Portland’s Festival of Words wrapped up on Sunday October 6th, 2013. Together we took part in Portland’s new literary bar hopping party, LitHop PDX. Sampling both beers and reading series in three thirsty hours left us with a huge appetite for the Book Fair. Ayana Mathis and Cheryl Strayed won us over with poignant readings of each other’s work and tales of introspection, self discover and, of course, Oprah’s sweaters. We invaded the library, read to the dogs, brought in Chewbacca and introduced the songwriting category with performances by Tanya Donelly, Michael Hearst, Jolie Holland, Rick Moody and (who could forget) the Moog theremin. But don’t take our word for it. Check out the take aways and adventures of these fine folk.
A Whole New Wordstock, Portland Mercury
‘Grimm’ stars Silas Weir Mitchell and Bitsie Tulloch go back to the source at Wordstock, OregonLive.com (youtube video of this reading taken by an audience member can be found here)
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Thanks to you, the 9th annual Wordstock Festival of Words knocked us (and illustrator Shannon Wheeler) out! Together we celebrated hundreds of writers and sparked thousands of conversations about writing, songcraft, fairytales, e-books and, wait, was that Darth Vader?
Please tell us your Wordstock story and help shape Wordstock’s Spring 2015 debut at Portland State University.
How? Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, take a 5 minute festival survey. Songwriting? Guest curator? Grimm? What brought you to Wordstock and what did you find there? Please give us your feedback here.
Congratulations to the winners of the #StoriesLiveHere writing contest.
Lucy Mihajlich wins 2 tickets to tomorrow night’s Fest Opener for her vivid account of dancing with the dead in Lone Fir Cemetery.
And Becca Wadlinger wins 2 tickets to Wordstock Rocks Songcraft on Friday for her not-so smutty dalliance with sexual curse words set in McMenamin’s Kennedy School.
Thanks for all the great entries.
Everyone who entered is entitled to free entry to this weekend’s Book Fair. To claim your prize please email us at email@example.com or send a DM to @bewordstock.
Her favorite words were the ones that sounded dirty but were not. Masticate. Cul de sac. Angina. She used them often, delivering with intense eye contact in hopes a stranger would catch on and fire back. Growing up she’d passed as an honors student but felt more at home in detention–a room filled with angsty sleepers and note-book scrawlers who smelled of old cigarettes and had not a fuck to give. Now, with the real detention stars in jail, she found solace staying late at the bar. “One more,” she leaned in to the bartender, “something that’ll tickle my uvula.” He shook his head and gestured at the fire, which she stumbled over to feed, the flames jumping at her touch.
Lone Fir Cemetery
I started my Day of the Dead diet last week. Three times a day, I go to the Lone Fir cemetery, put on my shells and dance. The dead come for the music, for the marigolds, but they stay for the ofrendas.
They eat the spirit of my offerings: mole, tamales, tequila, hot chocolate and pan de muerto, sweet bread baked to look like bones. The spirits are always hungry, because most people only feed them on Día de Muertos.
By the time I finish dancing and eat the spirits’ leftovers, there’s no calories in them anymore. I started my diet last week. I’ve gained 10 lbs., but I’m sure it’s all muscle, from the dancing.
Wordstock is proud to announce Kevin Sampsell as this year’s
Why does he do what he does? Says Sampsell:
“Nothing moves me more than people who love books and the ideas and emotions that can be conveyed through reading. I’ve always thought of myself as a reader even more than a writer, so I was thrilled to be approached by Wordstock to be their guest curator. I mean, what enthusiastic reader/writer doesn’t dream about booking a literary festival full of their favorite authors? I tend to favor the up-and-comers and the daring groundbreakers of the book world, so it’s exciting for me to introduce fresh talent to Portland book fans. These are some pretty vibrant times for fans of books and literature, and I wanted to help the festival by infusing it with new ideas and enthusiasm. Wordstock aims to celebrate all of these people—writers, readers, thinkers and lovers. Embrace it with me.”
KEVIN SAMPSELL IS A PORTLAND BOOKSELLER, EVENTS COORDINATOR, SMALL PRESS PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR. HIS WORK HAS APPEARED WIDELY IN JOURNALS AND MAGAZINES AND IS INCLUDED IN BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2013. HE IS THE AUTHOR AND EDITOR OF MANY BOOKS INCLUDING THE UPCOMING NOVEL, THIS IS BETWEEN US (TIN HOUSE BOOKS).
Wordstock lucky to be a part of a city that loves to celebrate art, culture and community. That’s why we’re joining the Mississippi Street Fair, Belmont Street Fair, and Alberta Street Fair by hitting the streets. This summer we’re breaking out our red chairs and touring Portland’s street fairs to spread awareness for the organization and inject some wordy fun into the summer before the big festival in October. On July 13, the Wordstock team set up camp at the Mississippi Street Fair toting along our red chair and a selection of free books from Title Wave Bookstore. Our volunteers had a fantastic time sparking great conversations about writing and spreading the word about the mission of Wordstock: using the power of writing to effect positive change in people’s lives.
We met some great people at the Mississippi Street Fair, many of whom took a turn sitting in the red chair reading one of the books from our portable library. In between shifts in the Wordstock tent, our volunteers spent time checking out the fabulous food, crafts, and music that Portland street fairs have to offer.
You have two more chances to come visit the Wordstock tent. So come by, grab a cheeky word-themed button from the button jar, sit in the red chair, and chat with us about your favorite books. Look for the red chair at these upcoming street fairs:
Alberta Street Fair: Saturday August 10
Belmont Street Fair: Saturday September 14 (we’ll have some fun activities for kids in the Wordstock tent at this street fair)