Floyd Skloot to read at Cloud & Leaf

winterJoin Cloud & Leaf in welcoming prizewinning author, Floyd Skloot, who will be reading from his latest book of poetry, Approaching Winter.  The event will be held on Friday, November 20th at 7:00 pm.

Skloot’s eight poetry collection evokes the fluid and dynamic nature of memory as it ebbs and floods through our daily lives.  Here the real and the imagined intermingle freely.

Floyd and his wife Beverly have recently moved to Manzanita part-time.  Please help us welcome them to our community.  Cloud & Leaf Bookstore is located at 148 Laneda Avenue.

Judith Barrington will read from her new book of poetry, The Conversation, at a special Sunday Poetry Event at 2pm on Sunday September 13

JBarrington-2LG - CopyJudith Barrington will read from her new book of poetry, The Conversation, at a special Sunday Poetry Event at 2pm on Sunday September 13, 2015, at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

Barrington won the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition in 2013 and this resulted in Salmon Poetry, of County Clare, Ireland, publishing a new collection, The Conversation. The title poem was selected by Thomas McCarthy as the winner of the O’Donoghue competition.

“Judith Barrington spent the turning over of 2013 into 2014 in the hospital with surgery and recovery from a brain bleed. A year later she’s produced a dense and beautiful book of poems (her first new full-length book of poems in more than 10 years) that looks back over her childhood, her family, her memories, her grief…with the kind of clarity only found through a lot of loss….” —Kirsten Rian, The Oregonian

Barrington is the award-winning author of four poetry collections, two poetry chapbooks, a prizewinning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies.

Barrington was on the faculty of the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage for many years and has spent much of the past thirty years teaching creative writing at various universities and at many summer writing workshops in the United States and overseas.

With her partner Ruth Gundle, Barrington was awarded the Stewart H. Holbrook Award for outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary life. She is the co-founder of The Flight of the Mind Writing Workshops, which for seventeen years provided two week-long sessions on the McKenzie River, Oregon, bringing together outstanding teachers and participants from all over the U.S. She is one of the founders of Soapstone. Born in Brighton England, she’s made her home in Portland since 1976.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for the event which is open to the public. Barrington’s reading will be followed by a Q&A, and book sales and signing.

Can Artists and Writers See Through Each Other’s Eyes?

birdsFifteen artists and writers are immersed in a unique creative experience this summer at the coast, trying to see through each other’s eyes in their own creative process.

They are taking part in a new program at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

Titled “Word & Image: A Dialog Between Writers and Artists,” the program paired artists and writers to create original pieces, each in response to the other’s work.

The Hoffman Center for the Arts is known for its variety of programming for all of the creative arts, with the Writers’ Series, Clay Studio, art workshops and shows, Friday Night Flicks, and musical events.

This summer, two women launched a program to combine two of those arts, spurring artists and writers to leave their comfort zones for this different kind of creative process.

Emily Ransdell is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing. A past recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, she is currently a member of The Poet’s Studio at The Attic Institute in Portland. Deborah DeWit, a full-time painter and photographer for 35 years, has exhibited widely. Her work is included in many private and public collections throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Writers have been writing in response to art for centuries,” said Ransdell. “We thought it would be interesting to try a modern take on the tradition by letting artists have their turn as well.”

Ransdell described the project as a spin-off of the Hoffman’s weekly Writing Lounge, where local writers create short pieces in response to various prompts, often resulting in works that surprise the authors themselves.
Whereas artists and writers usually generate works that reflect their own experience and vision of the world, this project compels them to respond to someone else’s vision of the world.

“This way of finding subject matter for an art piece is both similar and different than the way I usually work,” says artist Lori Dillon, “a lot of the time I do get inspired by an event, series of events, or my own poetry/writing in my head.  So the difference is that I’m being ‘led to create’ by someone else’s voice.”

“One key thing here,” adds Ransdell, “There are no rules. No set process. The artist and writer can choose to meet or not, discuss or not, share results ahead or not. The whole goal of this was for people to experiment.”

Everyone seems to be approaching it differently. Some have looked at other works by the artist and writer. Some met once to discuss, others not at all. Some pairs are exchanging process progress and results all along the way.

Artist Vera Wildauer and poet Phyllis Mannan were matched and chose not to meet or discuss their process.
“It might be good to see the original,” Mannan wrote Wildauer in an email, “but I don’t think I want to hear the background, at least not right away. I want to let my unconscious mind work a bit first.”

