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Media Coverage – 2017

Magic Barrel preview – Fighting hunger with hope
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Oct. 26, 2017

Magic Barrel is Back!
The Corvallis Advocate, Oct. 25, 2017

Press Release – 2017

Download the 2017 Magic Barrel press release here, or read it now:

The Magic Barrel Mixes in Electric Guitar, Singing, and a Jazz Quintet for 24th Annual Event

Fundraiser taps well-known musicians Audrey Perkins and Dave Feinberg, along with literary lights Kathleen Dean Moore, Clem Starck and John Daniel


DATE: October 16, 2017

Media Contact: Gregg Kleiner, magicbarrelreading@gmail.com

CORVALLIS, Ore – Among the nine Oregon authors reading at the 24th annual Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger on Friday, October 27 will be Portland storyteller/musician Nick Jaina, accompanying his nonfiction with live electric guitar, playwright David Turkel, reading an excerpt from his play that premiered last March in France at the Théâtre National de Nice and local writer Kathleen Dean Moore bringing her new novel to life with help from ever-popular singer Audrey Perkins.

Other authors include novelist and nonfiction writer John Daniel, winner of three Oregon Book Awards; Princeton drop-out and award-winning poet Clem Starck; Eugene memoirist Michael Copperman, whose memoir chronicles his experiences teaching fourth grade in the rural black schools of the Mississippi Delta; Portland poet Cindy Williams Gutiérrez; fiction writer and OSU professor Susan Jackson Rodgers and Corvallis poet Bonnie Arning.

Live music will be served up before the show and during intermission by the Cooper Hollow Jazz Quintet, made up of local musicians Dave Feinberg (piano), Fred Berman (sax), Brian Buccolo (drums), David Clausnitzer (trumpet) and Mark Bielman (upright bass). The music will start at 6:30 p.m., and readings begin at 7.

This year’s emcee is Karelia Stetz-Waters, chair of the English Dept. at Linn-Benton Community College and a contemporary lesbian romance writer whose novels include For Good, Something True, The Admirer, The Purveyor and Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before.

The annual event, which raises thousands of dollars for Linn Benton Food Share, is an evening of live literary readings, music, food and drinks at the historic Whiteside Theater, a 1920s Italian Renaissance movie palace in downtown Corvallis.

“If you think literary events are dull or stuffy, you’ve never been to The Magic Barrel,” said Gregg Kleiner, Corvallis writer who serves on the Barrel’s all-volunteer steering committee.” This has become one of the most dynamic, well-attended and entertaining literary events in Oregon, and it’s all for such an important cause. Come out and listen to stories and music while celebrating community and connection – all of which we need more than ever these days.”

Tickets cost $12 in advance and can be purchased online at magicbarrel.org. If any seats are left on the day of the event, tickets will be sold at the door for $15 (cash only).

Squirrel’s Tavern will offer beer, wine and hard cider for sale. The authors will greet listeners and sign books, which will be available for purchase from Grass Roots Books and Music at the event.

All proceeds after costs go to Linn Benton Food Share, which welcomes additional donations online or at the door.

The event takes its name from a short story by Bernard Malamud, a major American fiction writer who taught writing at Oregon State from 1949 to 1961.

The Magic Barrel is supported by the Oregon Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University, by cash and in-kind donations from local merchants and restaurants and by hundreds of generous patrons.

This year’s Magic Barrel lineup:

Bonnie Arning is a poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose first collection of poetry, Escape Velocity, was selected for the Mountain West Poetry Series in the spring of 2017. She currently lives and teaches in Corvallis.

Michael Copperman’s memoir, Teacher, about his experiences teaching fourth grade in the rural black schools of the Mississippi Delta, was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2016 and comes out in paperback in the spring of 2018. He lives in Eugene and teaches at the University of Oregon.

John Daniel, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, has taught as a writer-in-residence at colleges and universities across the country. Gifted, his first novel, came out in Spring 2017 from Counterpoint. He lives with his wife, Marilyn Daniel, in the Coast Range foothills west of Eugene, Oregon.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, who was selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as a 2014 Notable Debut Poet, received a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship. Her poetry collection, the small claim of bones (Bilingual Press), placed second in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Her play Words That Burn received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama. She lives in Portland.

Nick Jaina is an author and musician whose 2016 memoir Get It While You Can was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Nonfiction. He has produced 11 albums and founded a ballet company in New York City called Satellite Collective. He has toured the world performing a mixture of storytelling and songs, and also teaches writing to high schools, mystics and prisoners.

Kathleen Dean Moore is the author or co-editor of a dozen books, most recently Great Tide Rising and Piano Tide, winner of the WILLA Award for fiction. Formerly Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University, she now writes and speaks full-time about the moral and existential emergencies of climate disruption and global extinction. Her reading will be accompanied by Audrey Perkins.

Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of two story collections, The Trouble with You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6, and a novel, This Must Be the Place. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, and Prairie Schooner. She teaches creative writing and directs the MFA program at Oregon State University.

Clemens Starck is a Princeton drop-out, a former merchant seaman, a retired union carpenter and construction foreman and the author of six books of poems, including the award-winning Journeyman’s Wages (1995) and Old Dogs, New Tricks (2016). He lives outside of Dallas in the foothills of the Coast Range in western Oregon.

David Turkel was a founding member of Chapel Hill’s Somnambulist Project and Pittsburgh’s Bricolage Theatre companies. His newest venture, Preferred Collision, is a collaboration with Paris-based director, Dan Jemmett. Part One of their play, Clytemnestr@pocalypse, premiered at the Théâtre National de Nice in March and was featured at Avignon’s 2017 Festival Off.

Emcee Karelia Stetz-Waters chairs the English Dept. at Linn-Benton Community College, where she has taught English for 15 years. She is a contemporary lesbian romance writer whose novels include For Good, Something True, The Admirer, The Purveyor, and Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before.


Poster artwork

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2017 magic barrel poster thumbnail

Logo Artwork

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Marquee image

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2017 Magic Barrel on the Whiteside Theatre marquee


Press coverage for previous years


The Magic Barrel Gets Set for its 23rd Edition
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Oct. 27, 2016

Magic Barrel Takes Whiteside Stage
The Corvallis Advocate, Oct. 27, 2016


Magic Barrel Takes Stage Friday
The Corvallis Advocate, Oct. 21, 2015

The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger
Linn-Benton Commuter, Oct. 22, 2015

Magic Barrel returns for 23rd year of good writing for a good cause
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Oct. 21, 2015

The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger
Oregon Arts Watch, Oct. 28. 2015