Wordstock was awesome this year, if you hadn't gotten the idea from Alison's and my blog posts. Lidia Yuknavitch cracked everyone up and her novel sold out at every table that offered it. Chelsea Cain, our local chronicler of sexy serial killers, zinged everyone she could, including herself. (To Daniel Woodrell: "I write crime thrillers and you write real novels.") We have some superb, local poets who haven't even entered their prime yet in Zachary Schomburg and Matthew Dickman. It seems like Portland has more promising up and coming publishers and writers than any other city, right at a time when the book industry is falling apart. That is so like us.
The major complaint of the weekend was noise pollution, which is always an issue in the large hall. Director Greg Netzer says it's not so much of a problem the more people are in the hall (hint hint), but the acoustics are terrible. In spite of this, the talks were great.
Speaking of Greg Netzer, the Executive Director of Wordstock is leaving for a job at AHA!, a communications firm in Vancouver. Nancy Ellis, Wordstock's marketing and development director, will take over as Executive Director and Katie Merritt, founder and director of the BendFilm Festival will run the festival. Netzer helped make Wordstock to one of the largest literary and book arts events in the country. Here's a great piece on him from Wired's Geek Dad column. Asked why he's leaving, Netzer said it was just time to move on.
Oh and special shout out to Green Bean Books for being a great children's book booth with free fake mustaches and a scavenger hunt.