Echo of Distant Water – JB Fisher

Join us for a reading of Echo of Distant Water: The 1958 Disappearance of Portland’s Martin Family by JB Fisher!

Echo of Distant Water tells the true and largely forgotten story of Ken Martin, his wife Barbara, and their three young daughters—who vanished while hunting Christmas greens in the Columbia River Gorge on December 7, 1958. Despite one of the largest missing persons searches in Oregon history, the case remains perplexingly unsolved to this day. After discovering a stack of old newspaper articles about the case in his McMinnville garage, author JB Fisher obtained a wealth of first-hand and never-before publicized information including an intriguing trail left in the personal notebooks and papers of Multnomah County criminal detective Walter E. Graven. These provide fascinating insight into the question of what happened to the Martins—a path leading to abduction and murder, an intimate family secret, and civic corruption.

Benji Fisher_Reed Magazine

JB Fisher teaches writing at Portland Community College. He holds a doctorate in English Renaissance Literature and was a Shakespeare professor before returning to Oregon, where he is now researching some of the state’s most intriguing unsolved cases. He is author of Portland on the Take (2014, with JD Chandler) and Echo of Distant Water (2019). Currently, he is working on a project about Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge in the 1950s when it was nearly destroyed through mismanagement by Portland vice figures.

Final Flight Final Fight – Erin Miller

Join us to learn about the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, Erin Miller’s grandmother Elaine Harmon, and the fight to honor her at Arlington National Cemetery, in Final Flight Final Fight.

When Arlington National Cemetery refused to accept her grandmother’s last request to be laid to rest there, Erin Miller refused to let her legacy as a veteran die along with her.

Her grandmother, Elaine Danforth Harmon, flew as a pilot with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II. Despite being part of the first group of women to fly for the United States Army, the WASP remained officially unrecognized as members of the military due to discriminatory thinking about gender on Capitol Hill and beyond.

Miller led her family’s campaign on behalf of her grandmother, and all the women of the WASP, across social media, traditional news outlets, and to Capitol Hill to fight for their equal recognition at one of the nation’s most well-known cemeteries. Her grandmother’s final fight came after her final flight – but Miller was honored to follow in her footsteps to ensure her legacy would not be forgotten.

Erin Miller is the granddaughter of WASP WWII pilot Elaine Danforth Harmon. Erin has a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, a Master’s in international studies from the University of Leeds (UK), and a B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego. She is a licensed attorney in Maryland, where she lives with her two Shiba Inus.

PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive – Don Merrill

Join us for a look at a new project by journalist Don Merrill: Pledge: the Public Radio Fund Drive, a deep look into the tenuous finances of public radio stations.

Merrill got the idea for PLEDGE because he was annoyed by pledge drives he’d been hearing since the mid 90s, and he decided he wanted to rant about them. But he quickly realized that public radio is in a terrible spot between money and mission. Going deeper, he learned of things affecting the genre that most people never consider as they listen to their regular shows for days, weeks, months and years on end.

They include hunts for the ultimate content sharing technology, public radio’s struggles to not lose its soul to corporate money, how it must surveil its listeners to serve them without treating them like numbers or “prey”, how budget cuts can make stations change character or disappear altogether and finally, keeping affiliates from feeling bypassed by networks that have found workarounds to their audiences.

Public radio needs its listeners to understand it much better than they currently can. That’s because public radio hides its problems and convinces the world that everything is fine while facing stress fractures in every direction. It needs to be open and honest about what it essentially is, and needs, as when it asks for money. A greater public can more fully support it only if they know the real deal.

A lifelong journalist and writer, Don Merrill has created commentary for newspapers, articles for magazines and news and public affairs for on-air.

He’s been a producer and reporter for civilian and Armed Forces Broadcasting, worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer and was a public affairs specialist for the Federal Government. He especially loves working in radio and has been an avid public radio listener and supporter.

PLEDGE is his first book.

What Is Justice? A Personal Exploration – Bill Denham

Join us for a reading from What is Justice? by Bill Denham.

