I love Tom Spanbauer's work so much that I've stopped trusting my own perspective on it. I read and reread The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon in high school (remember having time to read and reread things?), and when I started interning at the Mercury he was the first author I ever interviewed. (My questions were over-worked to the point of incoherence, and Spanbauer was very very gracious about answering them.)

I wanted to write a big essay about Spanbauer for the inaugural edition of our new arts guide, Agenda (like us on Facebook!), because I want Agenda to be a place for publishing big essays about things writers care about, and also because I don't trust myself to give more straightforward reviews of his books—they're incredibly bound up in nostalgia and ideas about being a writer in Portland, and other stuff that makes it hard for me to be critical. His new book I Loved You More is kind of a novel/memoir hybrid, and I tried to use its odd classification as a jumping off point to write about his past work and my relationship to it. You can read that essay here.

Spanbauer is reading tonight at Broadway Books, as a benefit for Oregon United for Marriage; $18.95 gets you in the door, and a copy of the book. Tickets and details are here.