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Potlatch 5 Progress Report 2

September, 1995

Table of Contents

Potlatch 5

February 2-4, 1996
Imperial Hotel,
Portland, Oregon

Notes From The Comfy Chair

Hello and welcome to Potlatch 5 Progress Report 2. Potlatch 5 will be held February 2-4, 1996 at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon. This Progress Report is being sent to anyone who's ever attended a Potlatch, or who's expressed interest, or who someone on the committee thinks might be interested. But if you don't send in your membership check soon, this will be the last one you'll see. So if you think you might want to attend, better decide soon, because this is your last reminder!

First a few words about what Potlatch is and isn't. Potlatch is a small, convivial convention for science fiction readers and writers -- we expect about 150 people, mostly from the West Coast. There will be one track of programming, a hospitality suite, a small dealers' room (all books), and a dance. We will also be providing the writers' workshops and Clarion West benefit auction that are traditional for Potlatch. But there will be no masquerade, no art show, no video program, and no formal gaming or filksinging.

Potlatch is the kind of convention where everyone knows everyone (or, if you don't, you soon will). It's the kind of convention where, in effect, everyone is on the program and everyone is on the committee. It's not the kind of convention where you go to sit and watch big-name media stars. We make our own fun at Potlatch, and we think that hand-made fun is the best kind. (Rubber stamps, anyone?)

Potlatch was born in Seattle and has been held alternately in Seattle and the Bay Area since its inception; this is the first Potlatch held in Portland. We feel that Potlatch and Portland were made for each other. Both are small, clean, friendly, a bit out of the mainstream, perhaps even a little quirky (but we like it that way). People tell us that Portland fans put on good conventions; we think that Potlatch is a good convention, so we're putting one on.

Each city's Potlatch has its own personality; Portland's goal is to be "just like the other Potlatches, only sillier." To this end, we plan a Lionel Fanthorpe panel and/or turkey readings on Friday night, and Portland's famous "Whose Line Is It Anyway" improv game show to wrap up the convention on Sunday. Between those two bookends we will have a chewy, thought-provoking program leavened with odd bits of microprogramming, ad-hoc discussions, spontaneous dinner and shopping expeditions (we're within walking distance of Powell's, the world's largest bookstore), and lots and lots of good conversation.

I'll turn you over now to the rest of the committee, who will give you tons more details on why you want to come to Portland for Potlatch 5.

David Levine
email: dlevine@spiritone.com

Programming: The Past and Present of the Future

For this Potlatch, we'd like to focus programming on the past, present, and future of science fiction, as evidenced in the careers of some sf writers. The people we've been thinking of have long careers, have written in different modes (poetry, sf, fantasy, essays), and have managed to creatively reinvent themselves, perhaps several times, in the years since they began publishing.

In part because this Potlatch is being held in Portland, Ursula Le Guin springs immediately to mind. Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Samuel Delany, Vonda McIntyre, Greg Bear, and Thomas Disch are some of other people who fit these criteria. How has their use of science fiction as a mirror on the present changed as the world has changed? (Do they even write science fiction anymore?) How have their creative choices changed over time?

We've looked for people who have been publishing for a long time (to represent the past), who are still publishing (to represent the present), and who remain creative and engaged (to represent the future). The list may include some people you question or disagree with. We do this not to provide lightning rods for scapegoating, but to challenge ourselves.

Can you suggest some more authors? If so, please also let us know which works you think are the most interesting examples.

Some possible panels which we may (or may not!) put together:

We very much wish to have a set of programs for Potlatch which will interest a broad range of members. Please do tell us what you think, and what you would like to see. Here are some sample questions which we hope will spark your thinking, but we will take seriously anything you wish to say.

Jane Hawkins and Luke McGuff
email: jhawk@oz.net
snail: P.O. Box 31848
Seattle, WA 98103

Dealers' Room

The Dealers' Room will be open all three days of the convention and will be composed of book dealers. Wrigley-Cross Books is the only confirmed dealer at this time.

