Scroll down to meet our fantastic 2018 authors!
Rene Denfeld is the author of the award-winning and acclaimed novels "The Child Finder" and "The Enchanted," as well as essays in publications such as the New York Times. Rene's literary thriller, "The Child Finder," explores themes of survival, resiliency and redemption. The book has received a starred Library Journal review, major press, and an Indie Next pick, plus landing as the #1 fiction bestseller at Powell's within its first week, and becoming a top #10 bestseller in Canada and a bestseller in the U.S. Her first novel, "The Enchanted," was adapted into a play and performed at the Bunker Theatre in London in 2017.
Rene's lyrical, beautiful writing is inspired by her work with sex trafficking victims and innocents in prison. Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender's office and has worked hundreds of cases. in addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for 20 years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award at the 24th Annual Knock Out Abuse Gala in Washington, DC in November 2017, in recognition for her advocacy and social justice work, and named one of 19 heroic stories of the year by the New York Times. Rene lives in Portland where she is the happy mom of three kids adopted from foster care.
Omar El Akkad
Omar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Doha, Qatar, until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of Canada's National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. Omar lives in Portland, and "American War: A Novel," his debut novel, has been named as a finalist for the 2018 Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for fiction.
Joyce Cresswell is the author of "A Great Length of Time," winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award/Ken Kesey Award. This - her first novel - explores the difficult question, "Why is there war?" War and conflict have held deep fascination for Joyce ever since she listened to her parents' stories from WWII and later watched friends ship out to Vietnam, some of whom did not return. She has long been a Civil War buff and a fan of its rich literature. Her crooked life path included working as a trial lawyer and nonprofit executive director before retiring to write full time in 2010. Joyce is also a poet and essayist whose prior works have been published in Oregon Humanities Magazine and the Oregonian.
Karen Karbo is the author of multiple award-winning novels, memoirs and works of nonfiction. Her best-selling "Kick-Ass Women" series includes "The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman," which was an international bestseller. Karen's short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New York Times, Salon, and other publications. She is a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. Karen lives in Portland, and "In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules" is her latest book.
Bart King, the author of more than 20 funny books for kids and immature adults, was once described as "Portland's very own Dave Barry." But it turned out the speader was referring to 'David Barry,' a local dad known for his groan-inducing puns. Bart is a longtime teacher, and one of his books, "The Big Book of Boy Stuff," was once Amazon's #5 overall bestselling title. Bart's first novel is a humorous science fiction adventure called "The Drake Equation."
April Henry loves to kill people - but only on paper. April is the New York Times-bestselling author of 22 mysteries and thrillers for adults and teens. "The Body in the Woods," the first in her Point Last Seen series, won an Oregon Book Award in 2015. She can pick her way out of handcuffs with a bobby pin and makes a killer cinnamon roll. April has supported CPAH's HomeWord Bound event since its very first year, 20 years ago!
Patricia Kullberg worked for 20 years as the Medical Director for Multnomah County Health Department and practiced in a clinic that served the dispossessed: the homeless, undocumented, disabled and unemployed. Her latest book, "On the Ragged Edge of Medicine, " consists of fifteen patient vignettes that offer a unique and personal glimpse into doctoring at the margins. She is also a writer of historical fiction, who loves to excavate local history for neglected stories and characters. Through Write Around Portland, Patricia facilitates writing workshops at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for women, she's active with the Health Climate Action Team of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and she operates the board at KBOO FM community radio on Monday mornings for the political talk shows.
Carolyn O'Doherty lives in a much prettier and less dangerous version of Portland than her characters. She's loved writing and books her whole life, but only ventured into novel writing in the late 2000s. In 2011 she received an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. When, as a kid, she dreamed up the idea of freezing time, she only considered the benefits: always having the perfect snappy comeback, the right answer on the test, untraceable revenge. It was when she turned the idea into a novel that she delved into the dark side of this potential blessing. For the last 20 years, Carolyn has worked with various Portland nonprofits to develop affordable housing. "Rewind" is her first novel.
Matthew Robinson writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and personal essays. He holds an MFA from Portland State University, where he also teaches writing. The recipient of a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship, his fiction has been published in O-Dark-Thirty, Nailed Magazine, Gobshite Quarterly, Split Lip Magazine, and Clackamas Literary Review. He served six years in the Oregon Army National Guard, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004. "The Horse Latitudes" is his first book, and is a finalist for the 2018 Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. Matthew is also co-editor of the online literary journal The Gravity of the Thing.
Susan Sokol Blosser
Susan Sokol Blosser, a contemporary Oregon icon, made her fame as a wine industry pioneer, community activist, environmental advocate, and author. Her latest book is "The Vineyard Years: A Memoir with Recipes." Known for her leadership of Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, she was a forerunner in practicing the triple bottom line - people, planet, profit. With its certified organic vineyard and business practices based on The Natural Step model of sustainability, Sokol Blosser Winery made social responsibility and environmental ethics priorities while pursuing its vision of producing fabulous wines. Susan holds a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A.T. from Reed College, and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Portland, citing her entrepreneurship within the context of environmental and social responsibility. In 2008, Susan turned the presidency of Sokol Blosser Winery over to her children, stepping back with the title of Founder. She lives at the vineyard with her husband, Russ Rosner, three cats, eight chickens, and a Tibetan terrier puppy.
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song - based on Raymond Carver's "Too Much Water So Close to Home" - that inspired him to start writing stories. Willy has published four novels: "The Motel Life," "Northline," Oregon Book Award-winning "Lean on Pete" and "The Free," and several short stories. "The Motel Life" and "Lean on Pete" have both been made into feature films. Willy's fifth novel, "Don't Skip Out on Me," is due out in February 2018. Willy also founded the critically-acclaimed band Richmond Fontaine, which produced 11 studio albums, and in 2014 formed The Delines. Willy currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.
Wilson Wewa was born and raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon, and spent countless hours hearing the stories of his family, tribe and past lifeways as they pertained to his life. Later, Wilson traveled extensively with his family - especially his grandmother - to other parts of the Great Basin, where he met many other Northern Paiute elders who added to his knowledge of his people. Wilson continues to be called upon by his people as an orator, storyteller and funerary officiate. Since 1980, Wilson has worked for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as the Senior Wellness Coordinator, and he is consulted by other tribes and organizations in the U.S. on elders' issues. More recently, he was a guest lecturer at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he spoke about Native American issues that related to health, spirituality, environment and treaty rights, and he also works with the University of Oregon and Oregon State University as a consultant on Northern Paiute history and ethnobotany. His book, "Legends of the Northern Paiute: as told by Wilson Wewa," was published in 2017.
Daniel H. Wilson
Daniel H. Wilson is a Cherokee citizen and author of the New York Times bestselling "Robopocalypse" and its sequel "Robogenesis," as well as seven other books, including "How to Survive a Robot Uprising" and "Amped." He earned a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Masters degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. His latest novel is called "The Clockwork Dynasty." Daniel lives in Portland.