First a few words about what Potlatch is and isn't. Potlatch is a small, convivial convention for science fiction readers and writers -- we expect about 150 people, mostly from the West Coast. There will be one track of programming, a hospitality suite, a small dealers' room (all books), and a dance. We will also be providing the writers' workshops and Clarion West benefit auction that are traditional for Potlatch. But there will be no masquerade, no art show, no video program, and no formal gaming or filksinging.
Potlatch is the kind of convention where everyone knows everyone (or, if you don't, you soon will). It's the kind of convention where, in effect, everyone is on the program and everyone is on the committee. It's not the kind of convention where you go to sit and watch big-name media stars. We make our own fun at Potlatch, and we think that hand-made fun is the best kind. (Rubber stamps, anyone?)
Potlatch was born in Seattle and has been held alternately in Seattle and the Bay Area since its inception; this is the first Potlatch held in Portland. We feel that Potlatch and Portland were made for each other. Both are small, clean, friendly, a bit out of the mainstream, perhaps even a little quirky (but we like it that way). People tell us that Portland fans put on good conventions; we think that Potlatch is a good convention, so we're putting one on.
Each city's Potlatch has its own personality; Portland's goal is to be "just like the other Potlatches, only sillier." To this end, we plan a Lionel Fanthorpe panel and/or turkey readings on Friday night, and Portland's famous "Whose Line Is It Anyway" improv game show to wrap up the convention on Sunday. Between those two bookends we will have a chewy, thought-provoking program leavened with odd bits of microprogramming, ad-hoc discussions, spontaneous dinner and shopping expeditions (we're within walking distance of Powell's, the world's largest bookstore), and lots and lots of good conversation.
I'll turn you over now to the rest of the committee, who will give you tons more details on why you want to come to Portland for Potlatch 5.
In part because this Potlatch is being held in Portland, Ursula Le Guin springs immediately to mind. Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Samuel Delany, Vonda McIntyre, Greg Bear, and Thomas Disch are some of other people who fit these criteria. How has their use of science fiction as a mirror on the present changed as the world has changed? (Do they even write science fiction anymore?) How have their creative choices changed over time?
We've looked for people who have been publishing for a long time (to represent the past), who are still publishing (to represent the present), and who remain creative and engaged (to represent the future). The list may include some people you question or disagree with. We do this not to provide lightning rods for scapegoating, but to challenge ourselves.
Can you suggest some more authors? If so, please also let us know which works you think are the most interesting examples.
Some possible panels which we may (or may not!) put together:
NEWS FLASH! As of October 16, 1995 the Dealer's Room is sold out. We will have the following dealers: Wrigley-Cross Books (2 tables), Dave & Linda Bray (2 tables), NESFA (1 table), and Lady Jayne's (1 table).
If you are new to workshopping, the Taste of Clarion is probably your best option. This will take the form of an equal number of new and published writers, and will be a supportive learning experience. If you have already had experience with workshops, then the Recombinant workshop may interest you. This will take the form of a small peer workshop in the Clarion style. Submit up to 3500 words in manuscript format, and specify your choice of workshop.
In addition, we are offering an opportunity to workshop a novel synopsis this year. This will take the form of the Taste of Clarion workshop, and will provide feedback on plot structure, character and milieu interest, and reader reaction to your novel. Submit up to ten pages of detailed synopsis. Do not submit sample chapter(s).
There is a five-dollar charge to cover copy and distribution costs. Submit short stories or synopses and your fee by January 5 to: Mary Rosenblum, 9100 SE 152nd Ave., Portland, OR 97236.
More weatherproof pleasures that could be worked into your trip to Potlatch: the Broadway production of Kiss of the Spider Woman with Chita Rivera is at the Civic Auditorium January 30-February 4th. Portland Center Stage, offspring of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, presents A Midsummer Night's Dream January 6-February 10, including a noon performance on the Thursday of Potlatch.
