We are pleased to announce the Atheneum class of 2016
Paulann Petersen returns to teaching workshops this spring
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Paulann Petersen as a Senior Fellow in Poetry at the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters and to announce that she will resume teaching in the studio this spring. A beloved, wise, and inspirational poet and teacher, Paulann is the former poet laureate of Oregon.
David Biespiel's poetry columns from The Oregonian will be published in a new book
Congratulations to Whitney Otto for being named the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters' newest associate fellow.
Poetry is downtown.
The Portland'5 Foundation and The Attic Institute are pleased to present: Poets on Broadway – a free poetry series hosted by Portland'5. Three monthly poetry events will be presented October 2014 – April 2015 in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall Rotunda. Nationally renowned poets will read alongside local emerging poets in the greater Portland community and the Pacific NW. Readings are free.
WHEN: Thursday, August 14, 7pm.
WHERE: Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Ave. 503.224.3640.
Free. Seating is limited.
Poems Hold the Mysteries of the Present, Dreams of the Future
John Ebersole sits down with the president of the Attic Institute to discuss his upbriging, the world of contemporary poetry, and his latest book, Charming Gardeners.
"David Biespiel‘s Charming Gardeners (University of Washington Press, 2013) is unlike any book I’ve read in a long time. Filled with epistolary poems, his book – despite being populated by the poet’s friends and family – is actually a work of great loneliness. In many ways, Biespiel’s journey is America’s, where the road is both a symbol of arrivals, but also departures, and in between is solitude. On the surface, Biespiel’s poems seem like the private meditations of one man. However, his poems encompass each of us, socially and politically, by illuminating our nation’s contradictory character: a longing for enchantment in a disenchanted world. The poems in Charming Gardeners live between the wilderness and the civilized and the poet, finding himself in this zone of uncertainty, does what any of us would do: call out to those we love. In our conversation we discuss his years in Boston and D.C., the Attic Institute in Portland, the poetry wars, and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did." ~ John Ebersole
Congratulations to Jennifer Lauck for being named the Attic Institute's newest senior fellow.
Natalie Serber is a fiction writer, essayist, and educator. She is the author of the story collection Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times 100 “Notable Books” of 2012, a summer reading pick from O, the Oprah Magazine and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest for 2012. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews have appeared at The Rumpus, The New York Times, and Salon. Her awards include The John Steinbeck Award, Tobias Wolff Award, HE Francis Award, all for fiction, and an honorable mention for the Annie Dillard Award for Non Fiction. Natalie received her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and she is currently working on a novel set in Boring, Oregon.
Emily Whitman writes books for children and teens. Her YA Wildwing won the 2012 Oregon Book Award for Young Adult Literature and was a Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book. Radiant Darkness was #1 on the IndieBound Kid’s Next List, selected by independent booksellers, and was an Oregon Book Award finalist. Emily has taught at writing conferences including the Pacific Northwest Children’s Book Conference and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Oregon Conference, and she writes poetry, prose and nonfiction for educational publishers. She’s currently at work on a Middle Grade novel.
His column in the Oregonian was the longest running newspaper column about poetry in the United States
The first piece of prose I ever wrote about poetry in a daily newspaper was in 1989 for the old Book World section of The Washington Post. Egged on by an insipid poetry review the Post had recently published, I wrote to the editor, Michael Dirda, to offer my services as a new reviewer and pitched some books.
This was audacious of me, for sure. I was 25 years old. And I'd never written a poetry review before.
"How do I know you're not married to one of these people?" he asked in a subsequent phone call before assigning, on spec, a roundup of five books that included new work by Louise Gl£ck, James Dickey, Lucille Clifton and others. Thus my career writing about poetry in newspapers began.
Kari Luna's novel is due out next month, July 2013
"One part Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world."
A student in Merridawn Duckler's workshops, Kari Luna writes stories, teaches yoga and eats apricots. She also covets cashmere sweaters, collects toys from the sixties and thinks soul music is the cure for everything. She lives in Portland, Oregon. You can visit the fictional Sophie Sophia, read her blog, and download mixtapes at www.thetheoryofeverythingbook.com.
