@Literary Arts Recap: Loggernaut Reading Series: Gregory Spatz, Alicia Jo Rabins and Alexis M. Smith

Literary Arts hosted the Loggernaut Reading Series on November 21, bringing in artists Gregory Spatz, Alicia Jo Rabins, and Alexis M. Smith. This is the second time the Loggernaut has presented at Literary Arts. The theme of the evening was “writers' drive,” the motivations and momentums behind the art of writing.

Gregory Spatz kicked off the reading with excerpts from his short story “A Bear for Trying” (Half as Happy, 2013). The story opens memorably: “He just needed to get rid of all the little animals super-glued to his dashboard.” Spatz is the author of Inushuk, Fiddler’s Dream, No One But Us and Wonderful Tricks. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, Shenandoah, Epoch, Kenyon Review and New England Review. He teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and plays the fiddle in the twice Juno-nominated bluegrass band John Reischman and the Jaybirds.

Alicia Jo Rabins read a collection from yet unpublished poems. She draws her inspiration from ancient spiritual works as well as modern styles. Lately she has been composing poems in the form of self-help manuals: “How to Cross Country Ski,” “How to Confess an Affair,” and, in honor of the evening’s theme, “How to Drive.” Alicia is a poet, composer, and performer who tours internationally with her band, Girls in Trouble. Her poems appear in Ploughshares, 6x6, and Boston Review. She holds a MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson and a Masters in Jewish Studies from JTS. Her one-woman show about the intersection of mysticism and finance—A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff—will receive its West Coast premiere at Portland Playhouse in February 2014.

Alexis M. Smith read from her novel Glaciers (Tin House), a finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Awards. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her writing has appeared in Tarpaulin Sky and Powells.com. She read from her newest manuscript, a story about a girl returning to the San Juan Islands after a long absence, in the aftermath of a massive (fictional) earthquake in the San Juan Islands.

The evening closed with lively music, with Alicia on the fiddle and Gregory on the guitar. Thank you Gregory, Alicia, Alexis and Loggernaut Reading Series for a memorable evening.