Paul Wrigley

NEWS FLASH! As of October 16, 1995 the Dealer's Room is sold out. We will have the following dealers: Wrigley-Cross Books (2 tables), Dave & Linda Bray (2 tables), NESFA (1 table), and Lady Jayne's (1 table).

Writers' Workshop

Okay. Here are the writers workshop details for all of you hot writers out there. We are offering two short story workshops: the Taste of Clarion, and Recombinant workshops.

If you are new to workshopping, the Taste of Clarion is probably your best option. This will take the form of an equal number of new and published writers, and will be a supportive learning experience. If you have already had experience with workshops, then the Recombinant workshop may interest you. This will take the form of a small peer workshop in the Clarion style. Submit up to 3500 words in manuscript format, and specify your choice of workshop.

In addition, we are offering an opportunity to workshop a novel synopsis this year. This will take the form of the Taste of Clarion workshop, and will provide feedback on plot structure, character and milieu interest, and reader reaction to your novel. Submit up to ten pages of detailed synopsis. Do not submit sample chapter(s).

There is a five-dollar charge to cover copy and distribution costs. Submit short stories or synopses and your fee by January 5 to: Mary Rosenblum, 9100 SE 152nd Ave., Portland, OR 97236.

Mary Rosenblum

What You Could Do On Your Winter Vacation: An Essay by the Opinionated Local

It's August as I write this; a little hard to picture those activities that will be appropriate to an Oregon February when what I want to do is burble about the beauties of hiking the Gorge, the cool of the forested trails in the middle of the city, scenic drives up to Mt. St. Helens. I don't even know if the road to Mt. St. Helens is OPEN in the winter. Suppose I'd better find out, eh? Well, Mt. Hood will definitely be open. Skiing there never closes, I think; we went up on the 4th of July once for lunch and a tour of Timberline Lodge (hand-crafted by the WPA in the 30's, it's a national treasure) and there were snowboarders in the parking lot. The ski areas on Mt. Hood are only an hour from town -- Portlanders can get off work at five and put in an evening's skiing.

More weatherproof pleasures that could be worked into your trip to Potlatch: the Broadway production of Kiss of the Spider Woman with Chita Rivera is at the Civic Auditorium January 30-February 4th. Portland Center Stage, offspring of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, presents A Midsummer Night's Dream January 6-February 10, including a noon performance on the Thursday of Potlatch.

Dozens of art galleries have openings and special events the evening of First Thursday (i.e. Potlatch weekend). Many of them are clustered along 1st Avenue south of Burnside, or near Powell's, so walking is feasible.

But back to the weather thing. Yes, it will probably rain. You may prefer this to the alternative: turquoise skies and viciously cold winds scouring out of the Gorge. Sometimes early February brings the only snowstorm of the year; sometimes I plant primroses on Valentine's Day and they thrive until summer. In other words, my friends, it's a crap shoot.

If downpours catch you unawares, you can pick up a cheap folding umbrella at Newberry's five-and-dime or luxuriate in a wooden-handled model from John Helmer's Haberdasher just 5 blocks from the hotel, and get on with your weekend. Theres plenty of places to duck inside for a comforting latte.

Although Portland's downtown is alive and thriving (even on weekends), there's no reason to limit yourself to the west side of the river. The Hawthorne neighborhood, just a 20-minute bus ride away, is good for hours of dabbling around (Donya & Allen will back us up on this). Between 30th and 43rd streets, which is 15-minute walk if you didn't stop anywhere (hah!) there are multiple used CD/record shops, a cat shop, dog shop, toy shop, women's bookstores, mystery bookstore, a general branch of Powell's and the Powell's Cookbook Store, and at least four other purveyors of pre-viewed pages. Second Story Books, on the ground floor, emphasizes the Beat generation and Gertrude Stein's crowd. Stop by the Bagdad Theatre Pub for a pint of thick apple cider, a slice of pizza, and a look at the intricate artwork covering the walls and ceiling. Later, settle in and admire your finds over dessert, a pint of ale, or some hearty Irish stew at County Cork. Hawthorne has gargoyles, goddesses, mandolins, cute Japanese dildos, and a semi-dormant volcano at the end of the street. Something for everyone!

