Book cover for Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life By David Biespiel

Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces:

For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life

By David Biespiel

 

Here is the classic book, re-issued for its tenth anniversary with a new Foreword by novelist Chuck Palahniuk.

This book cracks open the creative process and invites readers to take a fresh look at the mysterious pathways of the imagination. Acclaimed poet and critic David Biespiel candidly tracks his own development as a writer and challenges traditional assumptions about writing that can stifle creativity. The liberating message:

Working past the brink of failure —being free to try and discard and try again—is what allows the creative process to playfully flourish, keeping the spirit open to unexpected discoveries.

Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces will revolutionize the way readers look at their own creative process. It is a rich and rewarding book, a captivating glimpse into the inner life of writers and painters—and above all, a guide to a lifetime of discovery.

 

ISBN 978-0-9827838-4-9

(March 2020)

 

Book cover for Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life By David Biespiel

A Way Home: Oregon Essays

Scott F. Parker
Drawings by Alex Hirsch

If the Japanese poet Basho took a walk on a West Coast beach. . . If Lao Tzu were your hiking buddy. . . This book might be the result. What is it that draws us to love our places, our moments? What is this longing, what is this beauty? Is it real? Or is it just a trick of nostalgia?

A Way Home is a love letter to Oregon and an ode to living in the present moment. Living for several years in Minnesota, Scott Parker finds himself longing for the Oregon of his youth. He explores this longing by returning to his home state both over the course several visits and through the unfolding of memory, to find out what he is capable of understanding about time, home, and himself. The temptation of nostalgia is regarded from many angles – rueful, ironic, yet always still beckoning. Its antidote: being present in the actual moment, with its paradoxes and mixed blessings. Parker’s passion for his subject is apparent, and his meditations prove him to be a nimble and penetrating thinker on absence and presence.

Advance praise for A Way Home

Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW):

“captivating”!

Parker writes with consuming intelligence, but beauty takes precedence in his imagery and prose. The lack of conclusion to many of these bewitching essays follows the theme of restlessness perfectly; the author is committed to thinking through an idea rather than pinning it down to one thing, much to his benefit.

A deftly composed collection that evokes, even in its specificity, the feeling of a place that may have only existed in memory.

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Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of the Wasted Day:

Scott Parker has done something wonderfully fresh in this memoir/essay. Portland and Oregon (coast and woodland) are his beloved birthplace, but he is only a visitor now, to the past as well as the place. His visits—by train across the continent, on foot in a brave (and comic) wilderness hike, and finally in a series of brief lyric prose pieces annotating beloved locales—provide enduring meditations that resonate far beyond his own geography into the haunts of a meditative mind reminiscent of the great searching essayists.

A deft and valuable journey, not “nostalgic” (he takes on that literary sin with élan) but gripping in a fully contemporary voice.

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Robin Cody, author of Ricochet River and Voyage of a Summer Sun:

Born and raised in Oregon, Scott Parker goes away and comes back—and comes back again—to what’s left of the wild waters and wide beaches and deep green woods of The Great North Wet. By turns exuberant, philosophical, and optimistic, Parker writes lyrically about place. Braided closely together are his probes of humankind in nature and his own drive to find himself. Who says you can’t come home again? Of course you can.

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A Way Home: Oregon Essays by Scott F. Parker with drawings by Alex Hirsch

ISBN 978-0-9827838-3-2

$18.00 / 186 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time

Praise for Come Shining:

This book gives citizens of a dark time a glittering crown of light—testimony, resonant questions, stories of engagement with confusion, and songs of restoration. Following an introduction by David Oates setting the book’s offerings in the tradition of deep thinkers from Hannah Arendt to Adrienne Rich, Come Shining delivers one articulate companion after another in our mutual pilgrimage toward a new way to be a community, a nation, and a world. These are not feel-good reassurances; they are sustaining reports of struggle, inquiry, and vision—a book for the backpack of a traveler toward our better destiny.

–Kim Stafford, author of The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems

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Come Shining lays bare all that we have felt but not often spoken since fall of 2016. It’s as if the lid was lifted off the deepest well and all the griefs came rushing out—political, civic, literary, familial, spiritual. What gratitude I feel toward these writers who have the stamina and presence of mind to call out to us as we wander this dark and uncertain path. It reminds us we are not so alone.

