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LitWatch July: Summer Fishtrap, the Crater Lake Murders, and a band memoir from the Brian Jonestown Massacre

Other summer events include poetry readings, a memoir by the scion of a gangster family, and a 4th of July book sale in Cannon Beach.

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The 37th Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers, July 8-14 at Wallowa Lake Lodge, will feature poet Aaron Abeyta (left) as keynote speaker and music by the Bad Penny Pleasuremakers.

I wish to be an ancestor of fire and how flames came to be, an ancestor of particular slants and dances of light. We are working in the half-light of a March dusk; the lambs run and jump as if they are born of sun reflected on ice. They rush to their mothers and their tails work furiously with joy as they suckle. Even then, as a boy, I somehow understood that those lambs, in that light, stood for hope and something greater than joy.
— From Ancestor of Fire, by Aaron Abeyta

“Love” is the theme of the 37th Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers July 8-14 at Wallowa Lake Lodge in Eastern Oregon. Summer Fishtrap is presented by the Fishtrap organization, which began in 1988 when Enterprise bookstore owner Rich Wandschneider and former Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford started a gathering of writers, along with award-winning journalist and historian, Alvin Josephy. After attending a Portland gathering hosted by Stafford, Wandschneider felt the presence of Eastern Oregon writers was missing, and soon after, Fishtrap was born.

Summer Fishtrap is a week-long event that offers talks, discussions, open mics, creative writing workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, revision, and graphic storytelling. It aims to bring together writers from across Oregon. Each workshop has a limit of 13 participants.

Workshops include “Elevating Life Into Art,” a nonfiction class with Stephanie Elizondo Griest; “Lovin’ on Mother Earth Through Imagination,” a fiction course with Laura Pritchett; and “Visual Storytelling” with Sharma Shields and Simeon Mills. The keynote speaker will be Aaron Abeyta, poet and recipient of the  American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. He will speak July 13 accompanied by music by the Bad Penny Pleasuremakers. His talk is open to the general public, with tickets $25.

Registration for Summer Fishtrap is still open, and participants are encouraged to sign up for waitlists if their first-choice workshops are sold out.

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Week 1: July 1-7

Poetry Reading: Laura Esther Sciortino, Remote Control
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, July 1
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Laura Esther Sciortino of Portland will read from Remote Control, her new book of poems. The collection explores looking for love, celebrating connection, imagination, surrender, hope, and survival. She will also discuss “partaking in reading as if a friend speaks to us directly.” She will be joined by poet Christopher Luna, author of Exchanging Wisdom.

Musician Joel Gion will read from his new memoir about his time in The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Powell’s City of Books.

Joel Gion in Conversation with Collin Hegna
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 3
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Tambourine player Joel Gion rose to fame as a frontman for the rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. His newly released memoir, In the Jingle Jangle Jungle, gives a first-hand account of the band’s decade-long reign of grunge through a humorous and earnest lens — marrying innocence and wonder with a cult classic rock ‘n’ roll tale. Gion will be joined in conversation by Collin Hegna, Portland-based musician, founder of the Spaghetti Western-themed psychedelic rock band Federale, and bassist for The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Cannon Beach Library 4th of July Book Sale
Presented by Cannon Beach Library
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, July 4-7
Cannon Beach Library
131 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach
Free to attend

Join Cannon Beach Library for its annual 4th of July sale to raise funds for the library. Thousands of books in genres including classics, mysteries, contemporary bestsellers, mass-market paperbacks, nonfiction, cookbooks, and gardening will be available, as well as vinyl, CDs, and DVDs. On Sunday, shoppers can fill a bag with books for $8.

Sponsor

All Classical Radio James Depreist


Week 2: July 8-14

Garth Risk Hallberg will talk about his new book, “The Second Coming,” with Lydia Kiesling at Powell’s City of Books.

Garth Risk Hallberg in Conversation with Lydia Kiesling
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, July 8
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire, will read from his new epic, The Second Coming. The book tells a story of love, grief, betrayal, change, and redemption as 13-year-old Jolie Aspern navigates a relationship with her estranged father who believes he is the only one who can save her. Hallberg will be joined by Lydia Kiesling, author of Mobility and The Golden State.


Week 3: July 15-21

Reading: Monty Orrick, The Crater Lake Murders
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, July 15
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Monty Orrick, author and Oregon television news photojournalist, will read from his true-crime work, The Crater Lake Murders. In July 1952, two General Motors executives drove into Crater Lake National Park; their murders became national news two days later. The FBI was unsuccessful in solving the case, Orrick heard of it in 2011 and became obsessed, effectively solving it a decade later.

Sidney Morrison depicts the life of abolitionist, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass in his new historical novel.

Author Event: Sidney Morrison’s Frederick Douglass
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, July 15
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

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Sidney Morrison, former English and history educator, will read from his historical novel, Frederick Douglass. The book details the life of the social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman and the Civil War era. Morrison sheds light on Douglass as an instrumental voice in ending slavery and one of the founders of American democracy, and follows his journey to becoming the newspaper publisher of The North Star.

Susan Tate Ankeny’s “American Flygirl” chronicles Hazel Ying Lee’s journey to become a U.S. military pilot.

Author Event: American Flygirl by Susan Tate Ankeny
Presented by Roundabout Books
6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18
Roundabout Books
900 N.W. Mt. Washington Drive, #110, Bend
$5, or free with book purchase

Susan Tate Ankeny, author, educator, and member of the Oregon 8th Air Force Historical Society, will be discuss American Flygirl, her book about Hazel Ying Lee, the first Asian American woman to receive a pilot’s license. The book chronicles how Lee, who was born in Portland in 1912, joined the WASPs and flew for the U.S. military, standing up against the widespread race and gender discrimination of the time.


Week 4: July 22-31

Poetry Reading: Joe Safdie, David Abel, Tim Shaner
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, July 25
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Joe Safdie, Portland-based writer and retired teacher, will read from Poetry and Heresy and Greek to Me, his book of poems on Greek mythology. He will be joined by David Abel, writer, editor, proprietor of Passages Bookshop, and host of the Spare Room reading series, and Tim Shaner, writing teacher and host of the Studio 7 Reading Series.

Nicole Treska, author of ‘Wonderland’, will be joined by Kimberly King Parsons on July 30.

Nicole Treska in Conversation with Kimberly King Parsons
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Sponsor

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Harlem-based author Nicole Treska will read from her debut memoir, Wonderland: A Tale of Hustling Hard and Breaking Even. Born into a family of Boston-area gangsters, Treska wrestles with her relationship with her father and learns about the reality of the American Dream and the isolation it can induce. She reminds the reader that escaping poverty can be a more difficult and complex than it appears. Treska will talk with Kimberly King Parsons, author of We Were the Universe and Black Light.

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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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