Matthew Avery Solomon and Noel Espinoza were murdered on September 4, 2008. Three men were charged with the crime. In What Is Justice?: A Personal Exploration, author Bill Denham studies the crime and what it reveals about himself and about our broader culture’s pursuit of retributive justice. Incorporating poetry, philosophy, theology, and memoir, Denham suggests an alternative system borne out of our inter-connectedness and reliant on the exercise of our imaginations. What Is Justice?: A Personal Exploration is an engaging, deeply personal, and deeply felt exploration into the meaning of justice. It is an essential and thought-provoking piece.

“In death will come, poet Bill Denham attempts the near impossible, coming to terms with the approaching end of life without nostalgia, sentimentality, self-aggrandizement, or any of the other traps into which we mortals fall. That he succeeds so completely is his astonishing gift to the world, and a testament to a life lived, suffered, and loved in open-hearted service and wonder. A must read for anyone who will someday pass from this world.”

– Gary Turchin, author, Falling Home and The Healthiest Man on Earth

“There is a murder; there is a pending “execution.” There are victims and there are perpetrators. Into the midst of these deep contradictions, Bill Denham plunges with his honest, searing, hope-filled poetry. He dares to imagine that we are all bound together in this human crisis as one. We are not “over-against”; we are rather “with” and “belonging to.” That solidarity evokes compassion that presses toward restorative justice and away from revenge. Denham sees that “It falls to me” to do justice. Indeed it “falls to me” and you and you and you. Those who enter Denham’s world of poetic imagination may be called to care in transformative ways. It is his hope. Indeed it is our hope!”

– Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Bill Denham, educated at Davidson College in North Carolina (BA in English 1963) and at the University of California (MA in English 1967), began writing poetry at the age of sixty after a forty-year hiatus from his youthful passion. He has written nearly 800 poems and has published three volumes of poetry, Looking for Matthew (2012), of gossamers and grace (2016) and death will come (2018) and a mixed prose/poetry essay: What is Justice? a personal exploration (2019). A long dramatic dialogue with his special needs son, Do you remember, Dad? appeared in the anthology, Daring to Repair (Wising Up Press, 2012). He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, June, a former high school classmate in Winston-Salem, NC.

Inkwater Authors Night – David Prideaux, Janet Rucker-Smith, Lawrence E. Hussman

Join us for our monthly reading by three authors from Inkwater Press! This month we have David Prideaux, Janet Rucker-Smith, and Lawrence E. Hussman.

A new author has come up with a big idea that would replace the Big Bang theory. In No Big Bang: A Three-Part Look at a Bent Universe, writer David Prideaux explains his belief that astronomers and physicists have mistakenly assumed “expansion” explains the universe. He suggests that “gravity” is a better fit. It all goes back to evidence that is 100 years old — the Hubble “red shift.” The author sees the universe as “bent,” which follows Einstein’s idea (which has been proved) that starlight is bent by gravity.

Self-confrontation is the driving force of the spiritual journey. It is how we grow and evolve in ways that can dramatically and profoundly alter the trajectory of our lives. We must be relentless in our awareness of our reactions and our feelings because they clearly, honestly and perfectly let us know when we are disconnected from love, peace, compassion, and happiness – from the essence of All That Is, which is what we are. Janet Rucker-Smith’s Rantings of a Screaming Soul: Healing Through Purposely Random Self-Confrontation chronicles her unexpected inner pilgrimage through death, dark shadows, redemption, and rebirth. It is an ordinary woman’s extraordinarily raw and candid account of an emotional and spiritual awakening in the midst of teenagers, ex-husbands, death, bills, and loads and loads of laundry. One day she’s basking in the gloriously infinite and eternal bliss of divine love, and the next day she’s on her knees in the tormenting depths of hell begging to be released from the excruciating agony. Shall the truth set one free? Indeed it will, but only when we finally remember the most profound truth of all: We are not our problems or our hurts or even our successes. And although our experiences may shape and color the masks we wear, our eternal being is always and forever perfectly well.