Dozens of art galleries have openings and special events the evening of First Thursday (i.e. Potlatch weekend). Many of them are clustered along 1st Avenue south of Burnside, or near Powell's, so walking is feasible.
But back to the weather thing. Yes, it will probably rain. You may prefer this to the alternative: turquoise skies and viciously cold winds scouring out of the Gorge. Sometimes early February brings the only snowstorm of the year; sometimes I plant primroses on Valentine's Day and they thrive until summer. In other words, my friends, it's a crap shoot.
If downpours catch you unawares, you can pick up a cheap folding umbrella at Newberry's five-and-dime or luxuriate in a wooden-handled model from John Helmer's Haberdasher just 5 blocks from the hotel, and get on with your weekend. Theres plenty of places to duck inside for a comforting latte.
Although Portland's downtown is alive and thriving (even on weekends), there's no reason to limit yourself to the west side of the river. The Hawthorne neighborhood, just a 20-minute bus ride away, is good for hours of dabbling around (Donya & Allen will back us up on this). Between 30th and 43rd streets, which is 15-minute walk if you didn't stop anywhere (hah!) there are multiple used CD/record shops, a cat shop, dog shop, toy shop, women's bookstores, mystery bookstore, a general branch of Powell's and the Powell's Cookbook Store, and at least four other purveyors of pre-viewed pages. Second Story Books, on the ground floor, emphasizes the Beat generation and Gertrude Stein's crowd. Stop by the Bagdad Theatre Pub for a pint of thick apple cider, a slice of pizza, and a look at the intricate artwork covering the walls and ceiling. Later, settle in and admire your finds over dessert, a pint of ale, or some hearty Irish stew at County Cork. Hawthorne has gargoyles, goddesses, mandolins, cute Japanese dildos, and a semi-dormant volcano at the end of the street. Something for everyone!
(Note: many of these places are closed Mondays.)
We are only two hours' drive from the coast, though that will put you in Seaside or Cannon Beach, notable for being, well, the closest points to Portland, with all the salt-water taffy and bumper car emporia that implies. Head up the coast another 20 miles and you're in Astoria, at the very NW tip of the state, where the Columbia meets the Pacific (and is crossed by one heckuva big bridge). The Maritime Museum there is impressive and fascinating; someday I want to go back and explore the lightship moored outside. It's 160 steps up the Astoria Column to a panoramic view of the town and the river. The wreck of the Peter Iredale, sinking into the sands since 1906, is right by a parking area in Ft. Stevens State Park.
Or head south to Newport. The new Oregon Coast Aquarium is really really keen. The Hatfield Marine Science Center next door to it should have info on whale-watching tours, or try Deep Sea Trollers in Depoe Bay. At the Sylvia Beach Hotel, you can choose from the Emily Dickinson room, the Edgar Allan Poe room (with pendulum), the F. Scott Fitzgerald room, etc. Rooms are small but the library is well-stocked with armchairs, books, and jigsaw puzzles. Dinner at the big family-style tables is worthwhile. Theres also good Japanese food 10 miles further south at Yuzen in Seal Rock.
I hope I have whetted your appetite for a visit to Portland, during Potlatch and beyond. Remember, if there's anything in particular youd like to know about, feel free to contact me through the con address or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All phone numbers are (503).
Kiss of the Spider Woman: Ticketmaster, 244-4400.
Portland Center Stage: 274-6588.
Columbia River Maritime Museum: 325-2323
Oregon Coast Aquarium: 867-3474
Hatfield Marine Science Center: 867-0100
Deep Sea Trollers: 765-2248
Sylvia Beach Hotel: 265-5428
As at previous Potlatch Auctions, autographed galleys are welcome, of course; still, this year we're hoping to expand the variety of auctionable items. Creativity and "one of a kindness" are encouraged. Our goal: $3,000 raised for the Clarion West Scholarship Fund.
