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Literature & Poetry

Vía Láctea Enters Second Printing

Ellen Waterston, poet and author who will conduct her sixth Todos Santos writing retreat in February, announces the second printing of her verse novel, Vía Láctea: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino, a fictionalized account of Waterston’s 2012 pilgrimage on Spain’s Camino de Santiago.


Vía Láctea has garnered praise from poets and reviewers alike. John Brierley, author and publisher of the premier guides to the Camino, including A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago, stated, “Many pilgrims who walk the Camino reach some form of new understanding of their life and its direction. A fair proportion of these wish to share their insights but words don’t lend themselves easily to describe the inner workings of the soul. Great sensitivity is required and this is where Vía Láctea bridges the gap so skillfully between the sacred and the mundane. Vía Láctea should be in everyone’s backpack, or at least on their bookshelf.”


The soft cover perfect bound version of Vía Láctea is available at Paulina Springs Books, and online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon. com and www.writingranch.com.  


Waterston created the peregrina (pilgrim) as the guiding character in her story. Peregrina walks her way to unexpected answers to many of life’s questions along the ancient pilgrimage route and finds herself not only in conflict with herself, but also implicated in a battle between a caricature of the Catholic church and Camino Woman. The many real and imagined characters met along the Way, the variety of voices, poetic styles and forms, make this collection a provocative and lively adventure.


Author and poet Judith Barrington said, “This book is a story told through a number of poetic forms that seamlessly carried me along the Camino de Santiago. The narrative pulls readers along, yet the poetry insists that they linger with the music of words and the often-surprising images. Those who don’t usually seek out poetry will find this a compelling read, while those who do will appreciate the craft and creative innovation.” Barrington is the author of three volumes of poetry. A fourth, The Conversation, is forthcoming in 2015.

Fractured Fairy Tales & Myths with Judith Montgomery & Suzanne Burns

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

Know Exploring at Deschutes Public Library

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 

www.deschuteslibrary.org, 541-312-1034