In his biting memoir, Acanemia: A Memoir of Life in the Halls of the Higher Learning, Hussman skewers those responsible for the numerous problems that plague American higher education and price it beyond the means of many. He traces the development of these drawbacks using his exceptional experience as a member of the founding faculty at a public university established in the 1960s. Along the way, he weaves in personal details of his life inside and outside the classroom.

At age 11, Portlander David Prideaux got his first telescope. As a lifelong learner fascinated with the cosmos, he eventually came up with a bold new idea. He published it so he could share his passion about the origin of all things. Prideaux has a B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.

Janet Rucker-Smith is the second of three daughters and was raised in Los Angeles. Both her mother and father were among the first generation of African Americans to graduate from college. After receiving her BA in English from UCLA, Janet forged her career in corporate training and development, highlighted by her creation and facilitation of career development workshops, guiding people through self-exploration and self-assessment.

Birthing three children in five years and then becoming a single mother while shouldering the majority of child-rearing and financial responsibilities, Janet jumped off the corporate fast-track and became a high school English teacher. The death of her father coupled with the sudden end of a significant relationship catapulted Janet into a tumultuous spiritual and emotional awakening, ultimately giving birth to her first book, Rantings of a Screaming Soul. Following an inner call, Janet resigned her teaching position and completed extensive training to become a certified professional coach where she helps people who are experiencing unprecedented life challenges/crises, who are tired of struggling, and who are ripe to upshift their life to the next level.

Lawrence E. Hussman has taught American literature at three universities in the US and at four in Europe as a Fulbright scholar and as a visiting professor. They include the University of Michigan, the University of Portland, Wright State University, the University of Warsaw, the Psychology Academy of Warsaw, Marie Curie University in Lublin, Poland, and the Open University in Lisbon. In addition to publishing three highly praised literary critical volumes and many journal articles on literature, film, and higher education, he has written two books for the counterterrorist and adventurer Sam Hall and has edited a memoir by Marguerite Tjader, one of Theodore Dreiser’s amanuenses.

Poetry Night – John Sibley Williams, Coleman Stevenson, Cindy Williams Gutierrez

Join us for our monthly poetry night, this month featuring John Sibley Williams, Coleman Stevenson, and Cindy Williams Gutierrez.

What happens when metaphysics and social critique meet? Poetry that has to find a new form to express the tension it embodies. John Sibley Williams’ newspaper-like columns in As One Fire Consumes Another do just that. Here, transcendent vision and trenchant social insight meet, wrestle, and end up revitalizing one another.

About Metaphysik: Written to accompany the Metaphysik deck by Daniel Martin Diaz, this series of essays by poet and artist Coleman Stevenson muses on concepts of connection and creativity. Readers are invited to think about the ways they access information, form ideas, and communicate those ideas to others. The essays are followed by a set of corresponding exercises, ways of interacting with the Metaphysik cards to explore their compositions. Diaz’s illustrations that inspired these essays and exercises are interspersed throughout the pages of the book, offering readers additional opportunities to connect with a world of mystery and imagination.

Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women explores the global oppression of women—and testifies to their resilience—in over 20 countries around the world. Based on real-life incidents ranging from Brazilian “honor killings” and Indian sati to Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and “Mississippi appendectomies” to rape as a weapon during the Rwandan genocide, this poetry collection bears witness to the sociocultural forces that have waged war on women’s bodies, freedom, and humanity. Inlay with Nacre is herstory—the plight of Woman as bride, wife, mother, and daughter—and a call to action to restore the Feminine in the world.

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Coleman Stevenson is the author of Breakfast, The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609, and The Dark Exact Tarot Guide. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Portable Boog Reader, Gramma, Paper Darts, Seattle Review, E-ratio, Osiris, Louisiana Literature, Mid-American Review,, and the anthology Motionless from the Iron Bridge. She is also the designer of tarot and oracle decks including The Dark Exact Tarot, The Vitriolic Tarot, and The Personal Oracle. She has been a guest curator for various gallery spaces in the Portland, Oregon, area, and has taught poetry, design theory, and cultural studies at a number of different institutions there. Her current fine art work, exhibited in galleries around the Pacific Northwest, focuses on the intersections between image and text.

Poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez is inspired by the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Her new collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship. She was selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as a 2014 Notable Debut Poet for her poetry collection, the small claim of bones (Bilingual Press/Arizona State University), which placed second in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Cindy received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for Words That Burn, a dramatization of the WWII experiences of William Stafford, Lawson Inada, and Guy Gabaldón. Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics, drama, and creative collaboration. She is a cofounder of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and the founder of El Grupo de ’08, a Lorca-inspired, Northwest collaborative-artists’ salon.

Inkwater Authors Night – Marilynne Eichinger, Sharon Ann Rose, and Mark Chussil

Join us for our monthly series from Inkwater Press. This month, we hear from Marilynne Eichinger, Sharon Ann Rose, and Mark Chussil.

Lives of Museum Junkies: The Story of America’s Hands-On Education Movement: Peer into the political and educational climate of the 1960s to discover factors that propelled the hands-on education movement into prominence. Follow the missteps and breakthroughs of Marilynne Eichinger and 11 other naive but dedicated museum directors, board volunteers, and National Science Foundation managers as they strove to change the way science was taught. Their oft humorous stories are revealed with candor and clarity. Responding to the latest research in learning and child development, they created engaging, self-teaching displays that impacted the landscape of 2,900 centers worldwide while serving 98 million people in the U.S.

Faces of the Mother: A Journey, A Collaboration, A Feminine Restoration: What happens when a group of everyday women go off in search of the most vital riches they contain…leaving behind notions of who they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing?! Through this creative inner journey, Sharon Ann Rose, M.Div., intimately explores with a circle of women the many facets of the Mother…the full spectrum of Her deepest darkness to Her lightest ignition. Each woman goes through a life-altering transformation, facing resistance, shame, freedom, surrender, past wounds, new awakening, ancient understandings and the realization of what we encounter as we commit to fully living from the Sacred Feminine and its integrated expression in our modern world. Faces of the Mother offers an intimate portrayal of the REAL DEAL of CREATION, offering a pathway to face one’s greatest self-judgments. Here we learn to honor our deepest longings so we can work with, instead of resist them, and birth a life of beauty, blessing and extraordinary love.

Mark Chussil’s Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live: “Nice Start” is about you, your life, and your dreams. “Nice Start” asks you questions. They aren’t about right and wrong; they’re about what you think and feel. The experience is truly challenging and deeply rewarding.

Founder of the interactive learning center Impression 5 Science Museum in Lansing, Michigan, Marilynne Eichinger is well known as the former president of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned science centers. In conjunction with 22 national museums Marilynne founded and published the “Museum Tour Catalog,” circulating educational materials and toys to two million households.

Sharon Ann Rose is a Transformational Facilitator and Author. Through the shamanic and hypnotic arts, and her connection to the Earth and Sacred Feminine Mysteries, she provides a safe space for others to find their inner wellspring of wisdom, creativity, softening and love. Her favorite place is walking in the forests of Portland, OR listening to the trees. Learn more about her at her website.

What do you get from Mark Chussil, an odd man who studied political science at Yale and business at Harvard, who started his own strategy-consulting business and travels the world with it, who publishes extensively, who says science saved his life three times and almost killed him only once, and who got the biggest shock of his life from a 15-year-old kid? You get “Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live.” By the way: “Nice Start” is not about political science and it is not about business. It is about you.


Slow Media – Jennifer Rauch

Join us for a reading from Slow Media: Why Slow is Satisfying, Sustainable and Smart, a Nautilus Book Award winner described as  a “powerful corrective to media scholarship” (Chris Atton), a “spirited, sane, and savvy manifesto” (Carl Honoré), and a “compelling argument for how media can promote human existence more proportioned to human beings” (Douglas Rushkoff).

