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October 22nd, 2019

In Sporting Oregon: A Pictorial History of Early Oregon Sports, Brian S. Campf presents a slice of history--spanning over twenty-five years--through photographs related to Oregon sports. Campf tracks the development and popularity of sports such as baseball, football, basketball, horse racing, track, hockey, tennis, and cricket, incorporating various artifacts along the way. Though the progression of many sports unfolded on a national level, Sporting Oregon provides local context and rich detail about the history of sports in the state. 

Here we share an exclusive preview of Sporting Oregon--an excerpt from the foreword (written by Carl Abbott) and the author’s preface: 



Excerpt from the Foreword by Carl Abbott

Oregon was a very young state at the end of the 1860s—Oregon City was thirty years old, Portland was twenty-five, and the state itself was just completing its first decade with 91,000 people spread thinly over the landscape. Men outnumbered women by nearly three to two, a sign of the state’s frontier resource economy. Only three cities counted more than 1,000 residents—Portland, Salem, and Oregon City. Fifty years later, when the last photographs in this collection were made, the state had grown up, with the 1920 census counting 788,000 Oregonians who lived a much more settled life than previous generations.


Competitive sports grew up with the state. The images that Brian Campf has assembled tell us about the growth of education, the establishment of a middle class, and the spread of railroads. They also testify to Oregonians’ love of the outdoors.


If you wanted to play competitive team sports in nineteenth century Oregon, one of the big challenges was finding the competition. In the 1870s, Columbia River steamers plied the great river of the West; Willamette River steamboats connected river towns like Harrisburg, Salem, and Albany; and the first railroads connected Portland and East Portland to a string of Willamette Valley cities and towns. That was it for easy travel. Salem ballplayers could travel to Aurora with relative ease, or a McMinnville nine could take on a Portland team. Even in the 1910s, however, the only comfortable way to get from eastern Oregon to the western side of the state required changing trains in Portland. The images also remind us of the importance of Albany and Astoria in these decades. Albany rivaled Salem as the most important city in the upper Willamette Valley until Eugene nudged ahead in the early twentieth century, and Albany athletes make the third most appearances in this book. Astoria, which also appears repeatedly, ranked second only to Portland in the 1880s and 1890s.


Outside the northwestern quadrant of the state, competition was local. Campf documents separate constellations of competition in the Coos Bay area, in Umatilla County where at least nine towns had teams in the early 1910s and there was fierce competition among the members of the Blue Mountain League and the finely named but short-lived Irrigation League. The Inland Empire League stretched more ambitiously from Baker City (the Nuggets) to Walla Walla. Prineville, Bend, and Redmond put in their appearance in 1909, reflecting the beginnings of central Oregon’s timber industry and anticipating the resolution of the battle between James J. Hill of the Great Northern/Northern Pacific and E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific/ Southern Pacific to be the first to control the Deschutes River railroad route.


Sports developed in step with the developing infrastructure of public education. Teams from the University of Oregon and Oregon Agricultural College garnered plenty of attention, tiny as the schools were compared to the institutions of the twenty-first century. Even more telling is the way that the images reflect the creation of comprehensive public high schools as essential community institutions. Even though Oregonian editor Harvey Scott fulminated against public high schools as a waste of money (he fulminated against a lot of things), Portland established its first high school in 1869 in rented space, built a neo-gothic building in 1885, and then a modern Lincoln High School on the Park Blocks in 1912. Jefferson High School opened on the east side in 1908 and Gresham High School dates to 1906. And it was not only the larger cities, as we learn that Harney County High School had twelve seniors in 1911–1912, divided equally between boys and girls.


Campf concentrates on the big three teams sports—baseball and its community and semi-pro teams, football and its college teams, and basketball with its high school teams for boys and for girls who refused to play by wimpy “girls’ rules.” Oregonians, of course, had plenty of other ways to enjoy exercise and the outdoors. There were elite sports like rowing, lawn tennis, and golf (the Waverly Golf Club dates to 1896). English immigrants and ex-pats sporadically kept their ethnic sport of cricket alive in Portland. And there were outdoor activities like fly-fishing where no one kept score (well, maybe the trout did). Energetic Portlanders joined the Mazamas, whose inaugural climb on July 19, 1894, took 158 men and 38 women to the top of Mt. Hood. If you didn’t have time to summit a mountain, you could join the bicycle craze of the 1890s. Thousands of people took to the roads on Sunday cycling expeditions—sedate families, daredevil wheelmen, and “scorchers”—young men who rode too fast and too recklessly for most people’s taste (what else is new).

Preface by Brian Campf 

I have loved sports for as long as I can remember. I enjoy the anticipation of the game, watching the drama unfold, and seeing a winner and a loser. There is nothing else like it.


