Friday, September 5, 2008

The Nature of Words 2008 To Focus on "Borders" Theme

Latino Experience Inspires Exploration of Real and Imagined Borders

Bend, Oregon. September 4, 2008. Inspired by several guest authors who speak to the Latino experience, The Nature of Words 2008 literary festival will focus on a theme of "Borders". Whether social, political, geographical, or personal, borders both define and liberate the creativity and works of the acclaimed authors on the roster for The Nature of Words events November 5-9, 2008.

Three authors are engaged in describing or reflecting the Latino experience, both in the U.S. and beyond its borders. Luis Urrea was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize nominee for The Devil's Highway, a non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert. His recent novel, The Hummingbird's Daughter, is the culmination of 20 years of research and writing. The historical novel tells the story of Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as The Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc. Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres.

Charles Bowden, a non-fiction author, journalist, essayist and outspoken advocate for the desert Southwest, writes about the environment and social issues along the U.S.-Mexico border. The author of 14 books, his latest work, A Shadow in the City: Confessions of an Undercover Dog, tells the story of an undercover cop who spent 23 years on the front lines of America's drug war. In his personal life, Bowden's activism helped persuade the U.S. government to create the Sonoran Desert National Monument in southern Arizo na.

Ekiwah Adler-Belendez is a 19-year old Mexican poet prodigy who maintains dual citizenship and is bilingual. He published his first book at age 12 and has released three volumes of poetry, most recently The Coyote's Trace. Adler-Belendez has battled cerebral palsy since birth.

The remaining authors on the roster each represent a distinctive facet of the borders theme.

Ursula K. Le Guin, transcends the traditional science fiction and fantasy genre with ground-breaking social sensibility and intelligence in her extensive body of work. Her latest novel, Lavinia, is the story of Aeneas' wife, an overlooked character in Vergil's Aeneid.

Dynamic and energetic slam poet Patricia Smith brings the element of performance to her inventive and riveting style. Smith's Blood Dazzler, just released in September, chronicles Hurricane Katrina's transformation into a full-blown mistress of destruction.

Fiction writer Pam Houston brings a forthright style to her short stories and latest novel, Sighthound, about unconventional characters who refuse to live according to society's expectations.

Naturalist, ecologist and adventure traveler Craig Childs pushes himself - while taking his readers along for the ride - beyond the boundaries of comfort and endurance to capture the essence of nature and survival in remote locations. His 2007 book, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, describes the beauty and danger of animals from the praying mantis to the mountain lion.

Poet and memorist Judith Barrington writes eloquently about confronting issues of loss, gender and lifestyle. Her recent chapbook, Postcard From the Bottom of the Sea, draws on her fascination with the ocean and the currents of her imagination. Her memoir, Lifesaving, describes a young woman struggling to become an adult in the shadow of sudden and staggering loss.

The Nature of Words includes two nights of author readings in Bend's Tower Theatre, two days of writing workshops conducted by the guest authors at the Oregon State University-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College Campuses, a dinner and panel discussion at the High Desert Museum, a VIP Reception at Umpqua Bank, the Rising Star Creative Writing Competition awards for young writers, and an open mike session for workshop participants and aspiring writers at the Bend Public Library.

Nature of Word Sponsors

The Nature of Words is made possible thanks to the generous support of Central Oregon Community College, The Collins Foundation, Old Mill District, Oregon State University-Cascades Campus, Starview Foundation in support of Deschutes Land Trust, Writing Ranch, and an anonymous donor. Additional support is being provided by Bank of the Cascades, Brooks Resources, Caldera, Cascades East, Cascade Publications, Clear 101.7 FM, Craig and Linda Moore, Dan & Bonnie Wieden Fund in Honor of Caldera, Deschutes Brewery, Deschutes County Board of Commissioners, Devore's Good Food, Emily Bonavia, Greer, Mahr & Associates LLP, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, John Martin Landscapes, Margaret Heater, Mike and Sue Hollern Advised Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Mount Bachelor Village Resort, Nancy and Trent Tyler, Oregon Cultural Trust, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Bend, Ray Lansing and Angelina Montoya, Robberson Ford, Ron and Molly Foerster, Sally Russenberger, Samuel S. Johnson Foundation, S. Parkman Shaw Fund, Shelk Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Sun Forest Construction, The Bulletin, The High Desert Museum, The Kinsman Foundation, The Roundhouse Foundation, The Source Weekly, Tim & Jenny Green, Umpqua Bank, University of Oregon, US Bank Foundation and William Smith Properties.

For more information, visit, email or call 541.330.4381.

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