“I rarely work from a picture or photograph when I write,” Mannan added in an interview, “so this way of working was unfamiliar to me. I learned to closely study the nuances of a scene, to question the relationship between people and objects. I hope to use the process of careful questioning in future work.”

“I was immediately drawn to one of Phyllis’ three poems,” Wildauer describes working from the other direction, “since it included so many images and evoked so much meaning about the ‘real world’ versus faith — with some odd juxtapositions. I had a great time with it, finding mixed media to lend itself to the process perhaps more than other forms.”
Writer Aina Tonjes and artist Cathi Howell did choose to meet.

“I got two pieces to choose from,” says Tonjes, “and after meeting with Cathi in person one of them became much more relevant than the other. I did need to know what exactly moved her to put those shapes down, and without having talked about it I don’t think I would have been able to motivate myself to write.”

“I wasn’t sure how to best write about Deborah’s piece at first,” Ransdell said. The two coordinators are taking on the same challenge as all the participants. “I didn’t want to just describe. I wanted to evoke something.”
She remembered a technique that poet and teacher Andrea Hollander used during a PoetryFest workshop in Manzanita. Hollander had the participants choose six words and work from there.

“So I chose six words that Deborah’s piece made me think of and I’m working from those,” Ransdell adds, “It’s definitely a technique I’ll use again. I was surprised and pleased; it’s a different kind of poem for me.”

The thirty participants range in age from 15 to mid-80’s, and come from as far away as Long Beach Peninsula and Portland to those who live full or part time in Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler. At the evening event where participants were paired up,

Juleen Johnson attended via Facetime. Her husband held up an iPad so Juleen could see the audience and the event from her location attending the Iowa Writers Conference in Iowa City, Iowa.

The event has certainly paired up people who might never have interacted otherwise. 15-year-old writer Elizabeth Johnson brought her parents along from Long Beach, Washington, to meet with photographer Steve Jones, 61.

Artist Karen Gale said “the biggest surprise was to find how much my partner Deb Simmons and I had in common both in our styles and in our lives. We are the perfect partnership!”

Simmons responded in an email to the same interview question whether anything surprised her about the process with “the friendship that has formed with MY artist!”

“I think all of us feel like the bar is kind of high,” says Dewit, “I need to do something worthy. Plus it’s just one piece of art or writing, not one of many of your works in one place. And everyone feels a commitment to each other, to honor their work.”

“What a challenge this has been, what a stretch,” adds Simmons, “The bottom line is to come up with something ‘worthy’ of the artwork, which I admire and love.”

The results will be unveiled at an opening reception and reading at the Hoffman Center for the Arts on Saturday, August 29, open to the public. Each pairing will be printed as a frame-able art piece and offered for sale as a souvenir for people who come to the show.

The project might well become a recurring event. After all, it exemplifies the Hoffman Center for the Arts’ tagline and goal: Explore. Create. Connect.

And who knows, it might inspire other projects.  “This is such a unique event!” says Lori Dillon, “Now I’m thinking about the concept of pairing musicians and writers and visual artists.  Whoa, doesn’t that sound crazy and good?


open stage web picThe Hoffman Center for the Arts will share their stage every 2nd Friday of the month in a new ongoing event titled: OPEN STAGE for MUSIC & WORD.

OPEN STAGE is an opportunity, forum and venue for local musicians, actors, storytellers and poets to share their arts. The family-friendly evening, for all ages, will be held in the Hoffman Center, beginning Friday July 10, 2015 from 7 to 8:30pm. Future dates include August 14 and Sept. 11.

Performers will sign up at the door for 10 minute slots. Donations: $3 individual; $5 family.

Bring friends ~ Enjoy local talent! We are an amazing diverse community!

If Vincent Van Gogh and Maya Angelou Lived Here

word image logoIt seems that the new Word & Image project has been a little confusing, so here’s an example that might help clarify the concept.