A few weeks shy of my tenth birthday I watched on television as the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA title in 1977. My parents took us downtown for dinner that night. We found ourselves in the midst of a massive celebration. A picture of me near the podium at the Blazers championship parade the next day was published in Hoop magazine. My wife, Sandy, says that I remember the parade day as fondly as our wedding. I won’t say if she’s right.


Baseball was just as important to me. Portland had no major league team, but I followed the big leaguers and also Portland’s minor league team, the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. When we were kids, my father, Alan, would take me and my brother, Andy, to their games at Portland’s Civic Stadium. I began collecting baseball, basketball, and football cards around 1978, the same year as my first trip to the Memorial Coliseum to see the Blazers play.


A baseball card store opened in Portland in 1980. I insisted that my mother, Susan, drive me there. I must have been one of its earliest visitors. Though I was only about thirteen and had no money to spend, I loved my visit. Andy had come with us. A Wall Street Journal article published soon afterward described the store owner patiently answering the many questions from two unidentified youngsters (me and Andy).                                                                                                                              

Later in the 1980s, at the same store I stumbled across a baseball card. It showed a local player, a Portland player. The card was old and its history intrigued me. I snapped it up. This is the one: Miles Albion Netzel, issued in 1910 with Obak Cigarettes.I thought it would be a fun challenge to seek out cards issued of other Portland players during that 1910 era and research their base- ball careers. Around the same time I got to know several dealers of vintage baseball collectibles who helped me in that pursuit. They remain my friends to this day.


Then something changed everything: the arrival of the Internet. The Internet gave me access to Oregon sports objects, such as photos and postcards, that were dispersed across America. What had been far away suddenly became a few mouse clicks away from reaching my mailbox. I also began to look for items associated with Oregon sports other than baseball. With the Internet my collection expanded by leaps and bounds. I continued to enjoy investigating the history of each new piece. Sandy stopped asking about the little boxes that kept arriving.


The Internet also opened a door to new avenues of research. Keyword searches in century-old newspapers could be swiftly performed to reveal the stories behind a photo’s charm and mystique. Period photography ultimately became a focus of the collection because it offers interesting and varied content, as well as locations and a more personal kind of connection to its subjects than objects such as trophies provide. Over the decades I acted like a magnet for these images, bringing them home to Oregon and into the archive, usually one at a time.


What emerged from my efforts is an archive of images I did not create but a collection I did create. I came to realize that anyone who says the fun is in the looking is seriously underestimating the satisfaction in the finding. It would be like saying the real fun of going on vacation is the plane ride. The pleasure for me came in adding some- thing to the collection that gave it more depth and dimension.


I recall my mom asking me, “What are you going to do with all of this stuff?” I had no idea what to say so I answered, “Maybe a book one day.” I had to say something, and in the back of my mind it seemed that if I said “book,” there might actually be one. I also had begun to feel weird about squirreling this “stuff ” away and being the only one who could see it. It is, after all, Oregon’s history, and it deserves not just to be compiled, but preserved, seen, and enjoyed.


A website instead of a book seemed like a good place to start, sort of like learning to ride a bicycle before you drive a car. I store the entire collection in an enormous bank vault, so I started bringing home boxes of goodies from the bank, scanning it all, returning the boxes, and retrieving more, back and forth until the scanning was done. It was during one of those bank runs that someone nearly sideswiped my car. Were it not for some defensive driving that would have made my driving teacher proud, the contents of this book would look very different.

Seeing the website go live made me feel that I had conquered the law of gravity. I conceived of it as a free virtual museum. I researched each item and added brief descriptions I hoped would approximate placards on the wall next to objects hung in galleries. I also left my name off the site so it would be about “the” stuff and not “my” stuff, something that has necessarily and somewhat regrettably changed with the publication of this book.


The website (no longer active) showed Oregon sports material and also original images from my collection of early major league, minor league, and Negro league baseball. The site began receiving visitors who shared kind comments. The Oregonian even published a story about it. That encouragement helped push me toward making this book a reality. I liked the idea of a book offering a more permanent re- cord than a website, plus it gave me the opportunity (read: awesome excuse) to research early Oregon sports.


After years of acquiring images and now sifting through them to decide what to include here, it occurs to me that if history is written by the victors, pictorial accounts are made possible by the collectors. I hope you enjoy this one.