Send your donations to (note new email address):
Clarion West Scholarship Auction
c/o Mark Bourne
6233 SE 40th
Portland, OR 97202
Make your reservations directly with the hotel and make sure to tell them you are with Potlatch. We have only a limited number of rooms in each category, so now is the time to make your reservation to be sure of getting what you want.
Rates are somewhat complicated as follows:
Single (double bed) $65 Double (1 queen bed) $70 Double (twin beds) $75 Double (2 double beds) $85 Double (king bed) $90 Triple/quad (double beds) $90
Imperial HotelA traditional brunch will be held Sunday morning at 10:00 am. Space will be limited, so guarantee a spot for yourself by sending your payment to the Potlatch address as soon as possible. The cost for the buffet style meal will be $13.25, including gratuity. The final menu may vary slightly from the following:
400 S.W. Broadway (at Stark)
Portland, OR 97205
Fax (503) 223-4551
Chilled juiceThis brunch will sell out.
Barbecued Salmon Tidbits
Get your reservation early!
Among other events, there will be a dessert and sparkling wine and chocolate tasting late Saturday night. (Oregon has some very good sweet wines!)
Supporting memberships (for anyone who can't come but wants to receive the mailings, at-con publications, and a warm fuzzy feeling inside) are $15. Feel free to ask about sliding scale if you or someone you know might be in need.
We will have badges and I'm looking forward to collecting interesting decorating materials. Feel free to bring more or offer suggestions on what to have available.
On a duller, but more serious note. For those who need to know: this PR2 was composed in Adobe Pagemaker 6. Illustrations were created in Adobe Photoshop 3.0.4. Typefaces used were Caslon 540, Caslon 3, and Poetica Supplements. Any questions or comments about the look or style of this publication should be directed to:
Elizabeth Bourne(Elizabeth's files were lovingly hand-converted to HTML by David Levine, email@example.com.)
6233 SE 40th
Portland, OR 97202
PO Box 5703
Portland Oregon 97228-5703
Phone: (503) 232-1727
Elizabeth L. Bourne: Publications
Mark Bourne: Clarion Auction
Debbie Cross: Hotel
Jane Hawkins: Programming
David Levine: Chair
John Lorentz: Hospitality (and beer)
Luke McGuff: Programming
Mary Rosenblum: Writers' Workshops
Ruth Sachter: Registration
Marc Wells: Dance
Patty Wells: Microprogramming
Paul Wrigley: Dealers & Treasurer
Kate Yule: Opinionated Local
Greg Abraham Terry Floyd John Lorentz Ruth Sachter John C. Andrews Page Fuller Luke T. McGuff Sharon Sbarsky Shirley Atkins Richard Garfinkle Vonda N. McIntyre Karen Schaffer Karen E. Babich Marcia G. Marci Malinowycz Ariel Shattan Freddie Baer Jeanne Gomoll Louise Marley Delia Sherman Allen J. Baum Sarah Goodman Paul E. Molander Kevin Standlee Dee Berry Ian K. Hagemann Devon Monk Judy L. Tucker Alan Bostick Jane E. Hawkins Jim Nichols Amy Thomson Sheila L. Bostick Pat Henderson Debbie Notkin Anthony D. Ward Elizabeth L. Bourne Bill Humphries Carol Nussbaum Michael J. Ward Mark Bourne Mary Kay Kare Barbara Oldham Marc Wells David Bratman Alessandra Kelley Lyn Paleo Patty Wells Suzy McKee Charnas Ellen Kushner Spike Parsons Donya White Mara Charnell Janet Lafler Berni Phillips Tom Whitmore Debbie Cross Jane S. Larsen D. Potter Art Widner Scott Custis David Levine Neil Rest Paul Wrigley Pamela Davis Ursula K. LeGuin Mary H. Rosenblum Kate Yule Lise Eisenberg Hope Leibowitz Anita M. Rowland Sue Yule Doug Faunt David Librik
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