I'll be in Portland this weekend to read at the Loggernaut 5th Anniversary party. I read at the very first Loggernaut back in April 2004 with Charles D'Ambrosio and Alicia Cohen--it was in the back room overlooking the patio of the restaurant Gravy on Mississippi Avenue, and by the time Charlie read it had gotten so dark in there that he had to perch a votive candle next to his manuscript, and we all listened raptly in the dark, his face lit by the tiny flame. I had read first, the baby shower scene from my long story "Your Heart Is A Piece of Tape." (Are baby showers not the weirdest feminine ritual ever? Everyone turns into babies, cooing and clapping. Maybe tied with bridal showers. Any shower that doesn't involve a direct spray of hot water is trouble.)
The series really took off--these readings were always my favorites to attend in Portland. They take place every other month, with three readers who read for an attention-span-friendly 15 minutes each, with a theme. For this one the theme is "Now & Then" and I'm going to read some nonfiction about kitchen haircuts, inappropriate relationships (not involving me), and small town weirdness, flipping back and forth between half my life ago and now. I'm still writing it. Come if you want to hear how it turns out.
It's at Urban Grind on NE 33rd and Oregon Street, this Saturday, May 1, at 7:30 pm. Also reading: Arthur Bradford, who wrote Dogwalker and directed the series How's Your News?, the eminent Barry Sanders who blew my mind when he read about ghosts and Sarah Bernhard for Loggernaut a few years ago, and poets Rodney Koeneke and Mary Szybist. Plus, they say, a super-secret special musical guest. Plus cake!