Author reading: Broadway Books, Nov. 18

Tall Trees cover

I’ll be reading from my recently released book, Under the Influence of Tall Trees, on Tuesday, November 18, 7 p.m., at Broadway Books, 1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland, Oregon, For more information:

Under the Influence of Tall Trees: Humorous Tales from a Pacific Northwest Writer, is a collection of quirky personal essays on the challenges of finding my true work, family and home in the Pacific Northwest

Sometimes tender, sometimes cranky, Under the Influence of Tall Trees presents my take on everything from the miracle of birth to my failure as a gardener. Along the way, I reveal myself as a bit of a curmudgeon.

As I say in the book, “I enjoy being funny. It just feels so good to let it all out—like a sneeze, only less wet.”

Whether arguing with The Other Phone Company, seeking out the perfect dancing dress for my young daughter (it’s “one-quarter Cinderella and three-quarters Mardi Gras”), or collecting yet another rejection slip as I start my freelance writing career, I use humor to describe the longings and labors of someone more than a little out of step with the rest of the world. When it all becomes too much, I retreat to the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge or duck into an antique shop, for relief from “life’s trendy newness.”

I also take up spinning, become an oyster chef groupie and visit Fort Clatsop to uncover the real cause of Lewis and Clark’s problems (“too much communal living combined with dense undergrowth”).

Original photographs, line drawings and cartoons round out Under the Influence of Tall Trees.

For additional information about Under the Influence of Tall Trees, contact me by email at or via my website, Copies of Under the Influence of Tall Trees: Humorous Tales from a Pacific Northwest Writer (ISBN 978–1-312–25642–2) are available in paperback at Broadway Books and for $19.99.

Reading: Broadway Books, August 19, 7 p.m.

My students will be reading from their anthology at this event. I also will be reading. Please join us if you can.





Broadway Books is pleased to announce a special event to be held at the store on Tuesday, August 19, at 7 pm.


A local writing collective known as The Oregon Woodshop Writers will present their new anthology, Why in the Road: Forgive, Forget, Regrets.


This anthology includes humorous and emotional personal essays, poems and short fiction. Contributing authors in this year’s anthology are Corky Bentwood, Jaimie Caulley, Kathy Eaton, Dave King, Shirley Lewton, Susan MacMillan, Catherine Magdalena, Kerry McPherson, Mark Robben and June Selis.


All of the writers are students of Nancy Woods.


This reading is free and open to the public. Broadway Books is located at 1714 NE Broadway, Portland. For more information, contact Roberta Dyer or Sally McPherson at (503) 284-1726 or You may also visit our website:


Bookstore: Broadway Books

I strongly recommend the small, independent bookstore Broadway Books at 1714 N.E. Broadway in Portland, Oregon. Owners Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson undertand and value books. Here’s one of their upcoming events:

Tuesday April 27 at 7 pm – A whole slew of local poets will descend on the store to read from Kalashnikov in the Sun: An Anthology of Sierra Leonean Poets edited by Kirsten Rian. This amazing collection gives voice to a country long troubled by war. Here, we see the writers, poets and truth-tellers express their anguish and longing for peace and healing. Each poet will read a poem from the book as well as one of his/her own. Besides Kirsten, we will welcome the following poets: Judith Arcana, Sharon Wood Wortman, Clem Starck, Paulann Petersen, Barbara LaMorticella, Rich Wandschneider, Paul Merchant, Willa Schneberg, John Morrison, Carlos Reyes, Nancy Flynn, Lisa Nasshan, Sue Einowski, Michael Achterman, and Sean McGillis.

For their blog, go here:

Reading: March 3: Blackbird Wine Shop

Please join me at the following reading (I”ll be in the audience):

Oregon Literary Review co-hosts First Wednesdays, a series of readings, performances and wine-tasting at the Blackbird Wine Shop, 4323 NE Fremont, Portland, Oregon, 7-9pm. This show is 21 and over. Contact Julie Mae Madsen at for more information. 

The readers for March 3 are Mark Thalman, John Blackard, Penelope Schott, and Pedro Ponce.

Pedro Ponce is the author of two chapbooks of short fiction, Superstitions of Apartment Life (Burnside Review Press) and Alien Autopsy (Willows Wept Press). His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and been anthologized in The Beacon Best of 2001, You Have Time for This: Contemporary American Short-Short Stories, DIAGRAM: The Second Print Anthology, and Sudden Fiction Latino.

John Blackard is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with advanced degrees in English Studies and Library Information Studies. He has three books of poems in print. The most recent,  Pulling Apart, appeared in January. He has received Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He lives in Portland with his wife, the poet Valentina Gnup, and recently served as associate editor of Poetry Northwest.

Mark Thalman’s book Catching the Limit is published by Bedbug Press – Fairweather Books (2009) and is part of their Northwest Poetry Series. Thalman’s poetry has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, CutBank, Many Mountains Moving, Pedestal Magazine, Pennsylvania Review, and Verse Daily among others.  He received his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and he teaches English in the public schools.

Penelope Scambly Schott’s newest books are Six Lips  and a chapbook Under Taos Mountain: The Terrible Quarrel of Magpie and Tia in which she is picked on by a harshly philosophical magpie..  In 2008 Penelope received the Oregon Book Award for Poetry for her verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth.