In this month’s literary arts profile, we talk to Portland author Jim Newman about how his work as a television journalist on WCCO-TV and OPB informs his satirical novels.
October 19-21, 2018 | Sou’Wester Lodge
The Sou’Wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington was originally the summer home to Portland magnate Henry W. Corbett, who built a railway directly to the coastal town in the 1890s. These days, the Sou’Wester welcomes visitors to relax in its serene setting, including a vintage trailer resort which in mid-October will be the setting for Mother Foucault’s Fourth Annual Poetry Festival & Fellowship. This year’s featured readers include Alicia Jo Rabins, Anis Mojgani, Melissa Stein, Sophia Shalmiyev and the newly awarded Airstream Fellow (to be named September 16). Last year’s fellowship winner Zosia Waitr had this to say about her experience: “Mother Foucault’s Airstream Poetry Festival is an unusual and radiant opportunity to share time with lovers of books, publishing and translation, and it’s a great party. The fellowship was amazing. I loved my days alone, focused on working, in the rain.”
A typical day at Airstream might involve cooking in your trailer for the “Potluck in the Pavillion” dinner, going on a hike on the coast, attending a workshop on Surrealist writing, then sitting for the readings. Afterwards you might even be able to sit down for a sing-along with beloved Portland poet and amateur banjo player Ed Skoog. “It’s Like poetry summer camp in the fall” is how Mother Foucault’s Bookshop owner Craig Florence describes the event. “The place is arranged for reading and writing poetry, chatting and laughing and having fun… and the beach is right there. It’s so inspiring to have really talented writers in one spot. It’s like being at the shop. No one is putting on airs, there’s no pretense.”
“Mother Foucault’s Airstream Poetry Festival is a chance for Portlanders to find themselves in a rustic setting with good company, great conversation and an excellent platform for sharing new work,” says Carl Adamshick of Tavern Books. Natalie Garyet (also of Tavern Books) adds, “Book culture thrives out here in the unlikeliest environments.” University of Hell and Copper Canyon Press will also be representing Portland at the festival. This year’s scope of the poetic talent is widened both north with Seattle press Entre Rios Books and south to Los Angeles with several poets and writers scheduled to contribute.
Several poets who have been ELEVEN featured literary artists have attended previous Airstream Poetry Festivals, including Zachary Schomburg, Liz Mehl, Ed Skoog, Matthew Dickman and A.M. O’Malley. Portland remains one of the few cities to experience a renaissance in poetry as an art form. The Airstream Poetry Festival is a rare occasion to find many of these supremely talented poets in one setting.