Here are a few secrets to preparing a proper literary costume:

1. Puns.

2. Uh, puns.

3. And … hmm … puns.

Saturday night marked the fusion of the two biggest events in Portland this past weekend: the literary Wordstock festival Portland Fashion Week. Their love child? The Wordstock-affiliated fifth annual Text Ball, hosted over at Gallery Homeland at SE 11th Avenue and Division Street. The event, which benefited the Independent Publishing Resource Center, was chock-full of local literati bidding on Portland-related books and journals in a silent auction, playing games of Scrabble, and attacking giant crossword puzzles hung on the walls.

The evening culminated in a fashion show as event-goers dressed in their cleverest text-related outfits strutted their stuff down a mock catwalk to an accordion-based soundtrack. (Costumes based on the titles of books worked best. Hypothetical example: A guy dresses up as a baseball catcher and glues rye bread to himself. Get it?) I believe I heard "The Baby Elephant Walk", which is probably the funniest song you can play while people walk down a runway. Even more impressive was the number of attendees who volunteered to walk: more than 40. The accompanying slide show features some of our favorites.

Check out IPRC’s work at

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