October 10th, 2019

We’re starting off the beginning of fall by celebrating one of our new releases! Former US Congressman Les AuCoin’s debut memoir, Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics, explores the intricacies of power, privilege and the importance of fighting for your community. Today on our blog, AuCoin—first Democrat to hold a seat in Oregon’s First Congressional District—shares with OSU Press interns Isaiah Holbrook and Ashley Hay the purpose of memoir writing, the current state of mass media, and the search for balance between personal and political narratives.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Isaiah: We noticed that you refrain from speaking explicitly about our current political climate in your memoir. Why did you choose to stay away from this topic?

Les: I set out to write a memoir, not an op-ed. I have a journalism background. I’ve written many op-eds, which are statements of opinion, which cover things like the inadequacies of standard journalism, the direction it’s heading, the critiques of politicians and political movements. If I had spent a lot of time banging Trump around, my book would’ve been no different than a thousand others that are doing the same thing, either banging him around or praising him. On the other hand, no one knows my life story except me. And my purpose was to tell my life story and let readers see what is relevant to them and in this moment in their personal life and our national life.

Ashley: Could you talk a little bit more about the audience that you envision for this book? Who are you writing to? Who do you think should be reading this?

Les: I did not want to write a textbook. It’s for the general public. I wanted to show how Congress once was, and how it can work, and how far we’ve drifted away from that so that people can realize that a return to better days is possible. I also wanted to show the basic daily sociology of the Congress. At any one moment, there’s five hundred and thirty-five lives living under Capital dome. You have cads and courageous people. You have normal people and despicable ones. I wanted to show the range of behaviors and the types of people that are there. Through the eyes of somebody who lived it. I think that today overwhelmingly people see Congress through the lens of the mass media. It’s always about political horse-races and the fight. But in the Capitol, life is not all about fighting. There are wonderful moments of quiet courage, along with moments of human duplicity. Most of the human moments are never covered in the news; they don’t make the definition of “news.”

Ashley: Do you have any particular moment that comes to mind as an example of what you would want to see in the news? I think this is an interesting perspective to take since you did start in journalism—what would you want to see reported?

Les: I think journalism has really degraded since my day and since its heyday in the 40s and 50s. Today, most decisions made in newspapers, and in TV news, are to get advertising revenue. But business values are not news values. The problem is that in a democratic republic, the media used to be considered the “fourth estate,” and it functioned as an intermediary between the elected and the electors. Its job was to report news from the life of the voters to those who are elected and to funnel information back to the electors, to explain why their elected representatives did whatever they did. That’s fundamental for a democracy. Former Supreme Court justice David Souter channeled Thomas Jefferson when he said “an ignorant people cannot remain free.” If we have a media that’s not edifying, that instead is titillating and entertaining, the public becomes more and more ignorant. So that’s my beef with the modern media. Please note the difference between criticism of the media and Donal Trump’s. In his view, uncomplimentary news is “fake.”

Ashley: We noticed that you’re not afraid of addressing your political opinions in your book at all. Did you ever want to shy away from any of those political opinions? Was there anything that you were debating about including in the memoir?

Les: This book is about my life, an intrinsic part of which involves my political values. They’ve changed and evolved but they’re part of me. If people get steamed and throw the book down, well that’s fine, this is America, they can buy Rush Limbaugh’s book. But I’ll say this and I won’t go into any more details. There was one passage in the chapter about Senator Bob Packwood, who defeated me narrowly in a Senate race that effectively ended my career. There was a segment about my early exposure to him, something that had happened. I decided it was so sensational it would eclipse everything else in the book. I cut it out so that it wouldn’t happen.

Isaiah: You write about how it was for you to be in Congress, and there are many threads in your memoir. What do you feel is the ultimate takeaway from your memoir?

Les: Well you know, the ultimate takeaway depends on each reader. A memoir is not an autobiography. It is slices of memory. In a memoir, you shouldn’t preach at people or forced-feed a conclusion. You want to lay out a story, or stories, that actually have been lived. They might inspire some folks and revolt others. Either reaction is fine. This book is story-telling--tales that one man lived, for whatever value it may be for others on their human journey.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Les AuCoin represented Oregon in the US House for eighteen years until 1992, when he gave up his seat to run for the Senate. He is an award-winning magazine editor and public radio commentator, and his articles have appeared in major newspapers throughout the country. He lives with his wife, Sue, in Portland, Oregon.

October 8th, 2019

mountains of parisDavid Oates is a writer and teacher currently based in Portland, Oregon. He’s the author of two books of poetry and five works of nonfiction, including his most recent memoir, The Mountains of Paris. He was a Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Montana and is founder and general editor of Kelson Books in Portland, Oregon. Here, he introduces an excerpt from The Mountains of Paris.

