lots of books

In the news – 2016

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

Press Release – 2016

Download the 2016 Magic Barrel press release here, or read it now:

Patrick deWitt, Sallie Tisdale join other Oregon writers
at The Magic Barrel Oct. 28


Gail Wells, gailwellscommunications@comcast.net, 541-760-3070, or

Andrea Dailey, 2daileys@gmail.com, 541-368-5212 or 503-930-4484

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Portland novelist Patrick deWitt, who was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, will join nationally acclaimed Portland essayist Sallie Tisdale, novelist David Shafer, Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, short-story writer Wayne Harrison, poet Charles Goodrich and three other distinguished Oregon writers reading from their works at the 23rd annual Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger on Friday, Oct. 28 in Corvallis.

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

Jazz music by Corvallis’s LMNO will start at 6:30 p.m., and readings begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 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.

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 contributions online or at the door.

This year’s Magic Barrel lineup:

  • Canadian-born Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers, which won Canada’s 2011 Governor General’s Award and Rogers prize, the 2012 Stephen Leacock Award and the Oregon Book Award. His newest novel is Undermajordomo Minor. He lives in Portland.
  • Kate Carroll de Gutes’s book Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear won the Oregon Book Award and a Lambda Literary Award in 2016. She lives in Portland.
  • Charles Goodrich has written three books of poetry: A Scripture of Crows; Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden; and Insects of South Corvallis, along with a collection of essays, The Practice of Home. He directs the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University.
  • Wayne Harrison’s first novel, The Spark and the Drive, came out in 2014, and his short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and The Sun. He teaches writing in OSU’s Master of Fine Arts program.
  • Jennifer Richter has written two poetry collections, Threshold and No Acute Distress, both of which earned honors from the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. She has taught writing at Stanford University and now teaches in OSU’s MFA program.
  • Justin St. Germain’s memoir, Son of a Gun, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was included on best-book lists of 2013 by Amazon, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, BookPage, and Salon. He teaches in OSU’s MFA program.
  • David Shafer’s 2014 novel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, (not to be confused with the movie of the same title) was selected as one of the best books of the year by National Public Radio, Slate, and Kirkus and was short-listed for the Pacific Northwest Book Award. He lives in Portland.
  • Sallie Tisdale is the author of eight books, including Talk Dirty To Me, Stepping Westward, and Women of the Way. Her new collection of essays, Violation, was published last April. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, and others. She lives in Portland.
  • Elizabeth Woody is Oregon’s Poet Laureate. Her collections include Hand into Stone (1988; reprinted as Seven Hands, Seven Hearts) and Luminaries of the Humble (1994). She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, of Yakama Nation descent. She lives in Portland.
  • The show’s emcee will be Karen Karbo, author of the best-selling Kick-Ass Women book series. Her work has appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, and the New York Times. Karbo was a reader at Magic Barrel 2015.
  • The Magic Barrel—often called the mid-Willamette Valley’s premier literary event—features writers from around Oregon each year reading from their works to help raise funds for Linn Benton Food Share.

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 many cash and in-kind donations from local merchants and restaurants, and by hundreds of generous patrons.

“The Magic Barrel has become one of the most unique and well-attended literary events in Oregon, and we’re grateful for the amazing community support that helps us keep the Barrel rolling,” said Gregg Kleiner, Corvallis writer who serves on the Barrel’s all-volunteer steering committee. “Last year the event raised nearly $8,000 for Linn Benton Food Share, and this year we’re shooting for a full house and $9,000.”




Logo Artwork

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Marquee image

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2017 Magic Barrel on the Whiteside Theatre marquee

Press coverage – 2015

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