John H. Fitchen, Ingrid Kincaid, Jim Nail (Inkwater Press)

Join us for readings by three authors from the same publishing house, the first in a new monthly series.

The tales in John H. Fitchen’s Life Through the Lens of a Doctor-Birder are about two grand passions: medicine and birds. Through the eyes of a physician and a birder, we witness the glory that is nature. From a remote Aleutian Island to his own backyard, and from the research lab to the bedside, we see what makes birders tick and doctors marvel.

Ingrid Kincaid’s The Runes Revealed will challenge you to remove the tainted, distorted lens of patriarchal interpretation and start seeing the runes with clearer vision. Long before Odin, the Vikings or Christianity, the runes were. Written in a style that’s a mixture of both prose and poetry, this unconventional book about the runes presents a perspective that is challenging, thought-provoking and controversial.

In Jim Nail’s The Ballad of Johnny Arcane: A Novel, seven summers pass without a champion climbing the silo to claim the Cornfest Prize. Enter young Johnny Arcane, who brings down the hive of bees, the townspeople hefting him onto their shoulders, crying, “Arcane! Arcane!” The legend of Johnny Arcane is born, a saga of a reluctant hero on an epic journey, from his glory at Cornfest, through his shame at the Dolmens, to his most perilous quest-to cross the border between the known and the unknown worlds.

John H. Fitchen, MD, is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. After nearly twenty years in academics, he accepted a leadership role at Epitope, Inc., the Portland-based biotech company that developed OraSure, the first and only oral HIV test. He has published articles in The Atlantic, Birding, the New England Journal of Medicine, and dozens of other peer-reviewed medical journals. He is an avid birder and lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Ellen.

Ingrid Kincaid is the daughter of Arctic glaciers, rocky shorelines and windswept moors. She was born knowing the runes. They’re etched in her bones. They’re her lineage, her ancestry, her bloodlines. Their wisdom informs all that she does. People in the community know her as the rune woman. The Runes Revealed is a companion text to an online course of the same name. Visit her website to discover all that she have to offer: classes, rituals, online courses and private, spiritual guidance.

The Ballad of Johnny Arcane started with a song Jim Nail composed in 1973. The song stuck in his mind until, decades later, it exploded into a full novel. Nail is a songwriter, author, father, husband. He lives in Oregon with his wife and fellow author, Claire. They have two grown sons, Brendan and Devin.

Jazzy Mitchell, Musings of a Madwoman

Three women’s lives interweave as they struggle to navigate life and love. And the effects of a meteorite.

Patricia Steitz, a successful romance writer, is flabbergasted when Rudi Singlewood shows up at one of her book signings and initiates a summer romance. She worries that the fantasies she’s harbored regarding the world-renown Broadway actress may prevent her from accepting who Rudi really is. She relates her fears to her best friend, Marcia Struthers, a successful Manhattan litigator.

Knowing that Patricia has dreamed of Rudi for years, Marcia urges her to give the actress a chance by getting to know who she is behind her public persona. While working a high-profile case, Marcia must confront her resurging feelings for lead opposing counsel, Lexie Yamin, and the appearance of an unrequited love. All is not as it seems, however, as Marcia deals with unexpected physical changes and developing mental abilities after an encounter with a meteorite. Marcia’s not the only one dealing with changes induced by an extraterrestrial rock, though.

Kiernan Connelly, who has received intriguing letters over several months, begins to question her lifestyle. Her casual sexual relationship with Rudi and passable acting career no longer fulfill her. As Kiernan makes changes in her life, she finds herself dealing with the strange reality of being able to hear others’ thoughts. Could it be related to her close encounter with a meteorite?