–Wendy Willis, Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium Author of A Long Late Pledge (Bear Star Press)

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“We write in hope” proclaims David Oates, publisher and contributor to this soulful collection of poetry and prose that seeks to reclaim public space and citizenship through the “commons” of reading and writing. The authors write words that are raw and true to emotion and pain – but also to life, hope, and beauty. In times of despair, Come Shining affirms the “true word” as an act of resistance.

–Lois Ann Lorentzen, Academic Director, Master in Migration Studies Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of the American Academy of Religion Associate Editor, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice

Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time

ISBN 978-0-9827838-2-5

$12.00 / 135 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

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A Natural History of Now

A Natural History of Now: reports from the edge of nature

Edited by Sara J. Call and Jennifer Li-Yen Douglas

A collection of new nature writing that challenges the genre — edgy, humane, deeply implicated in the dying world that is renewing itself around us daily. From the University of Montana’s Environmental Writing Program and writers from all over the US.

Advance praise for A Natural History of Now:

“An underwater Christ, how to lasso a kittiwake, Egyptian flies, bugling elk, a man who shoots poachers, vegetarians dismantling pigs … Welcome to a book far removed from the orthodox bucolic, mannered, and self-absorbed Nature Essay. These pieces are startling, funny, piercing, and often unforgettable. My advice: buy this book, eat it over the weekend, and then give it to someone who will dig it. Which will be everyone.”

— Brian Doyle, author of Mink River

ISBN 978-0-9827838-1-8

$10 / 141 pages

Distributor: Ingram

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Every Writer Has A Thousand Faces And from nationally-recognized poet and columnist David Biespiel–

Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: for writers, artists, musicians, dancers, & anyone else who leads a creative life.

A smart and loving look at what unlocks the creative process, from the founder of Portland’s Attic Workshop, home to a dynamic stable of inspired teachers and writers.

ISBN 978-0-9827838-0-1

$9.95 / 113 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

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What We Love Will Save Us What We Love Will Save Us

What We Love Will Save Us offers moments of transcendence and hope, told in personal essays that are tender and funny, searching and human. This book is about keeping faith and experiencing darkness: There’s a random dangerous rightness abroad in this wide shining world. It’s a rightness, not a correctness.  We don’t need so much to counter other people’s errors as to bring the light and joy of that right and beautiful world:  what we desire for our planet and ourselves. What we are doing instead of hating and denying and bombing. Our job is to work on what we love. Daily. With precision and determination. David Oates finds wildness and grace breaking out in unexpected places – from city streets to mountain peaks – offering a crucial balance to his dramatically personal account of what it has been like to be a “citizen of the regime” during eight years of unprecedented propaganda, torture, waste, and war. What is the right response, when the government that belongs to us goes seriously off course? How does a person’s private and creative life relate to the life we share in common? Brief and beautifully intense lyrical essays explore hope, pleasure, and creativity (and the outrage that must never be allowed to eclipse them).  Readable, memorable, smart but straight from the heart – these essays give voice to our shared experience of a dark and frustrating time in the nation’s life. They should find a wide audience.

Praise from advance readers:

“What We Love Will Save Us is a journey.  David Oates knows what kind of place he’s looking for—a place for hope and truth, imagination and renewal. What We Love Will Save Us is. . . compact and expansive, erudite and carnal, playful and angry and full of subjunctive dreaming and inescapable facts.”

– Ana Maria Spagna, author of Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: a Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey and

Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw.

“Personal honesty, humor, zinger endings. . . This is a stirring, creative collection of essays stoked with ideas, some of them urgently of our time and place, some timeless. People with regard for language will reread passages for their genuinely beautiful writing. I got a lump in my throat (and had to take a walk) after I read the final six words: ‘Brief lists, perseverance, and long vistas.’ AMEN. A mantra for our century.”

– Jeff Gersh,  founder and principal of NarrativeLab Communications

“There is a tightly wound lyricism to these very American essays, crafted out of bumps and bruises and sheer joys.  David Oates is a writer companion you’ll want to have as you hike across this beleaguered planet – testy on the switchbacks but more than congenial around the fire; at the end of the day, he always chooses the best campsite.”

– Paul J. Willis, author of Bright Shoots of Everlastingness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild.

ISBN 978-0-615-31419-8

$11.95 / 191 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution