The Independent Publishing Resource Center is an invaluable tool for Portland and Oregon artists and writers. It not only provides a print shop, a binding machine, and a research station, it also has a zine library that covers over 60 years and has over 6,000 self-published and independently produced materials. The center provides outreach efforts through the Media Action Project, provides lectures and workshops to the community, and, through access to their resources and tools, has helped hundreds of people create independently published art and media.
Justin Hocking is the Executive Director of the IPRC. In 2007, he founded the IPRC’s Media Action Project, which empowers teens with media literacy, critical thinking, and self-publishing skills. Each year, the Media Action Project helps transform thousands of youth from passive media consumers to more active, engaged creators of media and culture. Hocking is also the cofounder of the IPRC’s yearlong Certificate Program in Creating Writing and Independent Publishing, a unique and innovative program that combines graduate level writing workshops with hands-on intensives in book arts, graphic design, and self-publishing, with optional credit available from the University of Oregon. Beginning in 2015, he will help launch a new low-residency MFA program in Wilderness Writing at Eastern Oregon University.
Hocking is the author of numerous books, zines, and other publications. His memoir, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld (Graywolf Press) is a 2014 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Wonderworld received starred reviews in Kirkus and The Library Journal, and was hailed by Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Junot Diaz, who writes, “This beautiful memoir is beyond cool.” His short fiction, essays and articles have also appeared in Orion, The Rumpus, Portland Monthly, The Normal School, Rattapallax, and elsewhere.
Because of his contribution to the creative community, Willamette Writers believes that Justin Hocking and the IPRC are definitely deserving of this year’s Humanitarian Award.
The winners of the Annual Awards are chosen by the Willamette Writers Board each spring.