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Poets Program Bridges Ireland and Oregon Coast
(Newport, Oregon) - Portland poet and Irish bard Carlos Reyes, and Oregon coast poet Travis Champ are the featured authors at the next Nye Beach Writers' Series program Saturday, January 17. The readings begin at 7 p.m. in the upstairs community hall of the Newport Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Drive across from the Nye Beach turnaround. General admission is $5 at the door and students are admitted free.
The popular monthly open mic segment will take place following the featured authors' presentations. Open mic slots are available to the first 10 writers who sign up to read from their original works for up to five minutes. Light refreshments are available with proceeds benefiting the many literary programs of Writers On The Edge.
Throughout the span of his nearly five-decade career, Carlos Reyes has found acclaim for his own literary works and for his adept skill at translating Spanish literature for an English-reading audience. His translation efforts include Poemas de la isla (Island Poems) and Hojas Sueltas (Scattered Leaves), translated from the Spanish of preeminent Canary Island poet Josefina de la Torra; Puertas Abiertas (Open Doors) by Edwin Madrid; Paginas de Arena (Pages of Sand) by Selena Millares; Obra Poetica Completa (Complete Poetic Works) of Ecuadorean poet Jorge Carrera Andrade; La Senal del Cuervo (The Sign of the Crow) by Mexican poet Ignacio Ruiz-Perez; Byron Rodriguez's novel Bestiario de Cenizas (Bestiary of Ashes); and Escenas Norteamericanas (North American Scenes) by Jose Marti, published in Havana, Cuba.
While his childhood was spent in Oregon's Willamette Valley, Reyes maintains an 18th century cottage in County Clare, Ireland, and holds the title of Irish Bard of Cloonanaha. He is a recipient of the Heinrich Boll Fellowship, which includes a two-week writing residency on Achill Island, Ireland. Both Oilean Agus Oilean Eile (Two Islands), and At the Edge of the Western Wave were finalists in the National Poetry Series Competition.
In addition to poetry, Reyes' literary forays include short prose pieces, many of which form the manuscript The Bicycle and Other Sketches of Rural Ireland. Currently, he is at work on Zena, a series of prose pieces recounting his life in Panama from 1953-56. When not sojourning throughout the world, Reyes is publisher of Trask House Books, founded in 1964; and was a founding editor of Hubbub: A Magazine of Poetry. He is on the editorial board of Ar Mhuin na Muice (On a Pig's Back), a journal of Irish literature, music, and news.
Oregon native Travis Champ will open the January event. His first published poetry collection, Old Nehalem Road, focuses on the experience of life in and around Nehalem, an Oregon town nestled along U.S. Highway 101 between Tillamook and Cannon Beach. This collection of poems was published entirely by hand, with Champ setting type for the book and printing the volume on a 100-year-old Chandler & Price Old Style Platen Press, on loan to the Hoffman Center - a non-profit arts organization in Nehalem - by writer and photographer Skye Archer, who also leads printing workshops teaching those who may be interested in learning how to hand-set metal type.
Champ, who spent roughly two years writing the collection's 30 pieces, noted the most time-consuming part of the publishing venture involved the 600 hours spent binding the work - printing, folding, and sewing together all 300 copies of the original run.
The project was backed by Nestucca Spit Press publisher Matt Love, who is also director of Writers On The Edge. Love teaches writing at Newport High School, where both Carlos Reyes and Travis Champ will conduct readings and lead in-class discussions about their craft and literary experiences on the Friday preceding Saturday night's Nye Beach Writers' Series show.
The Nye Beach Writers' Series is a monthly program of Writers On The Edge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary arts in Lincoln County and the support of lifelong participation in reading, writing, and literary performance. Writers On The Edge is generously supported by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and by the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition, which re-grants funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust, a statewide organization that invests in Oregon arts, humanities and heritage. Events held at the Newport Visual Arts Center are supported in part by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts and the City of Newport. Two night's lodging for each of January's featured writers has been generously provided by the Whaler Motel in Newport. LazerQuick of Newport provides ongoing printing support. Books by featured authors are provided for autographing and sales by Ulrike Bremer of Nye Beach Books. All donations to Writers On The Edge are gratefully appreciated and fully tax-deductible.
The February 2009 Nye Beach Writers' Series event will feature contributors to Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon's Sesquicentennial Anthology including Matt Love, Niki Price, Dorothy Mack, Carla Perry and Andrew Rodman. Upcoming events include Michele Longo Eder and novelist Jim Lynch, Fourth Annual Instant Haiku Slam Classic, Claudia Handler, Spike Walker, singer-songwriter Craig Carothers, Dori Appel; Kaia Sand and Jules Boykoff, Laurel Blossom, Marc Acito, Cheryl Strayed and Peter Sears. For event dates and details go to www.writersontheedge.org.
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