When I lucked into a four-month arts residency in the heart of Paris, I wondered what I would make of it. This little extract is one answer. And it also points toward the wider exploration my Paris sojourn inspired, pursuing questions that had dogged me my whole life. Looking up into the starry night sky, or being simultaneously diminished and exalted before a sunset or the ocean’s roaring chaos . . . What is that big big feeling?

It seems half my life has been focused on hiking, climbing, getting beautifully lost in deep forest or on remote peaks. But the other half has been spent in very different obsessions: the music of Bach, a Vermeer painting, a poem that won’t let go of me. In all these terrains the same unanswerable lurked. What is this feeling? What is this tremendousness?

- David Oates

It appears I’ve come to Paris in order to go to church.

It’s a strange choice. Here I am in the world capital of culture, intellect, the chic of smartness. I’m living and working in an artist’s and writer’s residency: the Cité des arts international. All around me are those four hundred museums that Parisians like to mention. I try to tally them: museums for any taste, any period; museums of armor and weapons, hunting rifles and stuffed game, gizmos and technology; New Guinean fetishes, eroticism, medicine, Freemasonry; Balzac, Chopin, Picasso, in fact painters and writers without end; grandiose museums like Musée du l’Homme (anthropology) or museums that specialize in obsessions (locks and keys, smoking, playing cards, the thirties). New art is exhibited continually—big Palais, little Palais, Tokyo Palais. Of course, there is canonical painting and sculpture over at the Louvre and a feast of nineteenth-century kitsch across the river at the Musée D’Orsay, housed under its coffered nineteenth-century railway dome. And, within the tubed frightfulness of the Pompidou, all those seething moderns. There is cinema everywhere and photography shows big and little and edgy gallery-like little collections (Maison Rouge!)…and the insurmountable list of historic buildings, churches, parks.

And so much more. Isn’t all that the reason a guy like me comes to Paris?

There’s also the Paris of indulgence. Of shopping, which I simply refuse. Of food, if you can afford it. And of sex, ditto. Didn’t people used to come to Paris to have “a naughty weekend,” as Auden said? It must still be around here somewhere. But no . . .

Somehow I have managed to find the Puritan’s version of the naughty weekend. Here I am, sneaking off to church.

To speak plainly, I come for the organ. A particular organ, in a particular church. That was, and is, the great motive. It’s what gives me pleasure. And pleasure is really what’s behind everything, high art or base pursuit. So all this church-going, I might ask myself—is it fun? Well, not exactly. Satisfying?: yes. That’s what I have to explain.

How to get at it?

The lostness, off and on, for much of my life, despite massive good luck and frequent happiness. There was an emptiness and ways of filling it that were not always sordid. No, not always. But under the strange furor of living, and under the lostness, always there was something deeper yet. Something delicious. And possible.

I felt it. It could not be spoken.

Whose story doesn’t start in lostness, and perhaps end there too, in the emptied corpse? Pride, vanity, futility. It’s a lot of what we share, after all. Emptiness in its different forms has been tearing up the world for a long time. It is doing so now, accelerating even as we breathe and read and speak, our emptiness at work unmaking the air, burning up the globe, prying apart the ecosystems. Yet on we go, as if unable to imagine any change. We are that null, that empty.

Yet something there was that said: the last word of this tale is not vanity.

(excerpted from “St. Eustache” in The Mountains of Paris)
September 17th, 2019

In August this year Rainbow Honor Walk, a non-profit, all-volunteer group in San Francisco, installed a sidewalk plaque that recognizes Marie Equi as an LGBTQ individual whose life story represents groundbreaking achievement. The 3 by 3 foot bronze square was embedded along Market Street, one of San Francisco’s main thoroughfares, near the Castro Street neighborhood. An image of Equi and her signature accompany this inscription: “Marie Equi (1872—1952) American physician and political radical who fought for peace, an eight-hour workday, women’s suffrage and their right to birth control.”

OSU Press author Michael Helquist, the biographer of Marie Equi, assisted with the unveiling of the plaque. He commented, “All along I hoped my biography of Equi would reach a large number of people with her remarkable story of fierce independence and commitment to economic and social justice.” He added that his other motivation was to highlight LGBTQ history on the West Coast before World War II, since relatively little has been uncovered. Helquist makes the case in his book that Equi is the first publicly known lesbian in the Pacific Northwest and in Northern California. The American Library Association named Marie Equi a Stonewall Honor Book. Helquist noted, “The installation was quick but exciting and deeply gratifying.”

Since Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions was published by the Press in 2015, Equi has been recognized as a Notable Oregonian by the Oregon Secretary of State and has been honored by the National Park Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland for Pride Month. Equi has also been honored in New Bedford, MA, her hometown, as a significant suffragist in preparations for the 2020 centennial of women obtaining the vote.

