The United States is about to go through another copper mining boom and the industry is salivating at the prospect. The market is such that Canadian exploratory companies are combing their grubby paws across the American landscape seeking copper ore, hoping to take advantage of a largely forgotten mining law from 1872 that lets them reap our precious metals, royalty-free, for $5 per acre. If that isn’t outrageous enough, many of the new proposed mining claims threaten sustainable food sources or fresh, clean water, or bountiful and beautiful outdoor recreation areas. Copper mining is responsible for polluting much of the water across the American west, so it’s egregious that we’d sit idly by as they start sticking their beaks into our lands, like lecherous mechanical mosquitos from some futuristic horror novel. Course, we’d also be hypocrites (I already sound like an a$$hole) if we didn’t support at least some forms of copper mining - because we all use copper and other precious metals in every electronic device that we use. Computers, phones, cars - and the wires used to carry the electricity that powers every modern convenience. So, it’s a complicated and tangled web, but learning and thinking about it is a fascinating journey. For more, read a new book I’m promoting titled: "Boom, Bust, Boom - A Story About Copper, The Metal That Runs the World."
If you think you won’t be affected, here are some of the biggest copper mining controversies in North America at this time - some are mere proposed mining sites, others are super fund sites that bleed toxic runoff.
Pebble Mine, Alaska
Ajax Mine, British Columbia
Methow Valley, Washington State
Black Butte, Montana
Eagle Mine, Michigan
Congrats to Schaffner Press author Dwayne Epstein, now a NY Times and WSJ Bestseller for his biography on #LeeMarvin
Why Bill Carter wrote “Boom, Bust, Boom - A Story About Copper, The Metal That Runs the World.” For more: www.boombustboombook.com
On April 1st, Schaffner Press will release the latest edition of "Boom, Bust, Boom - A Story About Copper, the Metal That Runs The World" by Arizona author Bill Carter. This book could be considered part II in the “Save Bristol Bay/No Pebble Mine starter pack.” His previous book “Red Summer” is about his experience commercial salmon fishing in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. For an ARC, it’s not too late to contact me.
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Event and Book Release to Showcase Pongo’s Work with Incarcerated Teens Using Writing to Overcome Trauma & Grief
February 13, 2014 (Seattle, WA) – When Seattle author Eli Hastings began volunteering with the Pongo Teen Writing Project he found himself facilitating poetry in King County Juvenile Detention. In their Pongo poetry, the youth wrote about witnessing and experiencing addiction, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and other hurts, at home and in their community.
“What I saw was traumatized kids who were acting out their pain and confusion,” says Hastings. “However, using the Pongo method we’ve been able to help them resolve some of their trauma and move forward, and we’ve done it through compassion and writing.”
In celebration of a new book release by Pongo-founder Richard Gold titled “Writing With At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Writing Method” (forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Education) local author, counselor and Pongo leader Eli Hastings will host a two-hour event on Thursday, March 13th at 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House, located at 1634 11th Ave in Seattle. This free event will explore the power of using writing as a healing tool with personal anecdotes from Pongo, and will feature other renowned local authors for an entertaining, educational and inspiring evening.
Pongo is a nonprofit organization that uses poetry to help youth heal from childhood traumas, such as abuse and neglect. With writing projects inside juvenile detention, the state psychiatric hospital, and other sites, Pongo has helped 7,000 youth over its 18-year history. Pongo and Richard Gold have been recognized by the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, the Mayor’s Office, KING5 TV, and, recently, PBS NewsHour with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, among many others.
The participants will share the Pongo Method with interested members of the community and acknowledge the accomplishments of the project at a time when Pongo’s outcomes are putting the organization on the map as a cornerstone of artistic, clinically therapeutic social service models. The event will feature a short documentary film about Pongo, presentations by Eli Hastings and Richard Gold on writing and healing, readings of poetry written by incarcerated youth, a panel with clinical members of the Pongo family, and will be followed by a Q&A.
Gold says he hopes to encourage and support new writing projects nationally that serve suffering youth. “Pongo is ready to share its methods and also share the profound experience of bearing witness to young people who write from the heart,” says Gold.
Earlier this year Hastings was honored by The Seattle Times and KUOW as one of thirteen young artists poised to change the future of arts in the Pacific Northwest. Hastings is a Pongo team leader, volunteer and author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love & Other Trips,” released last year by ECW Press.
The Richard Hugo House is located at 1634 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. This free event is Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Drinks are available through a cash bar for those 21+.
Eli Hastings has worked as a mentor and team leader for Pongo since 2008. He holds Master’s degrees in creative writing and psychology/family therapy. He is a youth counselor and the author of the acclaimed memoir “Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love & Other Trips.” He was recently featured by The Seattle Times and KUOW as one of “13 for ’13: artists shaping the future of the arts in the northwest.”
Richard Gold founded the Pongo Teen Writing Project, a nonprofit that offers unique therapeutic poetry programs to adolescents who are in jail, homeless, or in other ways leading difficult lives. Pongo has worked with 7,000 teens over 18 years. Before Pongo, Richard was managing editor of Microsoft Press. In 2010, Richard was named a Microsoft Integral Fellow, honored for his work with Pongo, by Bill and Melinda Gates and the Microsoft Alumni Foundation. A book of Richard’s illustrated poetry, “The Odd Puppet Odyssey,” was published in 2003. In this book, the character Pongo is a puppet, like Pinocchio, who struggles awkwardly with becoming human, until he aspires to compassion.
