IN HIS OWN WORDS: A TRIBUTE TO BRIAN DOYLE — 7 p.m., Thursday, March 28, in Portland

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be part of a reading called IN HIS OWN WORDS: A TRIBUTE TO BRIAN DOYLE at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, with these amazing authors:

Robin Cody, David James Duncan, John Freeman, Jordan Imani Keith, Brenda Miller, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kim Stafford, and Joe Wilkins. Chip Blake, editor of ORION, and Sy Safransky, editor of THE SUN, will speak too.

The event will take place at the McMenamins Mission Theater & Pub (1624 NW Glisan, Portland, OR). It’s FREE but you need tickets, which will be available starting at 4 p.m. (PST) TODAY. (The theater seats about 200 people, but the organizers–ORION and THE SUN–think tickets will be snapped up quickly, so don’t wait!)

To order tickets, go to: You will go through what looks like buying a ticket, but in the end, there will be no charge, no asking for credit card info, etc.

We’re all going to be reading pieces of Brian’s work. It should be a wonderful evening.

“The Story Catcher” is a Best American Essays 2018 “Notable Essay” Selection

I just learned that my essay on Brian Doyle, “The Story Catcher,” published in the Autumn 2017 issue of Notre Dame Magazine is listed among the “Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction 2017” in Best American Essays 2018, edited by Hilton Als.

A piece by Brian called “Everyone Thinks that Awful Comes by Itself, But It Doesn’t,” published in the February 2017 issue of The Sun, was selected too.

It makes me very happy to see Brian honored in this way.

Another Piece on Brian Doyle: Turning MINK RIVER into a Play

Oregon Arts Watch just published my piece about a Northwest theater director and playwright turning Brian Doyle’s novel Mink River into a play.  You can read it here:

Utne Reader Republishes My Profile of Brian Doyle

In February, Kerry Temple, editor of Notre Dame Magazine, which had published my profile of writer and friend Brian Doyle in its Autumn 2017 issue, forwarded a message from Christian Williams, Editor-in-Chief at Utne Reader.  He had just read my “beautiful tribute” to Brian, Williams wrote, and wanted to reprint it in the Spring 2018 edition of his magazine.  The issue is now out, and my piece is on the Utne Reader website too, so if you weren’t able to read it before, you can find it here.

I recently wrote another Brian Doyle-related piece, this one about a theater director turning his beloved novel Mink River into a play.  It includes a chronicle of how Brian came to write the book.  It will go up on Oregon Arts Watch sometime in the next two weeks.

Working on a Brian Doyle Profile for Notre Dame Magazine

My dear friend and fellow writer Brian Doyle died at 60 on May 27.  Like many people who knew him or had simply read his marvelous books, I felt the loss deeply and wanted to remember him in some way, so I contacted Notre Dame Magazine, the alumni magazine for his alma mater, about writing a piece on him, focusing on his place in the Oregon literary community and at the University of Portland, where, over 25 years, he turned the alumni magazine, Portland, into one of the best magazines of any kind in America.

I’m collecting stories and thought about Brian for my piece now and will be writing it over the next couple of weeks, for publication in the magazine’s fall issue.  If you knew Brian or have had a profound experience with his writing, please send your stories or thoughts to me at

Here’s a link to one of Brian’s many astonishing essays, Joyas Voladoras, about the hummingbird and the heart. It was selected for Best American Essays 2005.

To see Brian talking about his writing and his life, view Oregon Public Broadcasting’s 2015 eight-minute ArtBeat feature on him here.