Le Guin poem will be featured in new work to benefit festival
The work of a well-known local author is being paired with imagery from a Portland artist for a limited run piece to benefit the Terroir Creative Writing Festival of Yamhill County.
A poem by the late author Ursula Le Guin, who died in 2018 after a writing career spanning nearly 60 years, will be featured in a work known as a broadside, which is akin to a poster, as it features imagery and words on one side of the printing.
"A broadside is a poem or passage from literature presented in a way that gives it integrity and depth," artist and Terroir committee member Monica Setziol-Phillips said in a release. "This one is special not only because it is a poem by Ursula Le Guin, but because an artist has created the setting for it that makes it a piece of art, suitable for framing and hanging on a wall."
Le Guin's poem "Slick Rock Creek, September," first published in 1981, will appear on the broadsheet. Only 150 copies were printed and the signed copies will be sold for $25 each at Third Street Books and Currents Gallery in McMinnville, Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, Annie Bloom Books in Portland and the Rowboat Gallery in Pacific City.
The broadside will feature the work of Portland artist Margot Voorhies Thompson, who donated half her commission fee toward fundraising for the project. The broadsides were printed by Chris Chandler of Neu Haus Press in Portland.
Le Guin, a native of Yamhill, was known for her novels and poetry as well as her genre-bending novels. She gained critical attention for the 1968 novel "A Wizard of Earthsea," which was a fantasy novel for teenagers, and her 1969 novel "The Left Hand of Darkness," which explored themes of gender and sexuality on a foreign planet. That novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, which are given to fantasy or science fiction novels, making Le Guin the first woman to win these awards. Several of her works have since been adapted for the stage.
She was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000, having amassed dozens of awards and recognitions throughout her career. In 2014, she won the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Le Guin first became connected to the Terroir Creative Writing Festival in 2010, when she was the keynote speaker for the event. Her speech was arranged by the festival's founder and close friend, Barbara Drake.
"Ursula's appearance at that first festival definitely helped us attract a large audience and get Terroir off to a strong start. We are forever grateful for her generous support," Drake said.
Drake worked with Le Guin's family and publisher to get permission to use the poem for the broadside. Setziol-Phillips tracked down Voorhies Thompson to create an original piece for the work. Committee members applied for and received a grant from the Yamhill County Cultural Commission to produce the work.
The writing festival, an annual event sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County, brings writers from around the Northwest to the area each April. According to a press release, the aim of the festival "is to build a stronger literary community in Yamhill County by encouraging and spotlighting local writers while also making connections with the larger writing and publishing community outside the area."
The next festival will mark the 10th anniversary for the event, which has featured many speakers and authors from around Oregon. The 2019 event, which sold out, saw Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford and Courtenay Hameister as the keynote speakers.
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