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.

Bella LaVey, Fetish Girl: A Memoir of Sex, Domination, and Motherhood

How does an ordinary New England girl become an international dominatrix who gets flown to Milan, London, and Paris to elicit pleasure through pain?

Bella LaVey is a single mother faced with an uncertain future. She needs to provide for her young son but she has little education, no family support, and minimal resources. Her decision to become a stripper sets off a series of events that lead Bella through the different worlds of erotic wrestling, BDSM performance art, addiction, and a deeply dangerous relationship. Along the way, she uncovers the seeds of violence that took root in her childhood. Fierce and fearless, Fetish Girl artfully renders the true story of one woman’s discovery of her own limits as she balances mothering, desire, and survival—and finally arrives at healing.

Bella LaVey is a holistic sex coach, writer, educator and workshop facilitator. She believes that life opens us through our sexuality and that our sexual energy is inextricably linked to our creativity. She hopes to inspire others to burn through their shame, and embrace their erotic desires. After many years of journeying to sexual liberation to create a thriving, integrated life of sacred sex, intimacy, kink, and deep feminine devotion, Bella empowers men and women to create healthy, fulfilling and transformative sex lives and relationships in her Soulful Sexuality Coaching Program and workshops. Remote sessions are available. See for details.

Local Author Emily Wanderer Cohen

Join us for a reading and discussion with Emily Wanderer Cohen, a memoirist and trauma healing coach.

Most children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors felt the omnipresence of the Holocaust throughout their childhood and for many, the spectre of the Holocaust continues to loom large through the phenomenon of “intergenerational” trauma.

In From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling, Emily Wanderer Cohen connects the dots between her behaviors and choices and her mother’s Holocaust experiences. In a series of vivid, emotional—and sometimes gut-wrenching—stories, she illustrates how the Holocaust continues to have an impact on current and future generations. Plus, the prompts at the end of each chapter enable you to explore your own intergenerational trauma and begin your healing journey.

This book will help you:

• Understand how Holocaust and other trauma survivors transmit their trauma to their children and grandchildren

• Recognize that you’re not alone in your emotions and feelings

• Uncover your own intergenerational trauma and specific triggers

• Stop the cycle of intergenerational trauma in your family

• Replace anger and resentment with forgiveness—and begin the healing process

Emily Wanderer Cohen is the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Ever since the day she came home from religious school asking her mother about the Holocaust, Emily heard her mother’s stories of incarceration in and escape from concentration camp as well as eventual immigration to the United States. Her mother also spoke to schoolchildren and other audiences about her personal Holocaust experiences, helping to ensure that this horrific event would never be forgotten. Emily now works with multiple generations of Holocaust survivors to understand and heal their transmitted trauma. She also speaks to Jewish and other organizations about her mother’s history as well as how her mother’s trauma affected her as a second-generation (2G) Holocaust survivor.

Local Author Nathaniel Barber

Join us for a reading of Luck Favors the Prepared, a collection of short personal stories and essays from Nathaniel Barber.

“In his first collection of short stories, Nathaniel Barber allows a peek inside the life observant. Luck Favors the Prepared is a straightforward read, shifting from remote and comic documentary to lived-in memoir, dreamily recalling the absurd choreography of divorce, landlordship, role playing video games, misguided activism, customer service and sudden, unexpected wardrobe failures.”

Author Janet Capron

Author Janet Capron is coming all the way from New York to share her memoir, Blue Money, with us. She writes about street life in NY in the 70’s, and there are some stories you don’t want to miss in here!

“Capron writes with the fearless, experiential drive of a Beat poet, though her images are more controlled and precise than the subject matter would suggest. There’s an enormous amount of clarity here.”—Shelf Awareness

Local Author Carolyn Wood

Tough Girl opens as sixty-five year old Carolyn decides to walk the Camino de Santiago in hopes of reawakening the youthful determination and resilience that took her on the road to Rome and gold at the 1960 Olympics. What she encounters along both paths–fear, fatigue, pain and loss–are well worth the rewards of discovery. Reading and Q&A, followed by book signing.

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Local Author Panel with Erica Satifka, Jeannie Burt, Mandy Smith, and Patricia Kullberg

This group is a genre mashup! Join us for 4 different authors, in 4 different genres, for an afternoon of good writing. We’ll hear from Erica Satifka (Stay Crazy, science fiction), Jeannie Burt (When Patty Went Away, literary fiction), Mandy Smith (Secrets in Big Sky Country, memoir), and Patricia Kullberg (Girl in the River, historical fiction). It’s a fun way to experience local authors writing across genres, and a fun way to spend part of your afternoon.

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Local Author CB Bernard and Author Brendan Jones Talk Craft, Self, and Alaska

We’ll be hosting the local CB Bernard and Alaskan writer Brendan Jones for a talk about craft — specifically, the different approaches they each took to incorporate their own lives into their writing.

Jones fictionalized his own experiences for his novel, The Alaskan Laundry, which stars a strong female lead who finds adversity—and herself—in Alaska. Bernard treated memoir as a novelist might in Chasing Alaska, his nonfiction bestseller about discovering his family history of exploration and survival in the Arctic.

Whatever you write—memoir, fiction, essays, journalism, or poetry—your life informs your work. Come join a conversation about how to make the best use of it to write convincingly and compellingly in any form.

Jones is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Houghton Mifflin publishes his novel April 26. Bernard is an Oregon Book Award finalist and a frequent speaker at literary festivals and conferences around the country.

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Local Author Group Read with 5 Memoirists

We’re focusing on memoir this month with 5 local authors who have very different personal stories to tell. Join Veronica Esagui, Marjorie Belson, Fredrick Swan, Melissa Gittelman, and Marnie Freeman for a reading, Q&A, meet & greet, and hear about some incredible journeys.