and old work…

FEBRUARY – APRIL: Wild Writers Seminar: “The Road Less Traveled.” This is a writers group for those who don’t like groups. No obedience required. We will work on poetry and on the 750-word personal essay, or “lyric essay.” Good crit, a built-in audience, great examples to read. Eleven weeks to hone craft and follow the path to your own writing practice.

MARCH 5: “Language is a way of seeing.” One-day writing workshop at “The People Blind” by Peg Butler, a public-art installation in the entrance of the Portland Building.

MAY: One-month Residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Thanks to RACC (Regional Arts and Culture Council) and also to VSC for funding.

AUGUST 1-2: Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, “The Shore Ode.” This writing workshop takes advantage of the nearby beaches, rocky coast, and river-shore. We draw on great and inspiring poems and short prose pieces in this unrecognized but widespread sub-genre. “[O]n the shore of the wide world I stand alone and think. . .” says Keats. We do it too, and let the meditations arise and form themselves into beautiful, grounded, soaring work.


JANUARY – APRIL: Four months at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France.


JANUARY – MARCH: Wild Writers Seminar: The Very Short Essay. Everyone comes away a better writer from wrestling with the intensity and heart of the “750-word personal essay!”

AUGUST: August 5-8: Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program (Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Island). I’ll be talking about “The writing life” — what gives us joy is what keeps us going. We have to keep sight of where the pleasure is in this arduous, solitary pursuit, and let that radiate in everything we do.
Backpacking with Signal Fire artists and writers on Mt Hood. I’ll be offering some readings and discussions about how wildness and creativity intersect.

SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER: Wild Writers Seminar: The Very Short Essay. Another round of this popular writer’s workshop.


JANUARY THROUGH MAY 2012: I spent this semester in Missoula as the “Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer” at the University of Montana, working with ten talented graduate students of the Environmental Studies Writing Program. We worked on “short, sharp” personal essays exploring new kinds of nature writing. With the support of the Program we published a book-length collection including many established writers: A Natural History of Now: Reports from the Edge of Nature (Kelson Books, September 2012).

JUNE 18 Monday: “The Writing Life” talk at Oregon Writers Colony event – Tabor Space (Portland).

SEPTEMBER 28-30: Blue River Gathering, Anderson Experimental Forest, Oregon.


JANUARY 2011: Sunday 16th: Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe (45 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR (503) 697-7097) – Reading at 6:30 in honor of William Stafford, with Portland poet John Sibley Williams. Have a truffle!

FEBRUARY – MAY 2011: Pont-Aven (Brittany) France – offering writing workshops at PASCA Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art, while working on my nonfiction novel StealHead in the tranquillity of this tiny village.

MARCH 2011: Rennes (Brittany) France: “RENDITION” [visual-art presentation of themes from essay]. Institute Franco-Americaine gallery.

MAY 7: READING/LECTURE at Caf’e du Centre, Pont-Aven (France). 7:00. A presentation (in English) of new work from StealHead project.

JUNE 2011: June 26-28: Workshop “DAYLIGHTING THE INVISIBLE.” MRCSE 2011 UnConference. (Ashland, Wisconsin).
June 28: “Imagine: Each Other. . .” a short talk in the big regional Chautauqua tent: Wisconsin annual “PIE AND POLITICS” (Chautauqua Big Top) 7:00.

Tuesday 4th: City Limits discussion with “Dill Pickle Book Club” – 6:00 Waypost Coffee (3120 N. Williams at Fargo). Bring questions/insights about what makes for good city living. Is Portland managing it?
Saturday 8th: WORDSTOCK – find me at the Oregon Writers Colony table from 3:00-5:00.
Saturday 29th: WALT WHITMAN 150 CELEBRATION – RECONNECTION. Come enjoy a pint – and see the DVD of our remarkable performance one year ago. LUCKY LABRADOR (915 SE Hawthorne) 6:30-10:00. I’m making a special broadside: WALT WHITMAN SUPPORTS OCCUPY WALL STREET. Insurrectionary poetry!

