Ashland High grad performs at OSF’s Hip Hop Open Mic

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic is one of the most fun and wildly unpredictable events in the region. Hip hop over to the Black Swan Theater on April 6, at 7:00 p.m., and hear featured poet Ashland High graduate Clementine von Radics. Von Radics is an internationally touring poet and performer. Her work has been adapted by composer Stephen Schwartz into a song cycle debuting at Carnegie Hall in 2016, and her latest book, “Mouthful of Forevers,” is a no. 1 new release on She is a graceful and strong performer, with thoughtful and fearless poems.

Check out her performance from this year’s Martin Luther King celebration in Ashland.

Following her performance, the open mic portion offers a rich mix of poets, musicians and all kinds of cool local talent. Arrive a little early and sign up to share your work.

The OSF’s vibrant, local poetry slam is a perfect way to celebrate National Poetry Month.

For more information about Clementine von Radics, visit

For information about the Hip Hop open mic visit .

The Black Swan theater is located at S. Pioneer Street at Main Street, in Ashland.

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Words, wine and Craig Wright

Save this Friday night for some fabulous stories, music and wine at the Weisinger Family Winery’s monthly literary event, “Words & Wine.” This month’s featured reader is Craig Wright, author, musician, poet and SOU creative writing professor. Wright is a master entertainer, and whether he is sharing fiction, song or poetry his work is engaging, thoughtful and a lot of fun.

Words and Wine will take place March 27 from 6:00-8:00 pm inside the tasting room. Food, in addition to a terrific selection of wine, is also available.

Wright is the author of the short-story collection,” Redemption Center” and his work has appeared in “Fourteen Hills,” “The Harvard Advocate,” “BlazeVox” and many others. He publishes songs with Megatrax.

Weisinger Family Winery is located at 3150 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland. For more information call (541) 488-5989 or visit

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Herzog scholarship for young writers

High school seniors and college freshman and sophomores, the Herzog Writing Scholarship is continuing to accept submissions until March 27, so grab your best work and submit. The Herzog Writing Scholarship, named for a founder of Willamette Writers, is to encourage and support a new generation of writers. This year, there are four scholarships, with financial amounts in the range of $100-$250. Winners are awarded one free day of attendance at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland this summer as well as bragging rights for snagging such a well-regarded scholarship.

Students should submit original, unpublished work of less than 1,000 words, typed, double-spaced. Fiction, poetry, non-fiction and creative nonfiction are welcome. Work should be titled, but should not include any information about the author. Writing published in school publications is eligible.
Include a cover letter with contact information, the title of the work and a paragraph with information about the student’s goals as a writer.

Finally, include a letter of recommendation from an instructor in the current academic year. The letter is to confirm that the submission is by a student interested in writing, and it can brief, one or two short paragraphs.

Submit all materials to the following address:
Kate Herzog Scholarship
Willamette Writers
2108 Buck St
West Linn, OR 97068

The post mark deadline is March 27th, and finalists will be announced June 30.

For more information and to submit online visit

Willamette Writers is the largest writers’ organization in Oregon. For information about events in southern Oregon visit

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Take a peek at poet Scott Wozniak

I’m always delighted at the variety and size of Bloomsbury Books’ local poets section. The not-so-little area is a treasure of diverse area voices and a treat to browse. Recently, I picked up local poet Scott Wozniak’s chapbook, “Bumrush the Fantasy.” It’s a quick, quirky and often moving collection that speaks to the inner tough guy in all of us. Wozniak is award winning spoken-word artist and a frequent performer at the Rogue Poetry Slam. His work has a strong rhythm, direct language and a clear joy for poetry. In addition to his chapbook, poetry fans can hear him read with fellow spoken-word artist T Poe Varnado at Bloomsbury Books on Mon., April 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Bloomsbury Books is located at 290 E Main St, Ashland. For information about upcoming readings call (541) 488-0029. To learn more about Scott Wozniak visit or email

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Memorize poems with your whole body

Of course it is delightful to read a good poem, but there is even greater pleasure in memorizing one. Once it is in your head and heart you always have that poem’s wisdom and beauty to draw upon. Also, you can recite it to entertain your friends after a cocktail or two. The Poetry in Motion workshop at the Medford Library on Saturday, March 14, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm will help you memorize a favorite poem. Poet and certified applied poetry facilitator Linda Barnes will teach movement techniques designed to help take a poem into the body and enhance memorization. All you bring is at least one favorite poem, some comfortable shoes and a willingness to move.

The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, email by Thursday, March 12.

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Writers, submit

The “Timberline Review,” a new literary journal published by the Oregon-based writing group Willamette Writers is seeking new work from established and emerging writers, so it is time to fearlessly send them your poetry, essays, creative nonfiction and short fiction

For full guidelines and online submission details visit Submissions are free for Willamette Writers members or a mere $5 for non-members. The deadline for the summer 2015 issue is March 31. That’s plenty of time to polish your work or create something new.

According to its website, “Timberline Review” offers a rich variety of voices and is looking for work that inspires a conversation with the times we live. Our southern Oregon region is loaded with poets and writers whose work does all that and more.

