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Portland celebrates words

170 authors lend talents to annual Wordstock Festival
by: COURTESY OF WORDSTOCK, 
The Wordstock Book Fair will be held at the Oregon Convention Center on Oct. 10 and 11.

Literature takes center stage for the Wordstock Festival, Oct. 3-11, at the Oregon Convention Center and other Portland locales.

The highlights are the Wordstock Book Fair, Oct. 10-11, and Chicago's 2nd Story as the festival's kickoff event Oct. 9.

Wordstock Festival will involve about 170 authors engaged in book sales, readings, discussion panels and workshops. The genres of food, memoir and youth adult will be featured.

The fifth annual Wordstock Book Fair will benefit Wordstock for Teachers, which trains writing teachers, and Wordstock for Kids, a program that works with Portland youth through the Right Brain Initiative. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 10-11 at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd., and it's $5 for adults (children 13-under free).

A hybrid of theater, storytelling and music, 2nd Story will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at McMenamins Bagdad Theater, 3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. Cost is $20.

Another highlight, the LiveWire Fifth Annual Wordstock Extravaganza, will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. Cost is $25.

Among the writers participating in the Wordstock Festival:

• Sherman Alexie, an acclaimed writer of poetry, short fiction, novels and adult fiction, who will read from his collection of short stories, 'War Dances.'

• Julia Glass, who won a National Book Award for her first novel, 'Three Junes,' which deals with family and relationships. Her recent book is 'I see You Everywhere.'

• James Ellroy, whose novels include 'The Black Dahlia,' 'L.A. Confidential' and the recently published 'Blood's A Rover.'

• Jeannette Walls, best-selling author of 'The Glass Castle,' who will present her new book, 'Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel.'

• Pete Dexter, screenwriter and author of 'Paris Trout.' His newest book is 'Spooner.'

• Jaquelyn Mitchard, who made the first-ever Oprah Book Club with 'The Deep End of the Ocean.'

• Ethan Canin, a teacher at Iowa Writer's Workshop and fiction author.

For more information, go to www.wordstockfestival.com.

- Jason Vondersmith