All Classical Radio James Depreist

LitWatch January: Winter Fishtrap, translation of a 6th-century poet, and the charm of backyard chickens

A new year brings a Fishtrap workshop, as well as authors talking about philanthropy, Higgs boson, and becoming a better cook. And chickens.


Winter can be an excellent time to hole up and write. Winter Fishtrap in Enterprise provides an opportunity to do just that.

I’m January bringing you
A year of days — all brand, brand new;
I step upon the frosty ground.
When chimes and sleighbells ring around;
You welcome me and children sing,
And joy comes into everything.
I bring you love and lots of cheer,
And work and friends for all the year.

I’m January by Annette Wynne

The new year is here and kicks off with a workshop weekend presented by Fishtrap. Fishtrap was created by bookstore owner Rich Wandschneider, poet and essayist Kim Stafford, and award-winning journalist and historian Alvin Josephy in 1988 as a writers and publishers gathering, and has since grown to become the largest writers’ organization in Wallowa County. Fishtrap programs Winter Fishtrap, The Big Read, and the Outpost Wilderness Writing Program have recently been joined by Fishtrap Fireside, which is in its 11th season.

On Friday, Jan. 12, the organization will kick off its Winter Fishtrap: Can We Talk? weekend featuring conversations, presentations, and workshops designed to unify the community. “What are the differences between dialogue, discussion, and debate?,” considers the event description, “How can we learn to see past our divisions and focus on the values we share?”

The weekend will begin at 6 p.m. with an opening reception, followed by remarks from keynote speaker Kristine F. Hoover of Gonzaga University. On Saturday morning, there will be a participatory dialogue session with Seth Kinzie and Craig Pesti-Strobel called Reconnecting: A Listening Mandala followed by a panel on Working Together When We Don’t Agree; a workshop, Depolarizing Within, with Steve Radcliffe; and a conversation on Talking Across Generations with Jacy Sohappy of the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland. At 7 p.m., a screening of The Color of Conscience: Human Rights Movement in Idaho will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s producer, Marcia Franklin of Idaho Public Television.

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, continental breakfast and the opportunity to chat with other authors and participants will be followed by a conversation and performance about connection and boundaries with 2023-24 Fishtrap Writer-in-Residence Jason Graham aka MOsley WOtta.


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Winter Fishtrap takes place in the Bowlby Building in Enterprise, with full weekend in-person registration costing $150. Individual events are ticketed at various prices, and virtual distance access starts at $20.

Week 1: Jan. 1-7

Fishtrap Fireside
Presented by Fishtrap
7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, and online
Fishtrap headquarters and online
107 W. Main St., Enterprise

Fishtrap presents the 11th season of Fireside readings featuring Wallowa County writers. The monthly series present a platform for writers in genres including poetry, fiction, history, humor, memoir, science fiction, fantasy, essay, travelogue, food, humor, and more. This month’s readers are Jim Dameron, Talia Filipek, and Zanni Schauffler.

Week 2: Jan. 8-14

Amy Schiller in Conversation with William Deresiewicz
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

In her new book, The Price of Humanity: How Philanthropy Went Wrong — And How to Fix It, Amy Schiller explores the history of philanthropy, covers its progression, and criticizes how the wealthy elite utilize it to maintain financial inequality. She will be joined by Portland author William Deresiewicz, essay writer and author of The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society, to discuss how philanthropy could become what it once was: an expression of the love of humanity.


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Chris Quigg

Chris Quigg: Grace in All Simplicity
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Chris Quigg, Distinguished Scientist Emeritus at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, will discuss his new book, written in collaboration with theoretical particle physicist Robert Cahn, Grace in All Simplicity. Considering how the “infinite and infinitesimal are joined,” the authors use their love of nature and science to look at nature’s secrets through a metaphoric lens. The books explores how Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy connect with revolutionary discoveries of the past.

The More-Than-Human World Reading Series
Presented by About Place Journal
5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11
Zoom and YouTube

Oregon authors Joe Wilkins, recipient of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry, and Brittney Corrigan, author of the poetry collection Daughters, will join 10 other writers during the More-Than-Human World Reading Series. The event is presented by About Place Journal, a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute whose mission includes “re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth, and society.” Register in advance to watch live free of charge.

