Friday, October 9, 2009

Three things I want you to see at Wordstock

Full disclosure: these are three events I planned, so of course I consider them must-sees. They’re all omnibus occasions -- panel discussion/reading events, designed to extract maximum performance value out of each sojourn. Check it out.

Voices from Another Portland
Saturday, 2pm, Wieden + Kennedy Stage
Remember last June when I gushed over my favorite summer book, Portland Queer? Now meet five of the book’s contributors, as they read from their stories and wax philosophical over writing about Portland places and experiences as viewed through a different lens.

Editor Ariel Gore assures these writers – Marc Acito, Jacob Anderson-Minshall, Wayne Flowers, Colleen Siviter and moderator Dexter Flowers – are writers who love to perform and/or are performers who love to write. Sounds heady!

Stages of Playwriting
Sunday, 2pm, McMenamins Stage
Our three guests – Marc Acito, Storm Large and Cynthia Whitcomb – have all had recent hits on Portland stages that are now primed to wow audiences on the national scene. These writers will talk about the many advantages of workshopping homegrown work – including the support of local collaborators, an avid fan base, and most importantly, fellow writers (all three participate in the Big Brain Trust). Plus this panel is moderated by bon vivant Floyd Sklaver, so what’s not to like?

And yes, that is indeed Storm in the photo at right -- because I will stop at nothing to attract people to these panels – all dolled up as Gretchen Lowell, the dangerously fetching antiheroine of Chelsea Cain’s novels. (Chelsaa, you know, is also appearing at Wordstock: Sunday, 1pm, Colubmia Sportwear Stage.)

Border Crossings
Sunday, 3pm, McMenamins Stage
First of all, this discussion is moderated by Portland media goddess Dmae Roberts, okay? And then her guests are Marilyn Chin, Canyon Sam, and redoubtable Portlander Polo Catalani. Together they’ll discuss the tricky business of how you represent other cultures in writing without casting them in the dubious distinction of being exotic or resorting to other forms of orientalism. This is bound to be a lively discussion.

Saturday, by the way, is my 2nd annual 75th birthday. So show up for me, why don’t you.

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