Ruth Wariner is the author of the New York Times bestseller "The Sound of Gravel," a riveting, profound memoir about coming-of-age in a polygamist family. People magazine has hailed the book as: "heartbreaking, haunting, yet ultimately uplifting." At the age of 15, Ruth left Colonia LeBaron, the polygamist Mormon colony in Mexico where she grew up, and moved to California. She raised her three youngest sisters in California and Oregon. After earning her GED, Ruth put herself through college and graduate school, and she taught high school Spanish for many years before becoming a writer and small business owner. She remains close to her siblings, is happily married, and lives in Portland.
Gigi Little is the editor of "City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Stories," a Pacific NW Independent Bookseller bestseller and a Powell's Books bestseller. Set in Portland, these 30 original stories blend imagination, literary writing, and pop culture into a cohesive weirdness that honors the city's personality, its bookstores and bridges and solo volcano, as well as the tradition of sci-fi pulp magazines. Including such authors as Rene Denfeld, Justin Hocking, Leni Zumas, and Kevin Sampsell, editor Gigi Little has curated a collection that is quirky, often chilling, at times surprisingly profound--and always perfectly weird.
Gigi is also the graphic designer at Forest Avenue Press, and has created all of the publisher's book covers. She has written and illustrated two children's picture books and her fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies and literary journals. By day she works as a marketing coordinator for Powell's Books, and she lives in Portland with her husband, fine artist Stephen O'Donnell. Before moving to Portland, Gigi spent fifteen years in the circus, as a lighting director and professional circus clown. She never took a pie to the face, but she is a Rhodes Scholar on the art of losing one's pants.
Peter Ames Carlin
Peter Ames Carlin is a writer and the author of several books, including his latest, "Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon." A bestselling rock biographer, Peter's previous books include "BRUCE," a biography of Bruce Springsteen, "Paul McCartney: A Life," and "Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson." Peter has also been a free-lance journalist, a senior writer at People magazine in New York City, and a television columnist and feature writer for The Oregonian. A regular speaker on music, art, and pop culture, Peter lives in Portland with his wife and three children.
Monica Drake has an MFA from the University of Arizona and teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Following her acclaimed novels "Clown Girl" and "The Stud Book," Monica's long-awaited first collection of stories has been published. "The Folly of Loving Life" features linked stories examining an array of characters at their most vulnerable and human, often escaping to somewhere or trying to find stability in their own place. These stories display the best of what we love about Monica's writing--the sly laugh-out-loud humor, the sharp observations, the flawed but strong characters, and the shadowy Van Sant-ish Portland settings.
Harold Johnson was born in Yakima, Washington, in the heart of the Great Depression, grew up and attended public school there. After high school he moved to Portland for college and remained except for a stint in the U.S. Army. Most of his working life was spent teaching English and art in Portland schools until retirement in 1995. "The Fort Showalter Blues" is Harold's 2015 novel, which is the narrative of a young African-American army musician from the Pacific Northwest, during the period immediately preceding the social-political upheaval of the 1960s. Harold is also the author of a book of poems, "Citizenship" (Many Voices Press). His poems have appeared in numerous journals and he received a Pushcart nomination. He has been a USA-Africa Fellow of The Ragdale Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois. For two years, he worked as an editor of "Fireweed: Poetry of Western Oregon." His poems have been included in the anthologies "From Here We Speak" (Oregon State University Press), "Millennial Spring" (Cloudbank Books), "Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century" (Black Classic Press), and "New Poets of the American West" (Many Voices Press), among others.
If author Bart King's calculations are correct, he's the bestselling author in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, his calculations are off by a longshot--Bart's not even the bestselling author on his street. However, he IS a longtime middle school teacher, and the author of many funny books for kids and immature adults. Bart's most recent is a humorous adventure story from Disney called "The Drake Equation."
Kathleen Lane writes short fiction and stories for young readers. Her middle-grade novel, "The Best Worst Thing," is among this year's Oregon Book Award finalists, and she is currently working on a short story collection and young adult novel. Kathleen lives in Portland where she co-hosts the art and literary series SHARE, teaches writing through Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program, and thanks to a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, will soon begin working with sixth-graders at three Portland middle schools.
Tracy Manaster is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of the novels "The Done Thing" and "You Could Be Home by Now." Her earliest ambition was to be a balloon seller in Central Park, followed by dreams of being a whitewater guide on the Green River, and then an archaeologist; now she writes. Her family plays an elaborate ritualized card game involving maracas, she will share the secret to a perfect blueberry pie with anyone who asks, and she spends way too much time trying to map a road trip that hits each National Park during its most beautiful season. Tracy lives in Portland with her husband and twin daughters.
Scott Nadelson grew up in northern New Jersey before escaping to Oregon, where he has lived for the past eighteen years. His latest novel, "Between You and Me," is a finalist for the 2017 Oregon Book Award. He has also published three collections of short stories, "Aftermath," "The Cantor's Daughter," and "Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories," and a memoir, "The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress." Winner of the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and a previous Oregon Book Award, Scott's work has appeared in a variety of magazines and literary journals, including Ploughshares, The Southern Review, New England Review, Harvard Review, Glimmer Train, and Crazyhorse, and his work has been cited as distinguished in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays anthologies. He teaches at Willamette University, where he is the Hallie Brown Ford Chair in Writing, and in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, "The Mountain and the Fathers," winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award--an honor that has previously recognized early work by the likes of Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, and Alice Munro--and two previous books of poetry, "Notes from the Journey Westward" and "Killing the Murnion Dogs." His most recent full-length collection, "When We Were Birds," was selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series and was recently named a finalist for the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry, sponsored by the Oregon Book Awards. Of Joe's work, the 2014 GLCA judges write: "Joe Wilkins evokes place like Willa Cather. That is, place begins as a kind of raw, wide-open poetry. With exquisite control at both the structural and sentence level, Wilkins displays both a surety and openness to question, particularly with regard to class and masculinity without theorizing or naming them as such." Joe lives with his wife, son, and daughter in McMinnville, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield College.
Carolyn Wood, a lifelong Oregonian, grew up in Southwest Portland and attended Beaverton High School. In the summer of her freshman year she competed and won a gold medal in swimming at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. She raced nationally and internationally for three more years before attending the University of Oregon. After graduation in 1967, Carolyn began a 35-year career teaching high school English. A fellow of the Oregon Writing Project, Carolyn wrote with her students over the years, attended writing workshops and retreats, published a poem here and an essay there and promised herself that someday she'd "pull those writings together and tell her story." In 2010 she began to write "Tough Girl: An Olympian's Journey," her first book. Carolyn's memoir recounts two journeys, separated by fifty-two years. She conveys the wild exuberance and dreams of youth and the tempered wisdom that develops with time and dedicated practice.