Jennifer Rauch’s Slow Media aims to transform the way we produce and use media, just as the Slow Food movement changed how people grow, buy and eat food. Her book helps readers understand complex relationships between everyday media choices, human well-being and the natural world. It propels conversations about how we can challenge the status quo — as users, consumers, and citizens. These alternative visions nurture a media ecosystem that is more satisfying for people and more sustainable for the planet.

The Slow Food movement has inspired people to apply principles like humanism, localism, simplicity, self-reliance and fairness to their use and production of media. Slow Media promotes alternatives to global, corporate media that are often unresponsive to the situated needs of human communities and natural environments. The Slow Journalism movement and the slogan “Good, Clean, Fair” provide an ethical framework for making the news industry more sustainable.

In this book, Rauch explores novel concepts such as Mindful Media, Green Media, and Post-Luddism. Mindful Media advocates for more contemplation in, and about, daily communication. It espouses practices like unplugging, monotasking, and sustained attention. Green Media debunks the myth that digital media are ecologically benign and seeks to reduce electronic waste and consumption of nonrenewable resources. Post-Luddism challenges the conventional wisdom that people skeptical of new technology are ignorant or afraid. Instead, it cultivates an informed, inclusive discussion about media’s socio–cultural impact.

For more than 15 years, Jennifer Rauch has explored alternative journalism, media activism, social protest coverage, rituals of media circulation and consumption, independent publishing, new communication technologies, and media audiences. She is a leading authority on the values and practices of people who read, watch and listen to activist and alternative media.

Rauch has published stories about media, journalism and communication with Medium, Thrive Global, Oxford University Press’s OUPblog, and Huffington Post. She created the blog Slow Media ( and curated the resource guide Unplug Your Class ( She has been interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Daily Beast, German public radio, Huffington Post Live, and other journalists worldwide. National Public Radio featured Rauch in two segments of Marketplace focused on the Slow Media movement and her yearlong project of taking an offline sabbatical.

Save Yourself – Julie Grandstaff

Imagine what it would feel like if you had enough money to survive a medical emergency or a short time out of work, or if you had enough money set aside to pursue your dreams or retire without worrying about money. Save Yourself: Your Guide to Saving for Retirement and Building Financial Security will show you how to take control of your finances and build the confidence and security you’ve been wanting. It is a comprehensive guide to saving for retirement and shoring up your financial security so you can do whatever it is you want. Through the stories of real people, it shows you exactly how you can make the changes that will allow you to save for a long and secure retirement so that you don’t need to work for pay. In addition it covers other aspects of true financial security giving you peace of mind throughout your life.

Julie Grandstaff is a twenty-five-year veteran of the financial services industry where she managed billions of dollars for both individuals and institutions. She retired at the age of fifty-one and now lives with her husband and daughter in Cedar Hills.

Here is Where I Walk – Leslie Carol Roberts

Join us for a reading from a new eco-memoir by Leslie Carol Roberts, Here is Where I Walk: Episodes From a Life in the Forest.

Leslie Carol Roberts turns her daily walks in San Francisco’s Presidio into revelations of deeper meaning, reflecting on her travels as well as her home life as the single mother of two. In this finely crafted eco-memoir, each place provides Leslie with exactly the scaffolding needed to survive, with nature serving as the tonic. Here Is Where I Walk provides a vivid answer to how we can find our place, not only in nature but within ourselves and the world we walk.

Leslie Roberts, photo by Mara Holt Skov

Leslie Carol Roberts is the author of Here Is Where I Walk: Episodes from a Life in the Forest (Nevada, 2019) and The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica (Nebraska 2008, 2012). She was the first Fulbright Fellow in the world in Antarctic Studies. Currently she is professor and chair of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Her work has appeared in Fast Company, Forbes FYI, Lear’s, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre and many other publications. Roberts is a journalist and has worked for newspapers in Florida, California, Thailand, and Australia. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand, two NEA grants, and has a MFA from the University of Iowa.