Acclaimed Literary Festival Begins Today

The Nature of Words annual literary festival, Central Oregon’s premier literary event, takes place November 7-11. Now in its eighth year, the festival brings nationally acclaimed authors to Bend for five days of readings, workshops, lectures and a gala author dinner.  

Tickets to the 2012 festival are available online by clicking 541-647-2233.

The Nature of Words is partnering with COCC to bring the acclaimed Native-American poet, mentor and speaker, Sherwin Bitsui, to Bend this week as part of the annual festival.

sherwinBitsui will take part in a number of activities during his visit to Bend, including giving a lecture on Thursday (Nov. 8) at noon at COCC, leading off festival author readings at the Tower Theater on Thursday (Nov. 8) at 7pm, and hosting two intimate workshops on Friday (Nov. 9) at 9am and Saturday (Nov. 10) at 2pm.

The lecture, The Strategy Within, will be Thursday (Nov. 8) at Wille Hall on the COCC campus from 12 – 2pm. As well, Bitsui will give two workshops at COCC on The Image, Friday (Nov. 9) from 9 – 10:30am and again on Saturday (Nov. 10) 2 – 3:30pm.

Seating for all events is limited but still available.

Tickets are available at, and at COCC by emailing Or you may call The Nature of Words at 541-647-2233 or drop by the office at 22 NW Oregon Avenue to order tickets.

About Sherwin:
Sherwin Bitsui, a Diné (Navajo) from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona, received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program. He is the author of the poetry collections Shapeshift (2003) and Flood Song (2009).

Steeped in Native American culture, mythology and history, Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture. His poems are imagistic, surreal and rich with details of the landscape of the Southwest. Flood Song is a book-length lyric sequence that explores the traditions of Native American writing through postmodern fragment and stream of consciousness.

Bitsui has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, and a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship.

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