CORVALLIS - Two Willamette Valley authors will present selections from their new books on Friday, Oct. 22, in the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus.
Charles Goodrich will read from "The Practice of Home," published by Lyons Press, his memoir about family, fatherhood and house-building set in Corvallis. Martha Gies of Portland will read from "Up All Night," by OSU Press, a story of the city told through interviews with two dozen of its night-workers.
The readings, which begin at 7:30 p.m. in the library's first floor rotunda, are co-sponsored by the OSU Department of English and the OSU Press. The event is free and open to the public, and the authors' books will be available for purchase and signing.
Goodrich, a recent graduate of OSU's new master's of fine arts program in creative writing, had a long career as a professional gardener, and since his graduation, has gone on to work for OSU's Spring Creek Project in the Department of Philosophy. His recent book of poetry, "The Insects of South Corvallis," includes five of his poems that were read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio.
His poetry and essays have won him fellowships from Fishtrap, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the 2001 Walt Morey Fellowship from Literary Arts. His work has been widely anthologized, and has appeared in Orion, The Sun, Open Spaces and a host of other publications.
"The Practice of Home" is comprised of 20 essays that explore the years devoted to building and remodeling his house, becoming a husband and father, and all the while, pursuing his ultimate subject, how to live one's life. The book has won early praise from The Oregonian for its straightforward writing style and impressive powers of description.
In "Up All Night," Gies investigates the hidden life of the city and the people who keep it running after dark. She tells the story through interviews with a baker, a stripper, a flower market wholesaler, a longshoreman, a shelter worker, and a zookeeper, among others. Their candid stories about night work - and their lives during daylight - offer a rare insider's look at those who toil while the rest of us sleep.
Publishers Weekly called the book a "stirring collection of night shift stories."
Gies is well-known for her work as a writer, teacher and activist. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Orion, Zyzzyva, and Notre Dame Review. Her story "O'Keefe Sober," won a PEN/Syndicated Fiction Award, and is included in "The World Begins Here: An Anthology of Oregon Short Fiction," published by the OSU Press.