"Ms. Rusch's gripping account is full of details that will snag the interest of children ages 9 and older: that volcanic gases act like bubbles in a soda bottle; that a humming earthquake known as a "harmonic tremor" means magma is rising and boiling away groundwater; that a leading U.S. geologist wears Harry Potter glasses. Photographs throughout by Tom Uhlman illustrate the work that scientists are doing, but the most dramatic image—of a little blue truck beetling along a dirt road just ahead of boiling volcanic clouds—comes from Alberto Garcia, who took it when Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991." ~ Wall Street Journal
The Attic Institute is pleased to announce that New York Times Bestselling novelist Whitney Otto, Oregon Book Award winning novelist and Sundance Film Festival screenwriter Jon Raymond, and First Unitarian Church of Portland Minister Emerita Reverend Dr. Marilyn Sewell have been appointed adjunct fellows beginning January 2013.
"These are three amazing writers, speakers, and teachers here in Portland, and we're delighted to have them join our roster of exceptional literary teachers and to work with Portland's emerging writer in fiction, film, and spiritual writing," notes David Biespiel, president of the Attic Institute. "Any writer who wants to advance and learn would do well to take course or more with these three outstanding writers."
Otto, Raymond, and Sewell join a dynamic, national faculty of teaching fellows at the Attic Institute that includes David Biespiel, Cheryl Strayed, Karen Karbo, Paulann Petersen, Jennifer Lauck, Matthew Dickman, Wendy Willis, Merridawn Duckler, Elizabeth Rusch, Vanessa Veselka, Peter Zuckerman, and others, including critics Jeff Baker, Barry Johnson, and Shawn Levy.
Award goes for her first novel, Zazen, published last year.
"An ambitious encapsulation of our modern times, Zazen tackles counter-culture hipsters, geology, Buddhism, consumerism, terrorism, veganism, family drama, and, above all, love." ~ PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award in Fiction citation
Meet Vanessa Veselka. Keep an eye out for her next workshops at the Attic Institute.
Where Are You From?
Reconnecting to the places we live by Wendy Willis, from Oregon Humanities
"Recently, driving home from a soccer game in the pouring rain, I looked into the rearview mirror and asked my two young and very wet daughters, “If someone from another country asked you where you were from, what would you say?”
Without a heartbeat’s hesitation, they responded in unison, “Portland, Oregon.” I drew a sharp breath. For them, it’s not even a question to ponder. When I am asked, I always say, “I live in Portland, but I’m from Springfield, Oregon—from East Lane County.” When my husband is asked, he always answers, “Harris County, Texas,” though he was born in Tulsa, has lived in a dozen states, and has bounced around the same two zip codes in Southeast Portland for more than fifteen years."
Wild by Attic Institute Associate Fellow Cheryl Strayed Selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0™
Oprah’s Book Club 2.0™ is an interactive, multi-platform reading club that harnesses the power of social media, bringing passionate readers together to discuss inspiring stories. The best-selling memoir Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, is Oprah’s Book Club 2.0™’s first selection.
Congratulations to Attic Institute Associate Fellow Paulann Petersen
Reappointed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to a second term, Paulann is Oregon's sixth poet laureate since 1921 and the second woman to have the title.
"Not only is she widely respected in the literary world, her commitment to bringing poetry to the people of Oregon makes her an ideal laureate for reappointment," Kitzhaber said in a statement on April 12, 2012.
We are pleased to announce that writer and editor Lee Montgomery has been appointed Adjunct Fellow at the Attic Institute. Lee will teach non-fiction in the Atheneum for 2012-2013. Joining Lee as Atheneum faculty are David Biespiel, Wendy Willis, Karen Karbo, G. Xavier Robillard, and Merridawn Duckler. Applications for the Atheneum are due May 30.
Congratulations to all the finalists for the Oregon Book Awards, including:
Adjunct Fellow at the Attic Institute
Finalist in Creative Nonfiction
Adjunct Fellow at the Attic Institute
Finalist in Fiction
Notes from David Biespiel, President of the Attic Institute
"Eleven years have gone by in a blink. But today begins a new era as we renew our dedication both to the word and to the world."
"All sorts of excellent pieces of writing get started and finished here. That's what it means to be a literary studio."
"I realize now that the divide between Modernist American poetry and, let's call it, Rilkean American poetry is largely unnecessary. Poetry can be both a repository of wisdom and contain revolutionary feeling -- even in the same poem."
"America's poets have a minimal presene in American civic discourse and a miniscule public role in the life of American democracy. I find this condition perplexing and troubling -- both for poetry and for democracy."