Welcome to the 6th Annual Ashland Literary Arts Festival! This year’s event focuses on independent story and thought throughout the entire Cascadia region, celebrating not only books, but all forms of expression: literature, poetry, journalism, art, lyrics, comics, film, and documentary. We invite you to come on in, explore the festival schedule, and find the stories that speak to you!

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Workshop [clear filter]
Saturday, October 28


Teaching Poetry to Build Community and Consciousness

In his famous poem “Like You,” Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton wrote, “I believe the world is beautiful/and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.” This workshop will demonstrate how poetry is for everyone and that through poetry our students’ lives—the “landscape and bread” of their homes, their ancestors, their struggles, and joys—are invited into classrooms as subjects worthy of study. Students’ histories as members of a particular race, class, neighborhood, or even illness become part of our classroom anthology. During this workshop, participants will reclaim any part of our lives that society has degraded, humiliated, or shamed, and raise it up, share it, and sing praises to that “unanimous blood/of those who struggle.”

avatar for Linda Christensen

Linda Christensen

Director of the Oregon Writing Project, Lewis & Clark College
Linda Christensen has taught high school Language Arts and worked as Language Arts Curriculum Specialist for almost 40 years. She is currently the Director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark. She is the author of Teaching for Joy & Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts... Read More →


Saturday October 28, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Room 206 Hannon Library, Second Floor


Writing with Kids: Fostering Creativity and Tomorrow's Culture
Kids are naturally creative. In this session, we'll discuss ways to honor and nourish their active imaginations, how to encourage the quirky right brain into collaboration with the more methodical left. Author Molly Best Tinsley describes the rewards of crafting a middle-grade novel in collaboration with her grandchildren and maps out three ingredients essential to strong narrative regardless of a writer's age. Kim Neiswanger shares the insights she gleaned from coaching her second-grade students through the phases of making individual books, from writing and illustration to actual publication. We'll have time at the end to experiment with stimulating writing prompts.


Kim Neiswanger

Teacher, Ruch Community School
Kim Neiswanger is in her 8th year as a primary teacher at Ruch Community School. She is a teacher consultant for the Oregon Writing Project. Her passion is teaching creative writing. As a result of this passion, her students have become published authors.

Molly Tinsley

Publisher, FUZE Press
Having taught creative writing for thirty years and published the textbook, The Creative Process, Molly Best Tinsley has led countless workshops in various aspects of narrative technique.  Eight years ago, she co-founded an independent press, Fuze, and has been the chief editor... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 117 Hannon Library First Floor


Thousand Ways to Kiss the Ground: Writing the Dervish Essay
This workshop will explore an exciting new form called the dervish essay, which is often driven by anaphora in headlong gallops of language. Inspired by a number of trips to Turkey and the works of Rumi, the dervish essay builds off of and plays with whirlwinds of language toward creating new prose and poetical forms that rely less on rational thought and meaning than the chemical urgencies of poetical language. This form seeks nothing less than to unlock the deep mysteries of joy hidden inside every human heart


Robert Vivian

Author, Timberline Review
Robert Vivian is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy: The Mover Of Bones, Lamb Bright Saviors, and Another Burning Kingdom, in addition to the novel Water And Abandon. His newest collection of dervish essays is Mystery My Country from Anchor Plume Press (April 2016). He’s... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 329 Hannon Library Third Floor