Friday, October 15, 2010

Wordstock Literary Festival

Kilong Ung and Margaret Chula, Wordstock 2010
On October 9, a large crowd gathered in the Wordstock room at the Expo Center in Portland Oregon to hear Kilong Ung and me read from our new books. I began with poems from What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps, illustrated by posters of quilts by my collaborator Cathy Erickson. Kilong read from his memoir Golden Leaf, A Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor. The audience was in tears hearing about his last moments with his mother before his parents were taken away and killed. Only he and his sister survived. Our readings were a departure from the plethora of coming-of-age novels and New York Times best seller authors, offering a more reflective and somber note to the weekend of literary events.

Powells' Books sponsored a book signing following each reading. It was fun to meet the other author's who had presented at the same time as me. Because there were six events each hour, I was unable to hear many of my favorite author's read, which was frustrating.

Margaret Chula booksigning at Powell's Books
The high jinx of Wordstock occurred at the Authors' Party held the evening before at the Cleaner's Event Space adjacent to the Ace Hotel. Wine and conversation flowed smoothly and laughter bounced off the walls and ceiling.

I met Chelsea Cain outside the Ace Hotel. We were wearing the same lacy short dress; hers was pastel blue, mine black. This definitely called for a photo!

Margaret Chula and Chelsea Cain hamming it up

Laura Winter and Margaret Chula

Then there was Laura Winter, performance artist and poet. We had a good time perched in the corner, our wine and cheese waiting on the windowsill as we talked about our creative ventures and "Po Business".

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1 comment:

  1. Margaret, that was a fantastic session. I loved it when the audience had to be asked by Wordstock to leave the room so the next session could start. We could have gone another hour and the audience would have stayed with us.