In San Francisco, the Rainbow Honor Walk has embedded sidewalk tributes for fifty-two individuals since 2014. Honorees include artists, scientists, political activists, and writers such as Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Alvin Ailey, US Representative Barbara Jordan, Josephine Baker, Freddy Mercury, transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, and astronaut Sally Ride. The plaque for Marie Equi is located outside the building at 2282 Market Street near Noe Street. For more information, see marieequi.com or, regarding the plaque, rainbowhonorwalk.org. Michael Helquist can be found at michaelhelquist.com.

September 9th, 2019

Smokey the Bear is turning seventy-five this year! In honor of Smokey’s birthday, we (1) promise not to start any forest fires, and (2) want to share some of our favorite local forest-fire-related books with you. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re pretty big forest enthusiasts, so we have books for all types of readers:


For the History Buff . . . Money Trees

Emily Brock approaches the history of forestry in the Pacific Northwest through an interdisciplinary lens, exploring political and economic forces, ecological changes, and wilderness activism in the twentieth century. Money Trees is a key resource for those interested in environmental studies and the history of forestry management in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.


For the Forest Service Enthusiast . . . Toward a Natural Forest

Part revealing memoir, part historical account, longtime Forest Service employee and leader Jim Furnish honestly and candidly explains the controversies assailing the US Forest Service in the late twentieth century. As he grows as an environmentalist, so does the Forest Service as an organization dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources.


For the Young Reader . . . Ellie’s Log 

Judith Li and M. L. Herring have created an engaging book set in the Oregon Cascades that blends science and storytelling. Encouraging both natural curiosity and scientific practices, such as keeping a field notebook, Ellie’s Log is set to inspire future botanists, foresters, and researchers.


For the Forestry Student . . . Silviculture and Ecology of Western U.S. Forests, Second Edition

John Tappeiner II, John Bailey, Timothy Harrington, and Douglas Maguire compiled this introductory text that covers the biological, ecological, and managerial silviculture practices associated with western U.S. forests. With particular focus on contemporary research and practice, new and experienced silviculturists will appreciate this refresher on forestry management. 


For the Philosopher . . . The Way of the Woods

In this interdisciplinary text, Linda Underhill explores the ways America’s forests contribute to the health of the planet, and her own relationship with them. Meditative, thoughtful, scientific, and lyrical, The Way of the Woods inspires its readers to ponder the magnificence of our forests of all types.


For the Concerned Activist . . . The Tillamook

Gail Wells transcribes the history of the Tillamook Forest in this book. She explains how, after a series of devastating fires, foresters and ordinary citizens rallied to create one of the largest forest rehabilitation efforts ever. However, its fate is still undecided as competing perspectives of forest use continue to create controversy. Wells uses the Tillamook Forest as a touchpoint to explore the activism of ordinary citizens and the ways we conceptualize contemporary forest-use issues today.

August 28th, 2019

Interviewing: The Oregon Method (2nd edition), edited by Peter Laufer with John Russial, is one of our newest fall selections. With additional chapters featuring information for both digital and traditional journalism, it instructs readers on the art of interviewing. And what better way to share the best of the guide than by featuring our favorite parts? Here are seven stand-out tips from the faculty at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and other experts:

  1. “Cornelius Ryan, the novelist who wrote The Longest Day, said one of the basic rules of reporting was that you should ‘never interview anyone without knowing 60 percent of the answers’” (“The Art of the Interview,” Jack Hart, page 39)
  2. “If you catch sources in a lie, your impulse will be to call them out. Don’t—at least not right away. Your goal should be to keep sources talking until they’ve shared all the relevant details. That’s because the moment you confront them, they’ll likely get defensive.” (“How to Interview Somebody Who’s Lying,” Todd Milbourn, page 72)
  3. “The rules of interview discourse and interpersonal exchange have changed with the times. Contemporary audiences don’t want to be ‘talked to’; they want to be ‘engaged with.’ Engagement implies higher levels of participation and less formality. This is the essence of rapport.” (“Creating Rapport,” Ed Madison, page 202)
  4. “In many of my encounters with people in grief, my ‘technique’ was simply showing up and shutting up. That’s my five-word crash course on the topic. The showing up part is critical. It’s the one aspect that we have control over.” (“god bless the ded,” Alex Tizon, page 232)
  5. “Try this exercise: Sit down as you normally would, and write all the regular first-line questions that you expect to ask in your next interview. Then don’t ask any of those questions. This is going to force you to find new lines of questioning that will reveal facets of the story that are usually left unexplored.” (“Please Don’t Ask That Again,” Michael Swan Laufer, page 340)
  6. “Interviewing—if interviewing means asking questions to get responses—does have a function, albeit limited: If you want a quick opinion about something you deem important, a quote or a sound bite to fit into a story, then ask the appropriate person. Otherwise, I would suggest that journalists consider more authentic, more thoughtful ways of delving into the personality and the peccadilloes, the motivations and challenges, the beliefs, attitudes, quirks (you name it) of a person important to the story they are crafting.” (“Re-Thinking the Interview,” Lauren Kessler, page 377)
  7. “Control the architecture of the interview venue. Don’t accept a seat on a low couch while the interviewee choreographs a dominant role behind the massive desk.” (“Epilogue,” Peter Laufer, page 396)
August 13th, 2019

