Thursday, April 29, 2010

David Oates to Read at Broadway Books

In his newest book What We Love Will Save Us, David Oates finds wildness and grace breaking out in unexpected places – from city streets to mountain peaks – offering a crucial balance to his dramatically personal account of what it has been like to be a “citizen of the regime” during eight years of unprecedented propaganda, torture, waste, and war. What is the right response, when the government that belongs to us goes seriously off course? How does a person’s private and creative life relate to the life we share in common?

What We Love Will Save Us offers moments of transcendence and hope, told in personal essays that are tender and funny, searching and human. This book is about keeping faith and experiencing darkness. The brief and beautifully intense lyrical essays explore hope, pleasure, and creativity (and the outrage that must never be allowed to eclipse them). Readable, memorable, smart but straight from the heart – these essays give voice to our shared experience of a dark and frustrating time in the nation’s life.

After graduating from Westmont College, David earned a PhD in literature in 1978 from Emory University in Atlanta, on a Danforth doctoral fellowship. He has been living in Portland since 1992. For most of his adult life he has made his living as a college teacher of literature and writing. Once or twice a year David offers a private workshop in writing from nature called “Wild Writers Seminar," for experienced or aspriring writers. The next Wild Writers Seminar will be offered in Fall 2010.

David's previous books include City Limits: Walking Portland's Boundary (Oregon State University Press) and Paradise Wild: Reimagining American Nature (OSU Press). In 1989 he published what Daniel Philippon has called one of the first books of ecocriticism, Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science.

His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Yellow Silk and Poetry LA. A book of poetry, Peace in Exile, was brought out by Oyster River Press in 1992, and his long poem "The Heron Place" was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in 1998.

David's essays have appeared in many periodicals, including Orion, Earth Island Journal, Creative Nonfiction, Northern Lights, and High Country News. Occasionally his perspectives appear on the Oregonian op/ed pages.

Currently David is at work on a wildly genre-bending story of race-mixing and scientific genocide on the Columbia River that he labels "a Chinook-kabuki nonfiction prose opera."

"My work as a writer and teacher explores how our human world connects with the larger world of natural wildness." In an interview in Creative Nonfiction magazine, David passes along this advice to aspiring writers: "Read everything. Write the sort of thing you wish you could find to read. Write a lot and don't stop writing."

David will be reading from What We Love Will Save Us at Broadway Books on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 pm. Please join us!

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