Anthology Release: Bookstore Clerks and Significant Others
Presented by Tsunami Books
5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette St., Eugene

Join Tsunami Press for a release reading and reception for the first in a four-part series of anthologies. Bookstore Clerks and Significant Others features fiction, poetry, prose, and illustrations. Contributors to the anthology include Ken Babbs, Matthew Dickman, Maxine Scates, and others.

Week 3: Jan. 15-21


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Larry Beckett

Poetry Reading: Larry Beckett and Marc Zegans
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy, Portland

Portland poet and songwriter Larry Beckett will read from his new work of translation, The Book of Merlin. Merlin, also known as Myrddin Wyllt or Merlin of the Wilds, was a 6th-century poet in northwest Britain who spoke in the Brythonic tongue. Coupling it with the Latin poem Vita Merlini by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Beckett has put together the first translated manuscript of Merlin since it was lost in the 12th century. He will be joined by Marc Zegans, poet and creative development adviser, reading from his book of poetry and artwork, Lyon Street. The collection is a love letter to San Francisco and a reckoning with life on the edge of the Pacific.

Sarah Lohman

Sarah Lohman in Conversation with Claudia Meza
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Author Sarah Lohman will be joined by Claudia Meza, journalist and host of the podcast City Cast Portland, to discuss Lohman’s newest release, Endangered Eating. The book chronicles the disappearance of date palms, which grow only in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, the extinction risk of Texas longhorn cattle, the categorization of the apple as America’s most endangered food, and how losing these food sources would affect the world. Lohman traveled to South Carolina, the Upper Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond, talking to shepherds, fishers, farmers, scientists, historians, and activists about what can be done.

NW Authors Series presents Deb Vanasse
Presented by Cannon Beach Library
2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20
Cannon Beach Library
131 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

Deb Vanasse is co-founder of Alaska writing center 49 Writers, an Oregon Book Award finalist, and author of more than 25 nonfiction, historical fiction, and children’s books. She will read from her 2022 book, Roar of the Sea, a tale of an unlikely hero who fought corrupt government officials and pirates to save Alaskan fur seals from extinction.

Week 4: Jan. 21-31


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Tove Danovich and friend

Tove Danovich in Conversation with Erica Berry
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway St. Portland

Freelance journalist Tove Danovich will read from her new memoir, Under The Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them. Danovich looks into the history of domesticating chickens, considers their charming personality traits, and tells the story of when her first box of chicks arrived at her home in Iowa. Since then, her relationship with chickens has grown and her backyard hen house has become an Instagram sensation. Danovich will be joined by Erica Berry, Portland author of Wolfish.

Poetry Reading: Amelia Díaz Ettinger and Claudia Saleeby Savage
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy, Portland

Eastern Oregon-based author Amelia Díaz Ettinger will read from her poetry collection Self Dissection, a lyrical, anatomical, and metaphoric journey through the body that considers heritage, environment, family, and what it means to be an immigrant. She will be joined by Portland writer Claudia Saleeby Savage reading from metal used for beauty alone, described as “a plea for music as prayer, music as protest, music as balm, and music as change.”

Sohla El-Waylly in Conversation with Gregory Gourdet
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

If you missed Gregory Gourdet — award-winning chef and author of Everyone’s Table — at the 2023 Portland Book Festival, catch him in conversation with Sohla El-Waylly as they discuss her new cookbook, Start Here. The book is a practical guide to improving kitchen skills, with each chapter offering a different theme, as well as recipes that include advice, dish background, and easy-to-follow instructions.


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Photo Joe Cantrell

Amy Leona Havin is a poet, essayist, and arts journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She writes about language arts, dance, and film for Oregon ArtsWatch and is a staff writer with The Oregonian/OregonLive. Her work has been published in San Diego Poetry Annual, HereIn Arts Journal, Humana Obscura, The Chronicle, and others. She has been an artist-in-residence at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Archipelago Gallery, and Art/Lab, and was shortlisted for the Bridport International Creative Writing Prize in poetry. Havin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts and is the Artistic Director of Portland-based dance performance company, The Holding Project.


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