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Loretta Lynn and Jack White do Portland, Oregon. Interesting matchup, interesting song. And, yes, I know these Portland places. Many of them.


I have landed back in Portland, Oregon, the place where my writing career truly took seed and blossomed.

I was talking to another writer friend of mine here the other night, and we were talking about Portland authors. There are a lot of them: Chuck Palahniuk, Chelsea Cain, Tom Spanbauer, David Biespiel, Ariel Gore, Kevin Sampsell, Jay Lake, Gina Marie, Sage Cohen… the list goes on and on in all kinds of ways that I’m barely even beginning to remember. There are so many that it would take a dozen blog posts to name them all. From the current A-players to the mid-listers to those who are fantastic writers and are just beginning to break their way out of obscurity.

Am I a Portland writer? Perhaps. Although little of my writing is about Portland, or even set here, my sensibilities were shaped here, my creativity was molded by this place, its bridges and bookstores, its famous authors and not-so-famous authors, its teachers and its students. I would like to think I’m a Portland writer, even though I’ve left it and will leave it again. But somehow, something in me knows that I should return, time and again, to the place where my writing roots dug in deep, to the place that let me blossom in the sun and shadows of the greats.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.


“Well, Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain’t love then tell me what is.” ~Loretta Lynn singing