Fishtrap Fireside goes virtual as it returns for its 8th season of readings from Wallowa County writers on Friday, January 9th. Featuring readings from Kate Forster, John Gaterud, and Kathryn Kemp. Fireside will stream live on fishtrap.org and YouTube at 7pm Pacific Time. A recording of the event will also be available on these platforms as well as on Facebook.
Fishtrap Fireside is a local monthly reading series designed to feature diverse voices of local writers. Since the program launched in 2013, more than 80 Wallowa County writers have stepped up to the podium to share their work. Audiences have enjoyed a variety of genres including cowboy poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, memoir, sci-fi fantasy, humor, essay, travelogue, food stories, and more. Each month offers a fresh look at what people of the west are thinking about and writing down.
“Fireside is one of our most popular programs.” says Fishtrap Program Director, Mike Midlo, “People come to listen to their friends and neighbors share their work, and now by streaming the program on our website, even more people can hear what Wallowa County writers have to offer.”
More on January’s featured readers. Kate Forster was raised in Wallowa County and is thankful to continue to call this place home. After beautiful, life changing experiences in Putney, Vermont at Landmark College and in Gunnison, Colorado at Western State College of Colorado her heart took her back home to the Beaver State. Go Beavs! Kate works as a Peer Support Specialist on the Assertive Community Treatment team at Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness. She loves helping people and being a part of a phenomenal team. She credits her writing ability to her parents. Her Mom was an English teacher and her Dad was a sports writer for The Oregonian and The Chieftain. She also has two amazing sisters who have been by her side through thick and thin. Community and place have always been important to Kate. When not working she enjoys spending time outdoors in every season, bonfires with friends, watching football, and going on drives through this spectacular county we get to call home.
John Gaterud, of Wallowa, is a journalist who has worked as a reporter, editor, graphic designer, college teacher, and newspaper and book publisher in a career spanning nearly 50 years. Born in New Jersey, he worked part time during high school as a printer’s devil for his hometown weekly paper. He briefly attended forestry school at the University of Maine, but dropped out and traveled for several years. After earning a journalism degree from the University of Northern Colorado, in 1978, he moved to Oregon, where he served for a year and a half as editor of The Grant County Blue Mountain Eagle. He earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Oregon, in 1981, then began teaching at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he spent 25 years specializing in feature writing, editing, and graphic design. He is founding publisher of Willow Avenue Review, a literary quarterly; The Minnesota Times, a statewide newspaper; and Blueroad Press, a small award-winning book company he started with his daughter. Over the years, John has worked as a freelance writer and designer, and served as publishing faculty for Howling Bird Press, in the creative-writing MFA at Augsburg College, Minneapolis. He holds a doctorate in American studies and journalism from The Union Institute, Cincinnati, where he pursued creative non-fiction focused on American road stories. Current projects include editing a book manuscript for the Wallowa History Center, assembling a collection of his own work, and chasing ambitions (strictly amateur) in woodworking. Parents to two kids, he and his wife Cindi, had no idea they would return to Eastern Oregon four decades after leaving John Day, but here they landed: retired now and happy, they report, to be living, hiking, and skiing in the beautiful Wallowas. As for writing tips, John defers to a favorite teacher, who advised, “You don’t know what you think until you write it down.”
Kathryn Kemp is a School Mental Health Counselor, yogi, wine enthusiast and cat lover with a passion for people and their stories. Kathryn grew up in Joseph before leaving to study Psychology and Social Work, taking her from North Carolina to New York City until the Wallowa mountains called her home. Her poet life began in high school with the help of Fishtrap and continued through spoken word poetry performance in college and graduate school. Her writing focuses on the nuances of human hope, relationship, and resilience, which she feels privileged to learn about every day through her students in her work. Her greatest hopes are for all Wallowa County kids to be able to go see the world one day and for her little kitten Larry to live a long, snuggly life.