We are excited to announce our new interns for the 2019-2020 academic school year! Get to know Isaiah Holbrook and Ashley Hay and what OSU Press books they are currently reading for the summer.




I’m a second-year MFA candidate at OSU where I study fiction. My writing veers more into Young Adult literature as I explore themes of identity, queerness, and religion, and the complexities that derive from them. I also find myself writing about the concept of family, specifically motherhood, and examining family dynamics that differ from mine. As an avid reader, I am most attracted to YA novels, especially ones that tread along the intersections of identity, power dynamics in a relationships, feminism, activism, and the process of recovering from trauma. Outside of my genre, I’m becoming more familiar with nonfiction, specifically narrative essays and memoirs, on similar topics.


cover image, Wet Engine The Wet Engine by Brian Doyle: Because of my curiosity to read in more genres, I was elated when I ran across this book. What intrigues me about nonfiction is the challenge to interconnect multiple threads that don’t seem to correlate at first into the central theme of the story, and Brian Doyle does just that. He examines the intricacies of the heart in a physical and metaphorical sense, outlining the ways in which a heart functions, which all tie into the story of his son’s heart deficiency, the surgery he had to endure, and the doctor who saved his son’s life. Within the first few pages, I was immediately drawn into his knowledge of the heart and the kind of lyricism that his writing imposes, and I can’t wait to finish this book.


cover image, Interviewing

Interviewing: The Oregon Method (2nd Edition) edited by PeterLaufer and John Russial: One of my favorite things about minoring in Communications during my undergraduate years was learning the art of the interview and seeing the ways in which different journalists approach their interviews; this book covers both of these interests and more. Peter Laufer, with the help of his colleagues, gives readers an insight into interviewing and the various approaches one can take to have a successful and constructive interview. This will be particularly helpful for me as I conduct interviews with authors for The Rumpus, so I’m really excited to dive more deeply into this book and receive some helpful approaches that will be useful for me later on.


cover image, Aurora

Aurora by J. J. Kopp: I’m constantly looking forward to reading a different perspective of adolescence, especially ones that subvert from my own experiences, and this story captures just that. Told in an epistolary form of diary entries, J. J. Kopp’s historical novel details the life of thirteen-year-old Aurora Keil and her experiences living in Missouri, exploring the Oregon Trail, and relocating to Oregon with her parents and eight siblings, where her father eventually started a utopian community of over six hundred people. This book not only highlights the voice of a young adult but also recognizes an integral part of Oregon’s history. 





I’m an undergraduate at Oregon State University studying Speech Communications and Psychology. I’m fascinated by the impact of the stories we tell in our daily lives: right now my research projects include the modern fairy tale and archetypes in romance novels. In addition to my work at OSU Press, I’m an Undergraduate Writing Consultant at the Research & Writing Studio on campus and an intern at the International Women’s Writing Guild, both of which allow me to help shape the creative and collaborative writing processes of others. In the upcoming year, I’m eager to bring my creative and professional skills to support authors on their journeys toward publishing, and look forward to learning as much as I can from OSU Press! 

cover image, Homing Instincts


Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales: I’m about to enter my final year as anundergraduate at OSU, and the inevitable question I encounter, from family and well-meaning strangers alike, is where will you go next? So Morales’ collection of essays about her own journey moving across the country—from New York to Oregon—piqued my interest (and not only because I’ve hopped states myself). With thoughtfulness and clarity, she explores the issues of migrating, settling in, changing, and ultimately, establishing a new home. As a soon-to-be-newcomer in some unknown place, I’m looking forward to diving in and learning from another person’s experiences. 


cover image, Turning Down the SoundTurning Down the Sound by Foster Church: The theme of movement continues! Not only am I looking to explore new places to (potentially) settle down in, I’m also an avid traveler and curious wanderer. My favorite trips are always those that allow me to immerse myself in a new place and meet the people who live there, and Church’s collection of small towns in Washington seems like an excellent guide to encourage just that. I appreciate that he writes not just about the features of each town, but also the attitudes of its inhabitants. There are so many unique facets of this book—its emphasis on small towns, its holistic approach to summarizing them, its essay-like formatting—that I’m already mentally packing my bags (and hiking boots). 