  • Van Gogh submits three paintings he has lying around the house by May 11th deadline:  “Irises”, “Crows over a Wheat Field”, and “The Bedroom.”
  • Maya Angelou submits three poems by May 11th:  “Caged Bird”, “Women Work”, and ”
    Still I Rise.”
  • At the June 13th event, the two of them get randomly paired.
  • Van Gogh chooses one of Maya’s poems to “respond” to with a painting.  Let’s say he chooses “Caged Bird.”
  • Maya chooses “The Bedroom” to write a poem in response.
  • Van Gogh turns in his painting inspired by “Caged Bird” and Maya turns in her poem “The Bedroom” by August 3rd.
  • Then we have a show on August 29th where all four of their works are shown.  Maya’s “Caged Bird” Poem next to Van Gogh’s “Caged Bird” Painting.  Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” painting next to Maya’s “The Bedroom” poem.  Plus, each of those pairs are printed as a frame-able art piece and offered for sale as a souvenir for people who come to the show.
And by the way, 3-D art is encouraged as well.
If you still have questions send a note to hoffmanwordandimage@gmail.com and either Emily Ransdell or Deborah DeWit will contact you.
For more detailed submission guidelines, click here.

Primal Mates to perform Sunday, April 19th

IMG_6916Music in Poetry
Poetry in Music

“Where Words and Music Meet” Sunday April 19th at the Hoffman Center.  $10 admission . Special Sunday matinee show–3:00pm.

Chris Lee and Colleen O’Brien are Primal Mates, a contemporary chamber jazz duo from Colorado in which vibes, voice, cello and percussion come together to form an inspired original repertoire. What they create is music with vision; a unique, sometimes haunting and always mesmerizing journey through an intimate musical landscape. Their music combines the attention to composition and form of chamber music with the freedom and improvisational interplay of jazz.

Over the years, as part of their regular concert programs, the chamber jazz duo of Chris Lee and Colleen O’Brien have included poems that have been set to music, music that has been set to poems, and music by some well known writers who were also accomplished composers. This concert will be devoted entirely to this genre.

“I can highly recommend Primal Mates featuring musicians Chris Lee and Colleen O’Brien. If you like jazz and if you like poetry, this program is an incredible blend of the two. Chris plays the vibraphone, box drum and frame drum, while Colleen plays the cello and has a deep resonant voice perfect for jazz-style vocals. The lyrics are poems, everything from Maya Angelou to Robert Frost to Kerouac to Shakespeare!! Beautifully rendered into song and music, and supported by words and photography cast on a screen behind the performers. My audience was transfixed. We all felt we experienced something very special and unique. The music and performance revealed new layers of meaning for the chosen poetry and literature. What a remarkable fusion of literature and music. ” – Tina Smith, Stevenson/North Bonneville Community Librarian

For more info on Primal Mates: http://www.primalmates.com/

Manzanita Writers’ Series celebrates the launch of the 4th Edition of the North Coast Squid Literary Journal on Saturday, April 18

SquidCoverEdition4Manzanita Writers’ Series celebrates the launch of the 4th Edition of the North Coast Squid Literary Journal at 7pm on Saturday, April 18. The event will be held at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita. Admission is free.

The fourth North Coast Squid literary magazine showcases work of writers and artists who live on the north coast or have a strong connection to the area. Sixty-six writers submitted 140 pieces. Thirty-five were chosen by outside judges. Lindsay Hill judged poetry, Deborah Reed judged fiction and Lauren Kessler judged non-fiction.

This year’s new category for young writers was judged by the editors of Tattoo Magazine, a national award-winning high school literary and art publication based in Shoreline, WA, and advised by Andy Barker, a member of the North Coast Squid editorial team.

The Squid includes 19 pieces of art and photography from local artists as well. (24 artists submitted 74 pieces).

This edition was partially funded by a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo. The rest of the expenses are covered through in-kind donations of design time, and with Squid sales.

The campaign-funding goal was $3000. Support from local fans as well as friends and family of Squid volunteers and submitters raised $3600.

The release event will feature selected author readings from the North Coast Squid, as well as a gallery showing of some of the photography and art published in the magazine.  There will be refreshments—including cake!

The North Coast Squid will be available for purchase at the event, as well as at every Manzanita Writers’ Series event throughout 2015.  A number of retail outlets along the coast will also carry it. Proceeds of the $5 cover price go to produce future editions of the magazine.

The Hoffman Center will be announcing another great project for local writers and artists during the evening’s activities.

Call for Submissions for Word and Image Project

word image logoSubmissions are now open for an innovative summer exhibit at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita. The exhibit will pair artists and writers to create original work, each in response to the other’s.

