I review Jill Magi’s SLOT @ The Rumpus

“If understanding a poem requires I first read Saussure in the primary, it’s over before it begins. And while books with the words “intertextual investigation” on the jacket may be of some interest, I rarely find myself moved by them. Call me pedestrian, call me lazy, just give me a book of poems with a pulse and I’ll be happy. At first glance, Jill Magi’s Slot appears to be another academy production starched with theory, and the description, “An experiential investigation of how we move through cultural landmarks” doesn’t exactly rev one’s engines. But don’t be fooled, the poems inside are very much alive, and far more radical than their marketing suggests.”




Books for Literate and Dysfunctional Families @ NW Booklovers

“During the holidays we fixate on family, on our ability to be near them, by literal distance or by temperament. Of course, 20 years ago, if you were short on cheer, you need only endure a few weeks of “Jingle Bells,” but these days? They’re playing “O Holy Night” at the mall in early November. Sure, it’s a jazzy, subliminal, less explicit “O Holy Night,” but all the same. The tyranny of the Folgers commercials, where frighteningly chipper people in flannel robes pretend to be a family, is that they establish an ideal real life fails to achieve. Functional, happy families are the exception, not the rule.”


Bobby Abramson @WillametteWeek

Bobby talks to T.J. Norris!

“In The 45th Parallel, storyteller Lisa Wells and photographer Bobby Abrahamson give a travelogue of rural life in the “small, endangered towns” of central Oregon. We spoke to Abrahamson, who has shot for The New York Times, Time and others, about his growing body of work, photographs that walk a very fine line between journalism and fine art by leaving leeway for interpretation.”



I talk to Propeller Quarterly

“In this issue, we asked two debut writers to speak about how they made ends meet while working on their books. Lisa Wells’ first book, Yeah. No. Totally. (Perfect Day Publishing) came out in July. Paul Constant, reviewing the book in The Stranger, said of Wells’s prose, “Listen to this lively description of nature that would make Edward Abbey light up with an ear-to-ear grin: ‘In the insect-humming noon, coarse sage exploded from the earth.’ Or this brutal passage about the aftermath of a car crash: ‘He didn’t die in the road. He was wheeled to a white room made appropriate for dying. It goes on and on like this automatically.'” Wells answered a few questions about work via email between shifts, and had a patron snap the above photo.”



THIS! FEST @ The Oregonian

“Hey, remember how we were going to get all those writers and musicians together in a room, get them drunk, and give them a few minutes on a microphone ? Well — THIS! is happening.




Jon Raymond | Lidia Yuknavitch | Tom Bissell | Emily Chenoweth | Kevin Sampsell | B. Frayn Masters | Vanessa Vaselka | Zachary Schomburg | Mary Rechner | Taylor Clark | Lisa Wells | Dan Deweese | Matt Love | Jay Nebel | James Gendron | Joseph Mains | Evan P. Schneider | A. Wolfe | A.M. O’Malley | Casey Jarman | Alison Hallett | Justin Hocking | Sarah Royal | M Dâ’Alessandro | Martha Grover | Michael Heald | and more TBA


Kind Of Like spitting | Point Juncture, WA | Archeology | Deer Or The Doe | Yeah Great Fine | IOA | Pigeons | Hurtbird | Brothers Young | Bright Archer | Team Evil | Awkward Energy | Petoskey | Paper/Upper/Cuts | DJ Papi Chulo | Cooky Parker | DJ Bill Portland | DJ Gigante | and more TBA


The Woods | Pabst | Lucky Lab | Perfect Day Publishing | Poor Claudia | The Independent Publishing Resource Center | Nestucca Spit Press | Bedouin Books | Future Tense Books | Bad Blood Reading Series | Propeller Books”



THIS! FEST@ The Willamette Week

“Readings Go Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Q&A with the creators of This! Fest.

This! Fest, a new literature and music festival, this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10, with readings from more than 26 prominent Portland writers and 18 musical performances.”