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Writers-in-Residence: Joanna Rose

Joanna Rose is the author of the award-winning novel Little Miss Strange, and has a new novel looking for a home. Her short story If Your Hands Would be Like That was recently published in Artisan Journal, and her essay Paisley Afternoon is in the new anthology Citadel of the Spirit, a celebration of Oregon’s statehood, edited by Lincoln City high school teacher Matt Love. Other work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Story Magazine, and Northern Lights.

She lived in a big green house in Sullivan’s Gulch for 20 years, along with her husband Tony and an assortment of dogs. For many years she worked as the publicity director for Powell’s Books and in that capacity established the reading series there. That work put her in contact with some of the finest writers of the late eighties and early nineties, many of whom unknowingly became her teachers and mentors. One in particular was Tom Spanbauer, (author of The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon and In the City of Shy Hunters) with whom she worked as student and co-teacher for ten years. It was there that she connected with her current teaching partner, Stevan Allred. Together she and Stevan guide the Penwood Table critique group, which has gathered in her dining room for many years. They also present weekend workshops around the state, most recently at The Wavecrest in Cannon Beach.

Besides writing she volunteers at the Oregon Humane Society, working with dogs who have behavioral issues as well as senior dogs. She also spends too many hours watching the sparrows, chickadees, juncos, nuthatches, goldfinches and pine siskins at the feeders in her yard, as well as, alas, the occasional kestrel.

Her favorite authors change regularly but a few who remain near the top of the list are Terry Tempest Williams, Christopher Moore, William Gibson (the Canadian science fiction writer, not the philosopher), and Lewis Nordan.

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