Free Literary Events at Eugene Public Library, September 2013

Bob Welch and Tom Penix present The Power of Story: An Illustrated Talk, at the Eugene Public Library

Bob Welch and Tom Penix present The Power of Story: An Illustrated Talk, at the Eugene Public Library, Sept. 15.

All events are free and open to the public.

More information: 541-682-5450 or

Novelist David Hascall
Thursday, September 12, 6 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
Eugene author David Hascall will read from his historical novel, The Longest Wooden Railroad: A Season of Embers. Set in 1929, it shows how a tiny lumber town in the Oregon Coast Range overcomes differences to build the longest-ever railroad track using lumber plank tracks instead of steel rail.

Initially mistrustful of outsiders, the townspeople realize their isolation must end to allow for future prosperity and progress. An entrepreneurial spirit helps to unite them, including the two main characters. Both female, their experiences reflect the 1920s as a remarkable decade of change for women. Hascall pits his characters against the weather, fire, kidnappings, and big business interests. Ultimately, he says, the story illustrates that when ordinary people pool their strength and resources to commit to a common goal, they can accomplish extraordinary things and become a true community.

The tale is based on a forgotten chapter in local history, when 16 miles of wooden railroad were built between Horton, Oregon and Territorial Highway near Junction City. Now living in Eugene, Hascall grew up in a town much like the one in his novel.

The Power of Story: An Illustrated Talk by Bob Welch and Tom Penix
Sunday, September 15, 2 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
Author Bob Welch and illustrator Tom Penix will share an illustrated talk inspired by their collaboration on the book The Keyboard Kitten: An Oregon Children’s Story. Welch will talk about how and why
“Stories inspire us, teach us, and move us emotionally. In short, they change our worlds,” at any age.

Welch and Penix met while working at The Register-Guard newspaper and became good friends, then partners in meshing their imaginations to create The Keyboard Kitten. The book tells the story of Matt, who longs to be a children’s author—but “he can’t write worth beans.” To make matters worse, he is bothered by an uninvited guest as he tries work on the book. Then suddenly Matt realizes that what he thought was a problem is actually his solution, creating a whimsical story of unlikely friendship and unexpected joy.

Welch is an award-winning columnist, the author of 16 books, and a popular inspirational speaker. He serves as an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon and is founder/director of the Beachside Writers Workshop. Penix is the assistant director of graphics and design at The Register-Guard who has won numerous awards for his work.

Windfall Reading: Geronimo Tagatac and Dan Raphael
Tuesday, September 17, 5:30 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
The Windfall Reading Series begins its season with writers Geronimo Tagatac and Dan Raphael.

Geronimo Tagatac’s collection of short fiction, The Weight of the Sun, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist. His work has been published in Writers Forum, The Northwest Review, Alternatives Magazine, Orion Magazine, and The Chautauqua Literary Review. Tagatac draws on many influences, including family background—a father from the Philippines and a Russian Jewish mother—as well as a wide-ranging career including stints as a Special Forces soldier, legislative consultant, dishwasher, cook, folksinger, computer system planner, modern and jazz dancer, and roofer. The Salem writer has traveled much of the world backpacking and received fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts and Fishtrap.

Dan Raphael is a prolific writer and a powerful and entertaining performer. The most recent of his 18 books are The State I’m In and Impulse and Warp: the Selected 20th Century Poems. He feels that his new manuscript, Like There’s No Tomorrow, includes some of his best writing ever. In addition to working a “day job” at the DMV, Raphael edited NRG Magazine for 17 years, published 26 books by regional writers, and coordinated a monthly reading series in a bookstore for 13 years. Recently, he has begun leading workshops to teach authors how to perform their work.

The Windfall Reading Series is sponsored by Eugene Public Library, Lane Literary Guild, Friends of Eugene Public Library, Eugene Public Library Foundation, and Cultural Services Division of Lane Arts Council. Refreshments served at intermission.

Banned Books Week Read-Outs at Eugene and Springfield Public Libraries
Saturday, September 21, 1-3 p.m., Springfield Public Library
Saturday, September 28, 1-3 p.m., Eugene Public Library
To celebrate free speech and honor defenders of First Amendment rights, the Lane County Chapter of ACLU of Oregon and local public libraries will host two Banned Books Read-Out events. Admission is free.

On Saturday, September 21, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., catch the Banned Books Read-Out at Springfield Public Library, 225 5th Street, inside Springfield City Hall, kicked off by Library Director Rob Everett. On Saturday, September 28, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., hear the Banned Books Read-Out at the Downtown Eugene Public Library, with Library Director Connie Bennett as the first reader.

Both events will feature a variety of community members reading aloud passages from books that have been challenged or banned. Everyone is invited to stop by to listen, borrow targeted books from the libraries, and pin on free “I Read Banned Books” buttons.

Many people are under the impression that attempted censorship is a thing of the past or that “it doesn’t happen here.” In fact, individuals and groups continue to request—or demand—that public and school libraries remove or restrict access to particular books, music, films, and other resources. For information about recent censorship attempts in Oregon, visit the ACLU of Oregon website: For more information about the local Banned Books Read-Out events, contact Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 or Springfield Public Library at 541-726-3766.


Writer Brian Doyle
Sunday, September 22, 2 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
Brian Doyle is an audience favorite whose talk about his life and work as a writer will include “headlong tales and chanted snippets of work having to do with miraculous and hilarious children, adamant hawks, excellent shoes, the snarl of war, the prayer of laughter, the salt and song and shaggy grace of Oregonness, brief lessons in basic Gaelic, side jaunts into why basketball is the coolest of sports, and other pressing matters.”

Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland—according to Annie Dillard, “the finest spiritual magazine in America.” He is the author of 13 books, 7 of which have been recognized as finalists for the Oregon Book Awards, including his novel Mink River.

His appearance at Eugene Public Library is part of the Oregon Book Awards Author Tour, a program of Literary Arts.


Writer Peter Brown Hoffmeister
Tuesday, September 24, 6 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
Writer Peter Brown Hoffmeister will read from his new novel, Graphic the Valley and “tell dirtbag stories about Yosemite Valley.”

Hoffmeister’s fiction collection, Loss, won the 2006 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. His first book, The End of Boys, was a GoodReads End-Of-Year selection, and was followed by Let Them Be Eaten By Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into the Great Outdoors. He is currently at work on his second novel.

A writer, rock climber, Nike gear tester, and public speaker, Hoffmeister also teaches literature, creative writing, outdoor pursuits, and survival at South Eugene High School.

Tween Scene Book Group
Thursday, September 26, 4 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
This month’s book is The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel, by Rick Riordan and Orpheus Collar.
In this action-packed tale, two children make a dangerous worldwide journey to find their father, an archaeologist who has accidentally unleashed an ancient Egyptian god. For grades 4 through 6. Pre-register and pick up the book at the Children’s Center starting September 1.

Teen Book Group
Thursday, September 26, 4 p.m., Downtown Eugene Public Library, 10th & Olive
This month’s book is Just One Day by Gayle Forman. In this novel, careful, planful Allyson meets free-spirited Willem, and changes her life by spontaneously accepting his invitation to travel to Paris together. For middle and high school ages. Visit the Downtown Teen Desk to pre-register and pick up your copy of the book starting September 1.