This summer, we gave three of Portland’s top writers—Margaret Malone, PEN/Hemingway finalist for her short story collection People Like You; David Shafer, author of 2014’s techno-thriller Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; and Diana Abu-Jaber, author most recently of the memoir Life Without a Recipe—a challenge: write a short story set in the Pacific Northwest, to the prompt “That summer..." 

Here, Malone and Shafer read the stories that resulted—“The Buried Forest” and “Night Air,” respectively—and talk about place as inspiration, writing from the opposite gender, and ’90s-era Portland. Then, we hear from poets Samiya Bashir, Anis Mojgani, and Elyse Fenton, who drew inspiration from all over, from the Vaux's swifts at Chapman Elementary School to a bear in a tree in Northeast Portland. 

Download the Long Play on iTunes.

Audio production by Samala Coffey

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