Literature & Poetry
What if Gretel stayed in the forest? What does Death do on vacation? Come to the dark and delicious side of the folk stories you know and love with Bend poets Suzanne Burns and Judith Montgomery, guest readers at December’s Second Sunday. Second Sunday has often featured two poets reading together, but the pairing of Burns and Montgomery is more than just two poets reading in the same space on the same day. Both poets have explored fairy tales and myths in their poems and December’s Second Sunday provides an opportunity to observe how the voices of two poets can blend together. Open mic follows the reading.
Montgomery and Burns are both quick to point out what their poetry has in common. “We both infuse our poems with a love of language,” says Burns. “I am a confirmed dictionary lover,” says Montgomery, “and a hoarder of delicious words.” Both poets came to fairy tales and myths as young readers. “Fairy tales were the first stories I grew up hearing,” says Burns, “and I became enchanted when I found an illicit copy of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, filled with all the mystery and gore a pre-teen could hope for.”
Montgomery points to Edith Hamilton’s stories of Greek and Roman mythology as her gateway into myths and fairy tales. “Tales of minotaurs and wicked or maybe not-so-wicked, only misunderstood, witches offer delicious possibilities for exploring the ‘other side’ of any given story,” she says. According to Montgomery, Fractured Fairy Tales allow us to look at an ancient tale from the point of view of minor characters. “Fractured Fairy Tales open up new worlds, interior and exterior. Plus it’s just fun to break the everyday open into the wonder-full,” she says.
Montgomery’s poems appear in Bellingham Review, Cimarron Review, Measure and Prairie Schooner, among other journals, and in a number of anthologies. Her first collection, Passion, received the 2000 Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her second, Red Jess, a finalist for several first-book competitions, appeared in 2006 from Cherry Grove Collections. Pulse & Constellation, a finalist for the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition, appeared in 2007 from the Press. She lives with her husband and Springer spaniel in Bend, Oregon, enjoys judging poetry competitions, and teaches poetry workshops throughout the state.
Burns writes poetry and fiction in Bend, Oregon (and sometimes in Paris, France). Red Paint Hill Publishing recently published Siblings, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel and the 2013 Diagram Innovative Fiction Prize winner. In autumn Futurecyle Press published the poetry chapbook, Love Songs for Las Vegas. Black Scat Books just released her first experimental novel, Sweet and Vicious. Dzanc Books will release The Veneration of Monsters, a follow-up to her debut short story collection, Misfits and Other Heroes, in the near future. Her stories and poems have appeared in newspapers and journals such as The Chicago Tribune, The Sunday Oregonian, Poetry Midwest and the High Desert Journal. She is currently working on a new novel.
Sunday, December 14, 2pm. Brooks Room, Downtown Bend Library, 610 NW Wall Street, Bend. www.deschuteslibrary.org
The Deschutes Public Library invites the public to bring their sense of adventure and desire for intrigue this November as they go exploring. From westward expansion to deadly ascents, they will look at our fascination with discovery throughout the month of November with a series of Know Exploring events and programs. All programs are free and open to all, and no registration is required.
Women of Discovery
Get to know extraordinary women with COCC instructor Chris Rubio. From aviators to primatologists to environmentalists, these women will excite and amaze you with their curiosity and heart—not to mention their extraordinary achievements.
• Thursday, November 13 • 6pm • East Bend Library
Mount Hood: Exploring Oregon’s Perilous Peak
Mt. Hood has shaped the very land of the Northwest. It helps create the notorious Oregon rains and deep alpine snows, and it draws millions to its textbook beauty every year. But its snowy peak also captures the attention of the nation almost every time it wreaks fatal havoc upon climbers seeking the summit.
• Wednesday, November 5 • 6pm • Downtown Bend Library
• Thursday, November 6 • 12pm • La Pine Library
Early Maps of the American Hemisphere
Stephanie Wood, director, Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon explores what we can learn from the earliest map makers.
• Saturday, November 8 • 2pm • Downtown Bend Library
Lewis and Clark Across Two Centuries
Mark Spence, author and historian for the National Park Service, examines the Lewis and Clark expedition and the ways it has been remembered and forgotten over two centuries.
• Saturday, November 15 • 2pm • Redmond Library
• Sunday, November 16 • 2pm • Downtown Bend Library
Explorers and Their Expeditions
Community librarians Nate and Chandra highlight the adventures of the explorers who changed the world by being bold. From the North Pole to the South Pole, Nate and Chandra delve into the triumphs and tragedies of well-known expeditions as well as highlight some lesser-known treks.
• Thursday, November 20 • 2:30pm • Aspen Ridge
• Thursday, November 20 • 6pm • East Bend Library
Expect to be entertained at the Central Oregon Writers Guild’s annual contest awards evening. A Celebration of Writing will be October 18 at 7:30pm with winning writers from throughout the state reading short works of fiction, nonfiction, mystery/detective, memoirs, science fiction/fantasy and poetry.
The event is the highlight of the Central Oregon Writing Guild’s seventh annual Harvest Writing Contest, which offers cash prizes to winning Oregon writers. Contest entries are at a record high as the contest gains in popularity and importance.
“Many of the entries wowed me with the talent and caliber of writing,” said M. (Mary) Pax, a successful Bend-area science fiction writer and one of the contest judges. “Many made me laugh out loud. Oregon writers are definitely a witty, passionate and skilled lot.”
Jami Carpenter, also on the judge’s panel said, “The stories and poems were wonderful, fun and entertaining and clever. The quality of writing amazed me. The topics ranged from the silly to the sublime, and kept me turning the pages. Central Oregon has a wealth of writing talent.”
Carpenter is a book editor who works with boutique publishers as well as with independent self-publishing writers.
Contest Chair Mike Rettig feels, “The unique and most powerful part of the contest is listening to the top-10 placers read their work in front of an audience.”
Last year’s awards evening was so popular, it outgrew its Redmond-area venue. As a result, this year’s celebration will be in Bend’s new Hampton Inn in the Old Mill District.
The venue can accommodate a larger audience and offers easy accessibility. The cost to attend is just $10. A no host beer and wine bar will add to the celebratory feel of the event.
Come cheer on your favorite writers, hear stories artfully told and find inspiration for your own creative work.
Pax notes that entering the contest in 2009 and 2013 motivated her to stretch her writing boundaries. “The first year I entered was the most significant,” she said.“The entry was the first short story I had written. I learned that writing short fiction is so much faster than novels. I started writing more of it and submitting to magazines and ezines. The feedback from editors was invaluable. It gave me a boost in confidence and made me rethink my approach to a writing career.”
Rettig, who has placed first and third in the contest, notes that previous top placers have ranged from college students to writers who have gone on to win Emmy awards.
The contest is just one way the guild provides support and education to area writers. The guild also offers monthly meetings, critique groups and workshops.