Previously known for her adventure-travel writing, Maxwell was dragged kicking and screaming into the spiritual realm. She was used to adventures that involved hip waders, fly fishing rods, and putting greens -- not to experiences like seeing her father's face in the sky three days after he died or seeing Celtic visions on the Isle of Iona. But that's where she found herself, especially after the arrival of the completely-un-asked-for spiritual teacher, the Holy Pig Farmer (I'll let her tell you about him).
Called a "rollicking spiritual ride" by one reviewer, Roll Around Heaven chronicles nearly two decades of Maxwell's own spiritual adventures: "...spirituality is dangerously close to becoming another commodity, like yoga lessons and God Is My Copilot bumper stickers....If my own unexpected spiritual marathon has taught me anything, it's this: if we think we can buy -- or trivialize -- our way into the kingdom of heaven, we are in serious trouble."Another reviewer had this to say: "Maxwell knocks the pompous off their pedestals and finds inspiration in unexpected, sometimes terrifying places.”
Maxwell , who got her degree in journalism from the UO (go Ducks!), is the author of books on flyfishing, adventure travel, and golf. Her work has been included in more than two dozen anthologies, including multiple editions of Best American Travel Writing. From 1985 to 1997 she was a regular contributor to Esquire’s travel column, and she created and wrote Audubon’s in-the-field conservation column, True Nature, from 1992 to 1997. She has published adventure travel narratives for AARP the Magazine, Audubon, Esquire, Forbes, Gourmet, Islands, Lexus, More, Outside, The Discovery Channel Magazine, Town & Country Travel, and Travel & Leisure Golf.
Her article in November 2008 on Portland’s restaurant scene was nominated for a James Beard food writing award. Besides receiving a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and being a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism winner, Maxwell is one of the few female members of the Flyfisher’s Club of Oregon. She lives in Western Oregon with her husband where, as one friend put it, “they have a lot of fun correcting each other’s grammar.”
We hope you can join us Tuesday at 7 pm to for our evening with Jessica Maxwell and her accidental spiritual adventure.