(Note: many of these places are closed Mondays.)

We are only two hours' drive from the coast, though that will put you in Seaside or Cannon Beach, notable for being, well, the closest points to Portland, with all the salt-water taffy and bumper car emporia that implies. Head up the coast another 20 miles and you're in Astoria, at the very NW tip of the state, where the Columbia meets the Pacific (and is crossed by one heckuva big bridge). The Maritime Museum there is impressive and fascinating; someday I want to go back and explore the lightship moored outside. It's 160 steps up the Astoria Column to a panoramic view of the town and the river. The wreck of the Peter Iredale, sinking into the sands since 1906, is right by a parking area in Ft. Stevens State Park.

Or head south to Newport. The new Oregon Coast Aquarium is really really keen. The Hatfield Marine Science Center next door to it should have info on whale-watching tours, or try Deep Sea Trollers in Depoe Bay. At the Sylvia Beach Hotel, you can choose from the Emily Dickinson room, the Edgar Allan Poe room (with pendulum), the F. Scott Fitzgerald room, etc. Rooms are small but the library is well-stocked with armchairs, books, and jigsaw puzzles. Dinner at the big family-style tables is worthwhile. Theres also good Japanese food 10 miles further south at Yuzen in Seal Rock.

I hope I have whetted your appetite for a visit to Portland, during Potlatch and beyond. Remember, if there's anything in particular youd like to know about, feel free to contact me through the con address or directly at kyule@agora.rdrop.com.

All phone numbers are (503).

Kiss of the Spider Woman: Ticketmaster, 244-4400.
Portland Center Stage: 274-6588.
Columbia River Maritime Museum: 325-2323
Oregon Coast Aquarium: 867-3474
Hatfield Marine Science Center: 867-0100
Deep Sea Trollers: 765-2248
Sylvia Beach Hotel: 265-5428
Yuzen: 563-4766

For Fun and Profit: Auction Action

Donations for and queries about the Clarion West Scholarship Auction are trickling in. An announcement will appear in the next SFWA Forum, due out in October. All the major SF&F book publishers are being contacted for Auction items and at-con promotional give-aways.

As at previous Potlatch Auctions, autographed galleys are welcome, of course; still, this year we're hoping to expand the variety of auctionable items. Creativity and "one of a kindness" are encouraged. Our goal: $3,000 raised for the Clarion West Scholarship Fund.

Send your donations to (note new email address):

Clarion West Scholarship Auction
c/o Mark Bourne
6233 SE 40th
Portland, OR 97202
Email: bourne@teleport.com

It's Not Too Early to Make Your Hotel Reservations!

The recently renovated historic Imperial Hotel is well suited to be a Potlatch venue. It is conveniently located close to many fine restaurants, downtown shopping, and cultural necessities such as bookstores. Rooms are small, but nicely appointed with a generous 2:00p.m. check-out time. Guests staying in the hotel may take advantage of free valet parking.

Make your reservations directly with the hotel and make sure to tell them you are with Potlatch. We have only a limited number of rooms in each category, so now is the time to make your reservation to be sure of getting what you want.

Rates are somewhat complicated as follows:

Single (double bed)           $65
Double (1 queen bed)          $70
Double (twin beds)            $75
Double (2 double beds)        $85
Double (king bed)             $90
Triple/quad (double beds)     $90
Imperial Hotel
400 S.W. Broadway (at Stark)
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 228-7221
(800) 452-2323
Fax (503) 223-4551

A traditional brunch will be held Sunday morning at 10:00 am. Space will be limited, so guarantee a spot for yourself by sending your payment to the Potlatch address as soon as possible. The cost for the buffet style meal will be $13.25, including gratuity. The final menu may vary slightly from the following:

Chilled juice
Fresh fruit
Scrambled eggs
Hot biscuits
Eggs Benedict
Barbecued Salmon Tidbits
Crepes Normandy
This brunch will sell out.

