Committal, by Local Author Irene Cooper, Available September 15

“Twins, Organic Farming and a Race to Save the Human Race — or Some of It…” You’ll never look at technology or poetry the same way again. A darkly funny, unlikely buddy story of humans and machines and the earth. It’s about dominion over the body, it’s about identity and it’s funny (bears repeating).

Luci Sykes, maliciously deprived of oxygen at birth, is subjected to a lobotomy at thirteen by her powerful father. She emerges from her childhood silence to become the supernova genius behind Olympia Navigation, producer of the world’s most intuitive GPS systems.

When her hermetic mother, Maggie, dies, events are set in motion to embroil Luci’s twin brother, Tokker, separated from at birth and long hidden on a subsistence farm in the Midwest, and BEACON, Olympia’s penultimate GPS system, in a plan to foil Luci’s suspected plot to end the human race. Tokker and BEACON embark on a cross-country scavenger hunt spanning Oregon to New York, abetted by the likes of Tilda Swinton and Daniel Day Lewis in this darkly funny, unlikely buddy story of humans and machines and the earth.

Irene Cooper is the author of COMMITTAL, a poet-friendly speculative spy-fy novel about family, available September 15, 2020 from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press and Amazon. A full-length poetry collection, spare change, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in March 2021. Placed: An Encyclopedia of Central Oregon, a multi-genre anthology of contributors’ experience of place in the High Desert, is an independent project co-edited with OSU-Cascades instructor and artist Ellen Santasiero, due out November 2020. In addition to writing poems, reviews, essays and fiction, she works and teaches in community in Central Oregon, and co-edits The Stay Project. Committal is her first novel. Her debut full-length book of poetry is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Learn more here.

“Irene Cooper writes with a poet’s ear for language and an empath’s insights into our deepest human needs,” said Beth Alvarado, author of Jillian in the Borderlands: A Cycle of Rather Dark Tales. “Her character, Luci Sykes, abandoned by her mother, lobotomized by her father, is a 21st century Frankenstein, brilliant and determined to end the world. Committal, set in the near future, is by turns surreal and wrenching.”

Irene is an alum of the inaugural cohort of OSU-Cascades Low-Residency MFA program, a little band of eight creative writers that includes her husband, Mike Cooper. Together they founded Blank Pages Workshops, through which they offer generative craft-based writing workshops, editorial services and a writers’ Salon, held traditionally at The Workhouse in Bend, and provisionally via the internet since March 2020. Irene teaches poetry workshops at Central Oregon Community College Continuing Education, periodically at Deschutes Public Library and at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution. 

 Most compelled by collaboration and creative interaction, Irene is thrilled to claim her seat with Eat with Writers, a once-a-week summit with Oregon Book Award recipient Beth Alvarado and award-winning writer Brigitte Lewis, wherein they get inspired by each other’s doings, support each other in their professional aspirations and eat cheese. They’ll be talking about their group through a virtual event, Twice Baked Tales, sponsored by Roundabout Books September 18 at 6pm ( A collaborative online reading with other alumni of OSU-C MFA is scheduled for later in the fall. At the invitation of Executive Director Amy Ward, Irene is collaborating this fall with Deschutes Children’s Foundation on Riddles, a virtual event to replace (this year) the popular art and wine auction, Ripples. The fundraiser features jigsaw puzzles of signature artworks, each printed with a poetic “clue.” The clues add up to a solution to the Big Riddle, which participants can solve to be entered into a raffle. 

Publication Date: September 15, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-952055-04-1. 240 pp., paper, 17.99, Literary spy-fy fiction.

irenecooperwrites.comBlank PagesThe Stay Project


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