The best thing about events like Wordstock, from my perspective anyway, is the opportunity to meet fellow writers. At the Nonfiction Reading Showcase at the Multnomah County Central Library on Wednesday, October 6, I met Wendy Burden, author of Dead End Gene Pool, and Kevin Sampsell, author of A Common Pornography. (Larry Colton also read from No Ordinary Joes that evening, but I didn’t have a chance to speak with him.) I ran into Wendy again at the authors’ reception two days later, where I also chatted with David Biespiel, founder/director of Attic: A Haven for Writers and author of Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces, Bo Caldwell, author of the novels City of Tranquil Light and The Distant Land of My Father, and poet and fiction writer Suzanne Burns.
The downside of such shows is that it’s impossible to take in everything that entices. In different rooms at the Convention Center on Saturday, Suzanne read from The Widow and Wendy read from her memoir at the same time that I was on stage beside Netsucca Spit Press founder Matt Love, who read from Gimme Refuge before I presented portions of the title essay from Fighters & Writers.
In an instance of unusually fortuitous timing amid such schedule conflicts, The Oregonian ran a brief review of my book the same weekend as Portland’s big gathering of scribblers.