Mountain Writers Series



Watch our web page for announcements about upcoming events and workshops in Portland and on the Oregon Coast. 



November 2018



Clem Starck & Friends

 Tolovana Arts Colony & Mountain Writers Series
present an evening of poetry and music
to celebrate the launch of Clem's new book of poetry 
Cathedrals & Parking Lots: Collected Poem

 Clem Starck Reading Poetry
with Music by Fisher Poets
Jon Broderick & Jay Speakman

Friday, 7:00 PM, November 16, 2018
Tolovana Hall
3779 S. Hemlock, Cannon Beach OR


Clemens Starck is a Princeton dropout, a former merchant seaman and reporter on Wall Street. He has worked at many jobs, but mostly as a union carpenter and construction foreman on the West Coast—San Francisco, British Columbia, and Oregon. His first book of poems, Journeyman’s Wages, received the 1996 Oregon Book Award as well as the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. His next two books – Studying Russian on Company Time (1999) and China Basin (2002) – were also finalists for the Oregon Book Award. Traveling Incognito, a letterpress chapbook from Wood Works in Seattle, appeared in 2004, and his book of poetry, Rembrandt, Chainsaw, was published in the fall of 2011. He lives on forty-some acres in the country outside of Dallas, Oregon, in the mid-Willamette Valley. 



Starck will be joined by noted Fisher Poet Musicians Jon Broderick and Jay Speakman, founders of the annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. Together they will perform their unique blend of spare musical accompaniment alongside Starck's engaging poetry that draws on his life as a Merchant Seaman and journeyman carpenter.




Jay Speakman packs about three dozen harmonicas and plays most of them during shows.  He's a bluesman, he's a cowboy, he's a gypsy, he's a heavy loaded freight train going up a steep hill, he's heavy traffic on El Camino Real.  He writes lyrics that take listeners downeast to the mackereling and lobstering grounds off the Maine coast,  to the harbors and halibut grounds of the Gulf of Alaska.   He gave us Mechanico "the voice of NOAA weather radio" and the Skookum Troller who "cuts through the water like she's eatin' pie."  







Jon Broderick's guitar and occasional old-time banjo playing keep the sound friendly and back porch.  With melodies both manouche and American, his songs travel from the mudflats of Bristol Bay, through southeast Alaska's narrow channels,  clear to the bistros of the Silicon Valley.   He brings "Les Yeux Noirs" to the cannery, "Auld Lang Syne" to a distant Alaskan future and Texas swing to Nushagak Bay.  If he pulls his tin whistle out, hold your breath.









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