Jazzy Mitchell loves to tell stories, whether in the classroom or on paper. She taught English in the public schools of her hometown for a decade, giving back to the system which helped her so much. Her debut novel, Lost Treasures, received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Rainbow Awards and was nominated in three categories for GCLS’s 2017 Goldie Awards: Debut Author, Traditional Contemporary Romance, and Cover Design. Besides writing, Jazzy teaches real estate law, writes fanfiction as Jazwriter, and facilitates energy work through her business, the Lightarian Institute. Jazzy lives in Portland, Oregon, enjoying life with her wife, three children, and two dogs.

Riya Anne Polcastro, JANE

Join us in welcoming Riya Anne Polcastro as she reads from her novel, Jane.

Somewhere out there is a line in the sand between sanity and insanity. Jane searches that line out, toys with it, revels in it, and then takes a running leap right over it.

Sex, drugs, and gangster rap come together in this deliciously transgressive novel to show you a side of crazy you never knew you wanted to see.

When twenty-five year old Jane moves back to her hometown in order to care for her schizophrenic aunt, miscarriage and an unfaithful fiancé fresh in her mind, the seeds are ripe for her mother’s cruel words to come true:

“You’re going to end up just like your aunt. You’re going to end up in a mental hospital someday.”

Caught between the secrets lurking below the surface of such childhood traumas and Aunt Rose’s demons―soon Jane is in desperate need of an escape. She find it in The Circle, a mismatched group of twenty-somethings who wave their amateur psychiatric diagnoses like badges of honor and party until the sun comes up. Little does she know, her new friends will be the source of her inevitable unravelling.

Armed with a useless liberal arts degree, Riya Anne Polcastro is a student of human behavior and a conduit for raw words. Maybe it is because she learned to read and write in her second language before she learned to do the same in her first. Maybe it is because she was raised a missionary’s daughter at the same time that she was taught to question everything. Maybe there are a whole lot of reasons. Either way, her fascination with mental illness and human interaction is weaved into fiction with a language that is at times caressed and loved, at others beaten into submission.

Michelle Bailat-Jones, Unfurled

Join us in welcoming Michelle Bailat-Jones for a reading from her latest novel, Unfurled.

For more than twenty years, Ella has learned to live without her mother, Maggie, who disappeared into a fog of mental illness when Ella turned ten. Despite this trauma, Ella has forged ahead, becoming a veterinarian, getting married, and most of all, developing a deep, trusting bond with her father, John, a ferry captain in Seattle.

Ella’s contented life is shattered when her father is hit by a car and killed. Going through his papers, she learns that her father maintained a secret relationship with her mother. The unsettling questions raised by her father’s death and her mother’s unexpected reappearance sends Ella on a journey to discover the truth about the woman who abandoned her and the man who raised her, a journey that threatens her marriage, her unborn child, and ultimately, her sanity.

Michelle Bailat-Jones is a writer and translator. She is the author of two novels – Fog Island Mountains (2014), and Unfurled (Oct 2018)

Her fiction, poetry, translations, and criticism have appeared in a number of journals, including The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, The View from Here, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Quarterly Conversation, PANK, Spolia Mag, Two Serious Ladies, Cerise Press and The Atticus Review.

She has translated two novels by the acclaimed Swiss author, Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, Beauty on Earth and What if the Sun…, both published by Skomlin. Other translations include work from Julia Allard Daudet, Laure Mi-Hyun Croset, Claude Cahun and Céline Cerny.

She was born in Japan, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and now lives in Switzerland.

Jeffrey Michael Tinkham, Talk Show

Join us in welcoming Jeffrey Michael Tinkham for a reading from his book, Talk Show: At the pinnacle of his career, Teddy Baxter, America’s favorite Late Night TV Talk Show host, is stricken with an ailment perhaps not altogether terrestrial in nature.

Jeffrey Michael Tinkham holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester, and is co-owner of Talking Oak Studios in Silverton Oregon. He lives in Silverton Oregon with his wife, Carole Ann DeMar ( co-owner of Talking Oak Studios) and their two cats, Mr. Mojo & Captain Fantastic.

Local Author James R. Gapinski

In Edge of the Known Bus Line, a woman’s daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she’s dropped off in a grotesque shantytown. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They’ve developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The narrator searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker, raves “Hallucinatory, savage, but ultimately hopeful, Edge of the Known Bus Line is a bloody bible for our times.” Melissa Reddish, author of Girl & Flame, proclaims “Edge of the Known Bus Line takes us on a one-way trip to the end of civilization and the beginning of what it means to be human.” Ashley Farmer, author of The Women, says “The dark, smart absurdity of James R. Gapinski’s writing jolts and delights in equal measure.”

James R. Gapinski is the author of Edge of the Known Bus Line, winner of the 2018 Etchings Press novella prize. He is also the author of Messiah Tortoise, a flash fiction collection available from Red Bird Chapbooks. His short fiction has appeared in Hobart, Juked, Monkeybicycle, Paper Darts, and other publications. James earned his MFA in fiction from Goddard College and his MA in postmodern literary studies from Prescott College. He is managing editor of The Conium Review and an instructional specialist at Chemeketa Community College. He lives with his partner in Portland, Oregon.

Local Author Heidi Harrison

Join us in for a reading of The Four Seasons, a new book by Heidi Harrison.

Music begins the story, and music weaves itself around each changing time period and evolution, Vivaldi’s transcendent notes encapsulating the various moods of the Four Seasons.

Irene has taught their intricacies for years, as the music of her life gently coils around her and her longings. As the result of a radio contest, she ends up in Tasmania, crossing over hemispheres and seasons, leaving behind winter for the warm sands of summer.

Helena, mountain woman, humanitarian, and yogurt baron, takes her yearly trek to Tasmania to assess her culture providers, unaware that she will meet her match and love in life.

Individually and together, these two women blend a musically rich tapestry of passion, eroticism, humor, intrigue, and the simple and complex layers of the human existence.

Heidi has always loved writing. At a very early age, she realized that words allowed for the exodus of her soul, a rhapsody, a sense of grace enveloping her. Writing has been her boulder, her stories the healing balm in a world that sometimes cries out for this.

Born in and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now calls home the Northwest, where towering red cedars surround her, inspiring her imaginative mind. She holds a MS degree in Counseling Psychology, and a dual degree in Child Development and French, and she has spent almost thirty years as a psychotherapist and a teacher of young children. She is also a classically trained violinist. She has traveled extensively between the hemispheres and she has lived and studied in Paris and in Grenoble, France.

She has written several novels and children’s books, countless stories, (fiction and creative nonfiction) and a full-length memoir. In each of these works, she is inspired by imagination itself, by real stories of people’s lives, by love, by music, by the stunning majesty of nature, by the beauty and power of words, relationships, the diversity of cultures, and the human heart and its complexities. We live in a complicated and often challenging world, and yet, as a writer, as an observer, as a teacher, she is, every day, inspired by the grace and by the infinite beauty that we, as humans, embody. Our dazzling earth is of an infinite nature; humbly, she lets words only begin to describe it.

Local Author Kathleen Valenti

Join us in welcoming Kathleen Valenti for a reading from 39 Winks, the next book in the Maggie O’Malley series.

Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her best friend Constantine’s Aunt Polly is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.

Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.

A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder.

Kathleen has been writing for more than 20 years, first as a nationally award-winning copywriter and now as a mystery novelist. A firm believer that deadpan can be dead-on, she combines funny with frightening to craft page-turners of mystery and suspense.

Her debut mystery, Agatha- and Lefty-nominated Protocol, examines the flaws of technology, the price of modern medicine and the depths of greed to uncover what happens when the invisible among us disappear. In her second book, 39 Winks, protagonist Maggie O’Malley comes to the aid of her best friend’s aunt after she discovers her husband’s body during a sleepwalking episode.

Kathleen lives in Central Oregon with her family, where she pretends to enjoy running.