cover image, The Way of the Woods   The Way of the Woods by Linda Underhill: Speaking of hiking boots…part philosophicalreflection, part scientific exploration, Underhill’s book is a study of American forests and her place in them. Like Church’s book, Underhill also imparts an antsy message of movement and wonder. However, unlike Church or Morales, Underhill also explores the sacred—and asks her audience to join her in reigniting our spiritual connection with the natural world. This book calls to me both as an inspirational nudge and a fascinating glimpse into another’s experiences in nature. I make no promises that after this, I won’t just pull a Thoreau and leave the city life behind. (Sorry in advance, OSU Press.)

July 31st, 2019

In a closely-watched media auction, the EO Media Group, a family-owned company that has been publishing newspapers since 1908, outbid Adams Publishing on Monday for the Bend Bulletin and its sister publication the Redmond Spokesman. The central Oregon company originally placed a bid of $2.5 million, but ended up offering $3.65 million.

William F. Willingham’s Grit and Ink gives extensive insight into the development of the EO Media Group and the ethical decisions the Oregon company has made throughout its history. Its portfolio of local and regional newspapers epitomizes the spirit of a free press and the core values of journalism.

Enjoy a brief excerpt from Grit and Ink from R. Gregory Nokes’s “Foreword”: 


Being part of a community is the clarion call to any newspaper. And few have responded to that call better than newspapers of EO Media Group, which began life as the East Oregonian Publishing Company. 

From Pendleton to Astoria, these papers have helped bring forth an array of fixtures. They include a bridge across the Columbia; a dam for cheap power, navigation and irrigation; survival of the Pendleton Woolen Mills; launch of the Pendleton Round-Up; preservation of Astoria’s Liberty Theater. These newspapers’ eyes have been focused on community development to create jobs, readers and civic betterment. They have also stood up to destructive forces such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation movement.

 J.W. “Bud” Forrester, editor of the East Oregonian until 1970 and The Daily Astorian until his retirement in 1987, perhaps said it best: “A good newspaper is the voice of its community.”

My late father, J. Richard Nokes, editor of The Oregonian, was a peer, friend and admirer of Bud Forrester. Both played a large part in the rapid growth of newspapers in Oregon at a time when newspapers were the main source of news in cities large and small.

Although I was away from Oregon for twenty-five years during my career as a foreign diplomatic correspondent for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C., and Latin America, I had the pleasure of meeting Forrester.

 The first of the properties that would become today’s EO Media Group was the four-page East Oregonian, established by Virginia-born Mathew Bull in 1875. It went through several ownership changes before acquisition by C.S. Sam Jackson, the future owner of the Portland Evening Journal. Jackson was succeeded in 1908 by Edwin Aldrich, who would remain with the paper for 42 years. He was a graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU). He joined the paper as a reporter in 1904 and is described in this book as “an activist, unafraid to take up a public issue or controversy or promote a cause.”

 Aldrich helped engineer the major acquisition in 1919 of the Astoria Evening Budget, now The Daily Astorian. A dozen other newspapers and publications would be added during subsequent decades. The company spans the region with eleven newspapers and other publications in four states and a news bureau in Salem.

 In this detailed history of the growth of the newspaper chain from its fledging beginnings, you will read about the enterprising editors and publishers who guided the growth. Among them are Jackson, Aldrich, Merle Chessman, Bud Forrester, Amy Aldrich Bedford, Eleanor Aldrich Forrester, Mike Forrester, Steve Forrester, Kathryn Bedford Brown, Fred Andrus, C.K. Patterson, John Perry and many more. Beyond reporting the news of their communities, these leaders kept abreast of changing technology that included photo-offset printing, computers, digital journalism, centralized design and solar power.



June 3rd, 2019

Red Coast


We’re delighted to tell you that The Red Coast is now available!


Aaron Goings, Brian Barnes, and Roger Snider present an accessible and engaging history of radicalism and anti-radicalism in Southwest Washington from the late nineteenth century until World War II, focusing on Wobblies, “Red” Finns, and Communists.


The authors write that The Red Coast demonstrates “that at one time Southwest Washingtonians organized by the thousands to protest injustices great and small, ranging from the horrors of laboring in a deadly workplace to the insult of a short paycheck.”


To learn more and purchase the book, click here.




