Literary Arts News

Magic Barrel Event in Corvallis features Oregon Authors

Oregon Book Award winner Patrick deWitt, who was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, will join 2016 Oregon Book Award winner Kate Caroll De Gutes, nationally acclaimed Portland essayist Sallie Tisdale, novelist David Shafer, Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, short-story writer Wayne Harrison, poet Charles Goodrich and three other distinguished Oregon writers reading from their works at the 23rd annual Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger on Friday, October 28 in Corvallis. The event will be hosted by Oregon Book Award author Karen Karbo.

The annual event, which raises money for Linn Benton Food Share, is an evening of live literary readings and music at the historic Whiteside Theatre, a 1920s Italian Renaissance movie palace in downtown Corvallis. The event takes its name from a short story by Bernard Malamud, a major American fiction writer who taught writing at Oregon State from 1949 to 1961.

Jazz music by Corvallis’s LMNO will start at 6:30 p.m., and readings begin at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online at If any seats are left on the day of the event, tickets will be sold at the door.

All proceeds after costs go to Linn Benton Food Share, which welcomes additional contributions online or at the door.

This year’s Magic Barrel readers:

Canadian-born Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers, which won Canada’s 2011 Governor General’s Award and Rogers prize, the 2012 Stephen Leacock Award and the Oregon Book Award. His newest novel is Undermajordomo Minor. He lives in Portland.

Kate Carroll de Gutes’s book Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear won the Oregon Book Award and a Lambda Literary Award in 2016. She lives in Portland.

Charles Goodrich has written three books of poetry: A Scripture of Crows; Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden; and Insects of South Corvallis, along with a collection of essays, The Practice of Home. He directs the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University.

Wayne Harrison’s first novel, The Spark and the Drive, came out in 2014, and his short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and The Sun. He teaches writing in OSU’s Master of Fine Arts program.

Jennifer Richter has written two poetry collections, Threshold and No Acute Distress, both of which earned honors from the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. Threshold was an Oregon Book Awards finalist. She has taught writing at Stanford University and now teaches in OSU’s MFA program.

Justin St. Germain’s memoir, Son of a Gun, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was included on best-book lists of 2013 by Amazon, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, BookPage, and Salon. He teaches in OSU’s MFA program.

David Shafer’s 2014 novel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, (not to be confused with the movie of the same title) was selected as one of the best books of the year by National Public Radio, Slate, and Kirkus and was short-listed for the Pacific Northwest Book Award. He lives in Portland.

Sallie Tisdale is the author of eight books, including Talk Dirty To Me, Stepping Westward, and Women of the Way. Her new collection of essays, Violation, was published last April. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, and others. She lives in Portland.

Elizabeth Woody is Oregon’s Poet Laureate. Her collections include Hand into Stone (1988; reprinted as Seven Hands, Seven Hearts) and Luminaries of the Humble (1994). She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, of Yakama Nation descent. She lives in Portland.

The Magic Barrel is supported by the Oregon Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University, by many cash and in-kind donations from local merchants and restaurants, and by hundreds of generous patrons.

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