To join Willamette Writers or learn more about the organization’s conferences, contests and events visit

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SOU creative writing faculty present their work

Southern Oregon University’s Schneider Museum is showcasing work by the Creative Arts faculty as well as hosting a series of talks and readings. This Thursday, February 19 at 5:30 pm, Robert Arellano, Kasey Mohammed and Craig Wright will read and discuss their poetry and stories. Don’t miss these talented, engaging and whip-smart writers.

Arellano is a 2014 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient in fiction and the author of six novels, including the 2010 Edgar Award finalist “Havana Lunar.” His stories have been published in a number of great magazines such as “Tin House,” “Jane,” and “The Believer,” as well as selected for anthologies by editors such as Joyce Carol Oates and Julio Ortega.

Mohammad is the author of several books of poetry, including “Deer Head Nation,” “Breathalyzer,” and my favorite, “The Sonnagrams” in which he uses anagrams of Shakespeare’s sonnets and creates all-new, wild and beautiful sonnets in iambic pentameter. He is also editor of the poetry magazine “Abraham Lincoln” and faculty editor of the “West Wind Review.”

Wright is a short story writer, songwriter and fantastic musician. He is the author of the novel “Redemption Center,” and has published stories in national journals and magazines such as “Fourteen Hills,” “The Harvard Advocate” and “BlazeVox.”

To encourage participation in this and upcoming events, SOU is offering a student challenge. Attend at least four of the presentations and enter punch card in a raffle for a chance to win a signed Miles Inada print, a $25 Case Coffee Roasters gift card or a $25 Senor Sam’s gift card. It’s a trifecta of perfect prizes, art, coffee or food.

Future events include:
Thursday, February 26, 5:30 PM: Creative Arts Faculty Lecture: Warren Hedges, “Video Games as Platforms for Storytelling.”

Thursday, March 5, 5:30 PM: Creative Arts faculty Lecture: Rene Allen

Admission to Thursday’s reading is free and open to the public. For more information call (541) 552-6245 or visit

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Young poets need your help

Hey poetry lovers, students at Crater Renaissance Academy of Arts and Sciences in Central Point are participating in the 2015 Poetry Out Loud competition and they need five fearless community members to judge this competition at the school on Friday, February 20th at 7:00 pm. It’s a great opportunity to help out some hardworking kids and to hear some great  poetry. Plus, they’ll serve you cookies and coffee, so it’s a win-win.

If you are able to assist with this terrific program email competition mentor and teacher Matthew Reynolds at or call (541) 494-6348.

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Charles Darwin at the Ashland Library

Come celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday with Charles Darwin himself. On Thursday February 12 from 12:30-1:30 at the Ashland Library, local poet, writer and evolutionary biologist Pepper Trail will present a performance in the character of the English naturalist whose ideas on evolution and natural selection changed the way people viewed themselves and the world around them. In his performance “Voyage to the Origin of the Species: Reminiscences of Charles Darwin,” Trail dresses and speaks as Darwin, bringing history to life as he draws heavily on Darwin’s own writings, which, in addition to their scientific value, are rich and lyrical.

I can’t say enough good things about Pepper Trail. He is a gifted and thoughtful poet, whose direct, concrete work celebrates the wilderness and calls for us to take responsibility in our environment. His decades-long fascination with and understanding of Darwin’s life has shaped his performance as he channels Darwin, recounting how a country childhood, a life-changing sea voyage and a vibrant circle of friends and colleagues led him to the insights that revolutionized our understanding of the world.

Trail is wicked smart and holds a doctorate in evolutionary biology and ornithology from Cornell University. He is an ornithologist at the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland. Primary sources for his talk are Darwin’s own writings and the authoritative two-volume biography of Darwin by Janet Browne.

The Ashland public Library is located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd., in Ashland. For more information call the library at (541) 774-6996.

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Share your love poems at Downtowne Coffee House

It’s the season of love poems, and the Coffee House Poets are hosting their monthly open-mic at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, February 12 at the Downtowne Coffee House in Talent. This month’s suggested poetry theme is “What is Love.” Poets can share their romantic writing or completely ignore the theme and share whatever the heck they wish. Though really, a good love poem is always a treat.

This is a terrific group of supportive poets and a great mix of regulars and newbies. If you’ve never read your work in public, the Downtowne Coffee House is one of the warmest and most welcoming venues in the area.

The Downtowners also have two contests for participants. One is just for poets who can truthfully write the sentence “I have never won a prize in a poetry contest” on their entries. The other is for everyone else.

The rules are simple and few:
1. Each entry must have been premiered at the Downtowners’ open mic.
2. Submit two copies. The first includes name, full address, phone number, and email address. The second will not have any author identification.
3. There is no limit to the number of submissions, but the poems must have been read at the open mic. There is no fee for entering. Prizes are funded out of audience donations.
4. The deadline for the 2015 contest is March 12, 2015.
5. Prizes will be awarded at the coffee house on April 9, 2015.

The Downtowne Coffee House is at 200 Talent Avenue, in Talent. For more information call (541) 535-2299.

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    Angela Decker

    Angela Decker's poems have appeared in African Voices, Comstock Review, Hip Mama, The Wisconsin Review, Jefferson Monthly, and others. She occasionally teaches poetry writing at Southern Oregon University and shares the arts & literature column ... Read Full
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