And if you’re interested in learning more about the histories of labor and unions, we recommend reading the following titles:

Beyond the Rebel Girl

Beyond the Rebel Girl explores women’s roles in the Industrial Works of the World (IWW) in the Pacific Northwest from 1905-1924. By doing so, author Heather Mayer challenges the predominantly male and masculine narrative about IWW. Women played a vital role in many efforts, including fundraising and organizing.


In a OSU Press Interview, Heather Mayer gave two important examples of women’s involvement, stating, “Kate MacDonald edited the Industrial Worker when her husband was arrested. Edith Frenette arranged for boats to take Wobblies into Everett during the free speech fight.” Additionally, women brought food to men in prison and helped spread important information, among other necessary actions.




Marie Equi


Mayer explores historical figure Marie Equi as does Michael Helquist in his book dedicated to her: Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions. This account of the life and work of Dr. Marie Equi is an inspiring narrative of activism in Oregon during the early 1900s.


Bettina Aptheker writes, “With meticulous archival research, including access to oral histories, Helquist presents this generous, passionate, and complicated woman in a respectful way that Dr. Equi herself would undoubtedly have appreciated. A splendid contribution to both feminist and lesbian history.”


To learn more about this title, click here.





The Color of Night

The Color of Night examines a murder trial that captured the nation’s attention in the 1940s. Robert Folkes, a young, black trainman from South Central Los Angeles, was charged and convicted of the crime of murdering a white, newly married southern woman. The trial, conviction, and execution of Robert Folkes by the state of Oregon revealed how many in the West thought about race, class, and privilege.


Throughout The Color of Night, Max G. Geier mentions how the union in South Central supported Folkes and his mother during the trial. The books also touches on the racist practices of unions in Portland and the civil rights efforts to change them. The Color of Night will appeal to readers who are interested in the history of race and labor relations as well as working conditions.

May 30th, 2019

Interested in the linguistic heritage of the Pacific Northwest? Northwest Voices is for regional residents, language lovers, and anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating ways that language, culture, and place intersect.


In Northwest Voices, editor Kristin Denham gathers perspectives from a variety of contributors, including a middle school teacher, a tribal linguist and language teacher, and the leader of the Lushootseed Language Institute, among others. These chapters cover everything from place names in the Pacific Northwest to Indigenous language revitalization to addressing the common belief that the region is “accent-less”.


Enjoy an exclusive preview to Northwest Voices in the following excerpt from Kristin Denham’s chapter “Language and Power, Language and Place”:




Before there was a Canadian and US border or provincial and state borders, there was still a region—a region with borders defined largely by the natural geographical boundaries of mountains, rivers, and coastline, and the trade routes that followed them. The use of Ichishkiin (also known as Sahaptin) spanned the Columbia River, and Athabaskan languages were spoken across what is now the coastal California and Oregon border, oblivious to these modern-day state boundaries.


Spread throughout this region are the speakers of many Indigenous languages. The contributions by Hugo, by Zenk and Cole, and by Miller (all this volume) acknowledge cover of Northwest Voicesmany of these languages, and the place-names throughout the region (Richardson, this volume) are a daily reminder of the peoples who have long lived there. Parts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana have been designated as “language hotspots” by National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project and The Living Tongues Institute, an Oregon-based organization devoted to the documentation, maintenance, preservation, and revitalization of endangered languages around the world.


The region is one of the five hotspots in the world because of its high number of diverse Native languages that are from different “genetically diverse” language groups (as different as English and Italian, in some cases; in others, as different as English and Chinese) that are highly endangered. When an entire group of languages is no longer spoken, we lose not only linguistic information that is of great importance to linguists, but also, as Crawford puts it, “The loss of linguistic diversity means a loss of intellectual diversity” (1995, 33).


Consider, as an example, ways in which a language can encapsulate certain kinds of knowledge: the Halkomel’em Musqueam people group certain kinds of fish under the “salmon” label: sce:ɬtən. This includes fish that are called steelhead trout and cutthroat trout in English, but which genetic analysis has shown are, in fact, of the salmon genus, and not trout at all. Such information about flora and fauna from peoples who have lived in the region for millennia can disappear right along with the language, as well as, of course, the loss of culture and of identity, which are so closely tied to language. Our languages are important; each one and its many forms should be carefully considered as an integral part of language and place.



Northwest Voices will be available June 2019. Preorder your copy here!


Kristin Denham is Professor of Linguistics at Western Washington University. She received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Washington. She is co-author of Why Study Linguistics, Navigating English Grammar, and Linguistics for Everyone, and co-editor of Linguistics at School: Language Awareness in Primary and Secondary Education and Language in the Schools: Integrating Linguistic Knowledge into K–12 Teaching. She teaches courses on syntax, Salishan languages, language and identity, endangered languages, English grammar, and linguistics in education.

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