Friday, June 10, 2005

Literary Portland

I spent a year in Portland—more than ten years ago, unbelievably—and I still feel a big connection to the city and people there. Lately I’ve been receiving via email a bunch of reminders of my favorite parts of literary Portland, so here they are:

Powell’s City of Books is possibly the best book store in the world. Aside from the great readings they host, they also have just about anything you might be looking for, including long out of print books. They even have a nice supply of books by…Ken Foster!

My sister moved to Portland before I did, and while visiting her one summer I enrolled in a one week writing course called “Dangerous Writing” which was led by Tom Spanbauer as part of the Haystack Summer Program. I wouldn’t be a writer if I hadn’t taken that class. I place all the blame on Tom.

But actually it wasn’t just Tom. A whole community of Dangerous Writers sprang up around him, including Chuck Palahniuk, Jennifer Lauk, Joanna Rose, Roger Larson and others. You can read more about all of them/us at Dangerous Writing.

Meanwhile, a friend emailed me this link after hearing about it on Oregon Public Radio. Apparently, some people are collecting stories for the Portland Story Project.

This lead me to another site: Portland Stories.

Meanwhile, the city wouldn’t be complete without Barbara Eiswerth. Aside from being a fantastic artist, she is also a former student of my dad. You know how certain odd moments are lodged in your brain forever? One of mine is of standing in my father’s office, watching the winter ice break on the Susquehanna River. “You have to come see this,” Barbara said. And if you see her paintings, you’ll know why.

There are a million things I've missed, so feel free to add comments.


Elizabeth Crane said...

I've only been there for a few days, to read at Powell's, but it's true, it's a beautiful city and a great bookstore.
Your dad was a teacher? What did he teach? Where?

case said...

The official food of Portland is Bento.

kfoz said...

My dad taught Art History and Painting at Lock Haven University of PA. I grew up on the campus, went to the "model" school run by the education department, and wandered the campus in my free time ...and made the mistake of thinking that this was what the world was like!

Vernon said...

I was intending to move to Portland from Washington State, but ended up in San Francisco instead. I used to visit the city all the time. Powells is hands down the best bookstore in the world. I *still* order most of my books from them. My wife actually just bought me a first edition of Gardner's "Grendel" just a few weeks ago.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Cool! I had no idea.