Liz Koontz, MD is a third year psychiatry resident at the University of Washington with particular interests in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. She was exposed to Pongo during a child psychiatry rotation in medical school, has been a Pongo mentor for the past 2 years, and is currently completing a qualitative study of the effects of Pongo Teen Writing on youth at the state psychiatric hospital.
Shaun Anthony McMichael has been using the Pongo Method since 2007 to facilitate expression and connect with high needs, at-risk and trauma affected youth in residential and small classroom settings. For three years, he was Zine Instructor at University District Youth Center (UDYC)’s The Zine Project, an employment program that pays homeless youth to write and make art; he currently is an instructional assistant in an Emotional Behavioral Disorder classroom for Seattle Public Schools. Shaun’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the following literary magazines: Scissors & Spackle, Crack the Spine, Litro, Subtopian, Avalon and Petrichor Machine.
Adrienne Johanson Bentsen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, providing psychotherapy to individuals and couples at her Seattle-based private practice. She received an MA in Psychology from Antioch University, Seattle, and a BS in Wildlife Biology with a Creative Writing minor from the University of New Hampshire. She ran the Pongo Teen Poetry Project in Seattle’s Juvenile Detention for 3 years and is currently supporting Pongo at pongoteenwriting.org by coaching poets all over the world through their writing process online.
Michael G. Hickey received a BA from the University of Arizona, 1987, and an MFA from the University of Washington, 1992. He is a tenured writing professor and in 2009 was inaugurated as Seattle’s eighth “Poet Populist.” In 2012, he published a book of poetry and prose, “A Dress Walked By With A Woman Inside” and a novel, “Counterclockwise” by Northchester Press.
Ann Teplick is a Seattle poet, playwright, prose writer, and teaching artist. She writes with youth at Child Study Treatment Center (state psychiatric hospital) through Pongo Teen Writing; at Seattle Children’s Hospital, through Writers in the Schools; and at Coyote Central, an after-school arts program. She recently received funding from Artist Trust and Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to adapt her young adult novel, “Hey Baby, Wanna Dance?” into a full-length play, with upcoming staged readings in winter and spring of 2014.
Also speaking: Vanessa Hooper and Jack McClellan, MD.
I’m working with Schaffner Press and author Bill Carter to release “Boom, Bust, Boom - A Story About Copper, The Metal That Runs The World” in April 2014. The book is an account of the all-pervasive presence of copper in our lives and its cost on our health, economy, and our environment - with a beautifully interwoven personal discovery that begins after Carter is poisoned by the vegetables grown in his family garden. It’s especially relevant because of current issues impacting Bristol Bay, Rosemont, Boundary Waters, Smith River and more. “Boom, Bust, Boom” is an amazing read that’s received accolades from Luis Alberto Urrea, Sebastian Junger, Jim Harrison, Charles Bowden and many more. Pre-order today: www.boombustboombook.com/
Before I get too far into this blog post I have to make an appeal to not make me any symbol of the cause in which I’m about to write about. I am a die hard agnostic with no affinity to any religion … it’s easier to have more friends and more inclusive relationships this way - and plus - nobody really knows who’s god and nobody has seen anything remarkably heavenly or godly for two-thousand years, right? Except maybe those following Heaven’s Gate or David Koresh or listening to Radiohead … but I digress …
That said, I work with an amazingly talented writer who happens to have been published by a Christian Press and happens to have a bit of a Christian bent in her writing. I loved her book … spirituality and all … and as I reach out to folks on her behalf and am constantly battered down, I have to wonder if there isn’t an anti-Christian sentiment in the literary community? Granted, many non-theists view science and the laws of nature as the laws of the land and tend to scoff at tales of resurrected fishes or walking on water or rising from the dead … and many more literary folks are inclined to be non-theists in general, in my non scientific opinion … but does being agnostic or atheist or whatever else religion automatically disqualify you from enjoying anything with a religious bent? I think not. Further, I think any intellectual could be well-served by reading a bit of spirituality-laced literature. There’s a lot of beauty there. After all, what is the harm in taking a long, hard, look at oneself and the meaning of it all?
This is my take on the feverish debate on the Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver, inspired from the mornings commute over”Arctic Blast” which snarled traffic and forced me home from work. Never mind the fact that I cannot commute via bus or rail without investing two hours in the morning. Us Vancouverites need to get with the 21st century and do our part to build a larger, cleaner and sustainability oriented bridge with light rail and adequate foot/bicycle passage between our two cities. This old antiquated bridge is hampering growth and quality of life in this city. Unfortunately, the Vancouver citizenry has the foresight of a mole and has rejected such forward-looking measures.
Last night Ben Musholt had his book release party for “Mad Skills” - the world’s largest illustrated exercise encyclopedia. The book is for athletes of any kind that want to supplement their workouts (seriously: baseball, football, volleyball, cheerleading, soccer, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, parkour, cross fit & more)
The event was at Base Camp Brewing Company - one of our local favorites - and topped off a wild week that included interviews at:
Besides being a great city, Portland has great and supportive media willing to help new authors with great ideas. I love living in the Northwest!
Portland author Ben Musholt was interviewed in Portland Monthly (link) this past week, to talk about his new illustrated exercise encyclopedia, “Mad Skills.” The book is perfect for any athlete (or non-athlete) looking to supplement their exercise routine including those into: snowboarding, skiing, parkour, cross fit, soccer, basketball, football & more! For more, check out his book: http://www.madskillsbook.com