The “Word and Image” project will offer up to 15 selected artists and writers a unique creative experience, one that co-organizers Deborah DeWit and Emily Ransdell call “silent collaboration.”

“Writers have been writing in response to art for centuries,” said Ransdell. “We thought it would be interesting to create a modern take on the tradition by letting artists have their turn as well.”

Ransdell said that the project is a spin-off of the Hoffman Center’s weekly Writing Lounge, where local writers create short pieces in response to various prompts, often resulting in works that surprise the authors themselves.

“All creative output is in response to something — an idea, an emotion, or an image,” added DeWit. “This is not a ‘theme’ project, in which everyone is asked to interpret the same subject, but rather a way for each artist and writer to utilize their own personal point of view and style to interpret another’s creation.”

Word and Image is open to all artists and writers who live on the north Oregon coast or have a strong connection to the area. Interested writers and artists should submit three samples of their work via e-mail to hoffmanwordandimage@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is May 11, 2015. Selected artists and writers will be notified by Jun. 1 and paired off at a kick-off gathering on June 13. New work for the Word and Image exhibit will be due from each artist and writer by August 3rd, with an opening reception and reading to be held at the Hoffman Center on Saturday, August 29.

Click here for instructions for submitting words or images or by sending a message to hoffmanwordandimage@gmail.com.

A Hoffman Center team, led by Ransdell and DeWit, will select participants. Ransdell is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing. A past recipient of an American Academy of Poets Prize, she is currently a member of The Poet’s Studio at The Attic Institute in Portland. DeWit, a full-time painter and photographer for 35 years, has exhibited widely. Her work is included in many private and public collections throughout the Pacific Northwest.

PoetryFest Workshops to be held on April 18


poetryfest blog picThe Manzanita Writers’ Series will once again hold PoetryFest, a day-long event dedicated to the joys of poetry, on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

There will be two workshops led by noted poets Andrea Hollander and Matthew Dickman.

Tuition for the workshops is $30 each, or $50 for both.  Readings and book signings are open to the public.   Click here to register for the workshops.

Join Andrea Hollander from 10 a.m. to noon for a workshop “Image and Imagination” on generating new writing. In this workshop, students will begin with the notion of image and take the kind of risk that has the potential to unleash the imagination in unanticipated ways. Please come with an open mind and a willingness to let go of control.

An award-winning poet and essayist, Andrea Hollander is author of four full-length poetry collections—most recently, Landscape with Female Figure: New and Selected Poems, 1982 – 2012, finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. She is also the editor of When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women. Her first poetry collection, House without a Dreamer, won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals, and she has been featured at writers’ conferences and festivals throughout the United States, as well as in England and France. Hollander spent 22 years as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College, where she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Now a resident of Portland, Oregon, she teaches writing workshops at both The Attic Institute and Mountain Writers Series. Her website is andreahollander.net.

Matthew Dickman will lead a workshop, “Revise Your Life! Well, at least your poem…, from 1 to 3 p.m. In this workshop students will be using old drafts of poems to start a conversation on what to do when revising poems: how do we reimagine something we have lived with for a while? How do we reclaim a space for vision after the pen is put down and the paper put away? We will be sharing ideas and borrowing some from French Surrealists on up to current favorite poets. This will be a very hands-on couple hours and a lot of fun!

Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012). He is the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon Book Award from Literary Arts of Oregon. His poems have appeared in McSweeny’s, Ploughshares, The Believer, The London Review of Books, Esquire Magazine and The New Yorker among others. Matthew Dickman is the Poetry Editor of Tin House Magazine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

At 3:15 p.m.,  Andrea Hollander and Matthew Dickman will read from their latest collections and sign books.

Tuition for the workshops is $30 each, or $50 for both.  Readings and book signings are open to the public.

Click here to register for the workshops. Students can either register and pay online, or download a registration form to mail in with their payment.

For further information contact Phyllis Mannan at phmannan@gmail.com


Talent Showcase Auditions set for February 25

cts fred and friendsAuditions for the Community Talent Showcase will be held February 25th from 57 pm. If you’d like to perform in this year’s Talent Showcase, you must come to the auditions first.

We’re looking for musicians, magicians, comedians, singers, actors, ventriloquists, or whatever kind of talent someone wants to show off.

The acts must be suitable for all ages and last no more than five minutes.  First time performers will be given priority.

Please print and fill out the audition registration form.