NOVEMBER 2011: Wednesday 9th: I’ll be talking to Ethan Seltzer’s Urban Planning class at PSU about City Limits and related topics. 10:00-12:30.


Monday 28th: AHA! (Alling Henning Associates, Inc.) – Vancouver, WA – a lunch-hour talk on creative process and natural inspiration. Should be fun to connect with these word-hungry “marketing and communications” folks.

Saturday 11th: Wordstock (Oregon Convention Center) – I’ll be at the Oregon Writer’s Colony (OWC) table 2:00 – 3:00. New books on display!
Sunday 12th: Wordstock – OWC table 5:00 – 6:00.
Sunday 25th: Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe (45 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR (503) 697-7097) – Reading at 6:30 in a nice, intimate environment. Come hear one or two of the sweet, sharp essays this collection is built on. And have a truffle!

Thursday 5th: Rilassi Reading Series – 7:00 – a South Waterfront event not to miss – in the always-interesting new downtown condo neighborhood on the Willamette, where the streetcar comes to the base of the Aerial Tram. Rilassi Coffeehouse and Tea, 3580 SW River Parkway, Portland.
Wednesday 11th: St. Johns Booksellers – 7:30 – for a two-barreled reading! New work-in-progress from my nonfiction novel StealHead (with thanks to a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant). And selections from What We Love Will Save Us. Find this beautiful neighborhood bookstore at 8622 N. Lombard (in St. Johns of course) – phone 503-283-0032.
Thursday 19th: 12:00 – Columbia Writers Series, Clark College (Vancouver, Washington) in the Cannell Room of the Library. Again reading from my nonfiction novel work-in-progress StealHead (with thanks to a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant). And selections from What We Love Will Save Us.
Monday 15th: OREGON ENCYCLOPEDIA at McMenamin’s CORNELIUS PASS ROADHOUSE. I’ll talk about my OR ENCY entry (on the UGB) and read a few selections from here and there – then we’ll have a pint and talk about the encyclopedia project and… whatever! 4045 N.W. Cornelius Pass Rd., Hillsboro.

Saturday 9th: Poetry in Honor of William Stafford. A good opportunity to hear several poets. We’ll read some of our own work and some of Stafford’s. Other featured readers: Co-hosts Bill Siverly and Michael McDowell, Robert Davies, Melanie Green, Donna Henderson. 2-4 pm, Tigard Public Library, 13500 SW Hall Blvd.
Thursday 21st: CLAY STREET/GREEN STREET: a workshop with public artist Linda Wysong to develop a “path to the river” along a SE neighborhood street. This is the art part of a City street makeover. I’ll be guiding interested citizens in imagining good city spaces. OMSI Auditorium 5:30-7:00.
Monday 25th: CITY CLUB OF PORTLAND/Citizens Read book club: 6:00 – 7:30 at the Gerding Theater (old Armory building). What We Love is this month’s City Club book selection, offering a chance to connect with some of Portland’s most energetic and dedicated citizens. We’ll have a nice freewheeling talk about some of the book’s topics: good urban spaces; being citizens (not just consumers); keeping heart in a political and spiritual landscape that often seems pointless and ugly. City Club members only. Gerding Theater is at 128 NW Eleventh Avenue.

Tuesday 16th: OREGON ENCYCLOPEDIA sponsors this McMinamin’s CORNELIUS PASS ROADHOUSE conversation about the Encyclopedia project. I’ll read something related to my entry (on the UGB) about aspiration and citizenry. Then we’ll have a pint and talk about… whatever! 6:30-8:30. 4045 N.W. Cornelius Pass Rd., Hillsboro.

MAY 2010
Tuesday 4th: Reading at Broadway Books: 7:00. I’ll read from What We Love Will Save Us, answer questions, gab and mingle. Come join us! Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway (Portland 97232) 503-284-1726

JULY 2010
July 26-30: Midwest Regional Collaborative for Sustainable Education (MRCSE). I’ll be offering readings and the workshop Daylighting the Invisible.