Get your reservation early!


Planning proceeds apace for Potlatch Hospitality. I'm trying out cookie recipes and will start brewing our beer very soon. I'm also investigating sources of fresh bagels.

Among other events, there will be a dessert and sparkling wine and chocolate tasting late Saturday night. (Oregon has some very good sweet wines!)


The current attending membership cost is $30 until November 15, and then will be $35 through January 15. Memberships will be $40 at the door. If there is a mistake on the mailing label, please let us know and we will correct the information in the database.

Supporting memberships (for anyone who can't come but wants to receive the mailings, at-con publications, and a warm fuzzy feeling inside) are $15. Feel free to ask about sliding scale if you or someone you know might be in need.

We will have badges and I'm looking forward to collecting interesting decorating materials. Feel free to bring more or offer suggestions on what to have available.

Ruth Sachter


Know any good jokes? Have any drawings? Have any zingy quotes that would be perfect for a Potlatch publication? Well heck, don't be shy. Email or snailmail them to me. I'll be happy to use them, and give credit where credit is due.

On a duller, but more serious note. For those who need to know: this PR2 was composed in Adobe Pagemaker 6. Illustrations were created in Adobe Photoshop 3.0.4. Typefaces used were Caslon 540, Caslon 3, and Poetica Supplements. Any questions or comments about the look or style of this publication should be directed to:

Elizabeth Bourne
email: elizbourne@aol.com
6233 SE 40th
Portland, OR 97202

(Elizabeth's files were lovingly hand-converted to HTML by David Levine, dlevine@spiritone.com.)

How to Reach Us

Potlatch 5
PO Box 5703
Portland Oregon 97228-5703

Email: dlevine@spiritone.com
WWW: http://www.osfci.org/potlatch5/
Phone: (503) 232-1727


Elizabeth L. Bourne: Publications
Mark Bourne: Clarion Auction
Debbie Cross: Hotel
Jane Hawkins: Programming
David Levine: Chair
John Lorentz: Hospitality (and beer)
Luke McGuff: Programming
Mary Rosenblum: Writers' Workshops
Ruth Sachter: Registration
Marc Wells: Dance
Patty Wells: Microprogramming
Paul Wrigley: Dealers & Treasurer
Kate Yule: Opinionated Local

Potlatch 5 Membership

Greg Abraham         Terry Floyd        John Lorentz       Ruth Sachter
John C. Andrews      Page Fuller        Luke T. McGuff     Sharon Sbarsky
Shirley Atkins       Richard Garfinkle  Vonda N. McIntyre  Karen Schaffer
Karen E. Babich      Marcia G.          Marci Malinowycz   Ariel Shattan
Freddie Baer         Jeanne Gomoll      Louise Marley      Delia Sherman
Allen J. Baum        Sarah Goodman      Paul E. Molander   Kevin Standlee
Dee Berry            Ian K. Hagemann    Devon Monk         Judy L. Tucker
Alan Bostick         Jane E. Hawkins    Jim Nichols        Amy Thomson
Sheila L. Bostick    Pat Henderson      Debbie Notkin      Anthony D. Ward
Elizabeth L. Bourne  Bill Humphries     Carol Nussbaum     Michael J. Ward
Mark Bourne          Mary Kay Kare      Barbara Oldham     Marc Wells
David Bratman        Alessandra Kelley  Lyn Paleo          Patty Wells
Suzy McKee Charnas   Ellen Kushner      Spike Parsons      Donya White
Mara Charnell        Janet Lafler       Berni Phillips     Tom Whitmore
Debbie Cross         Jane S. Larsen     D. Potter          Art Widner
Scott Custis         David Levine       Neil Rest          Paul Wrigley
Pamela Davis         Ursula K. LeGuin   Mary H. Rosenblum  Kate Yule
Lise Eisenberg       Hope Leibowitz     Anita M. Rowland   Sue Yule
Doug Faunt           David Librik            

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