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Eugene Weekly : Books : 2.3.11


Poetry Slams and Book Awards

Paulann Petersen

If the recent weird spate of uncharacteristically sunny January weather has you out-and-about instead of curled up all cozy with a book, never fear, there are places to go to talk books and engage in that thing thats a little foreign to those of us who are bookworm types: social interaction.

On Saturday, Feb. 5 Oregons Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen will give a reading of her poetry at 2:30 pm at the Springfield Public Library. Part of the poet laureates mission is to promote reading, writing and appreciation of poetry throughout the state. This weekend teens will be the focus of that mission. If your teen is anything like half the EW staff was in our younger years, then shes wearing black clothing, piercing her nose and writing poetry in little notebooks. Its time to drag of her out of the corner and down to the library for Petersens poetry writing workshop for teens at noon, also at the Springfield library, 225 5th St. in Springfield. The events are free; to register for the workshop call 726-2237.

If you havent outgrown your teen penchant for writing poetry, or you're a particularly brave teen, then Tsunami Books Poetry Tslam, Round Five, is where you want to be on Saturday Feb. 12 at 6:30 pm, $5-$10. The featured poet is Seattles slam champion Maya Hersh. If you're rather hear literature than read it, then drop by Tsunami earlier in the weekend for UO Creative Writing Program masters students reading their works in progress (free).

If poetry and fiction arent your thing, then the Thursday, Feb. 3 talk on "Creative Nonfiction: Telling the Truth like a Bald-faced Liar” might be more your style. Also at Tsunami, the event is free for members of Willamette Writers and students, and $10 for the rest of us. Forager, blogger and author Langdon Cook is the speaker at 6:30 pm.

Finally, in book news, Oregon Literary Arts has announced the 2010 Oregon book awards finalists and fellowship recipients. Several local and localish writers made the cut. Jennifer Richter of Corvallis was nominated for the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry for Threshold. Paul VanDevelder, also of Corvallis, is up for a general nonfiction award for his Savages and Scoundrels. UO prof Carol Ann Bassett (Galapagos at the Crossroads) and OSU prof Kathleen Dean Moore (Wild Comfort) are each up for the creative nonfiction award. Michelle Penaloza of Eugene received the Women Writers Fellowship award. Winners of the book awards will be announced at the end of April.

And in case you missed the news back in December when the Oregon Arts Commission was giving out its grants, UO instructor and writer Mike Copperman and Eugene poet Robert Hill Long were among the 13 recipients of the $3,000 grants. See teens? You can make money writing. Sort of. ã Camilla Mortensen