Month: October 2016

This week you hear from Ashley Brittner.  I met Ashley through her fiancé Mel Wells who works at Literary Arts, the organization that administers the Oregon Book Award.  I invited them to a reading one of my friends was hosting and realized I LOVED them both (actually, the whole room of 50-, 60-, and 70-something queers realized we loved these, um, kids).  They’re both grounded and funny and so who they are, and they’re well-read and obsessed with understanding gay history. Turns out, they’re both writers, too.  And Ashley runs “Get Nervous,” a reading and performance series centered on the…

Read More The bartering edition

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This week you hear from Nikole Potulsky.  Last summer, just weeks after my mother died, I met Nikole at a party and was immediately drawn to her easy laugh and her way of telling captivating stories.  I don’t know that I’d had a good laugh in weeks, but her stories not only coaxed a smile out of me, but made me laugh hard. I learned she was a musician and went to one of her shows, live music and all that.  Nikole is not just a stand up there and sing kind of guitar player, but a storytelling kind of…

Read More The pathfinder edition

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I first encountered Penny Guisinger at Nonfiction Now.  She was on a panel called “First Person Dangerous,” about the side-effects that writers of nonfiction face.  Penny wrote about driving hungover—not hammered, mind you—hungover, and how, while driving, she imagined the essay she’d write about it, about drinking, about not drinking.  An Internet troll had a heyday when her essay was published, tearing her apart.  Who knows why.  Because she was honest.  Because she was a woman. Because, the Internet. But I was immediately drawn to her because of these qualities: her humor, her honesty, the way she self-deprecates, and well, because I struggle…

Read More The implicit bias edition

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This week you hear from Kate Ristau.  I met Kate at the Terroir Writing Festival, organized by my grad school buddies Tandy Tillinghast Voit and Lisa Ohlen Harris (the Country Music Singing Femme asked me, “What is it with you writers and your three names?” I dunno.  We like to take up space across the spine of a book, I guess.  But I digress).  Immediately, Kate and I hit it off and not just because of our names.  Kate is a deep thinker who is also funny.  A writer of young adult fiction that’s full of myth and magic, and…

Read More The glory edition

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