Writing Program

Community Writes

North Coast Squid

Word & Image

Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize

Writing has been an integral part of the Hoffman Center for the Arts from its earliest days. We welcome writers of all interests and skill levels to be a part of our diverse and thriving community.

Our programming includes writing workshops, author readings, publications and a writing lounge as well as other opportunities for creative expression and inspiration.

COMMUNITY WRITES is seeking submissions to engage writers with strong ties to the north Oregon Coast.  Whether you live here all year or visit regularly, we invite our community members to write short pieces inspired by the topics below. Entries may be poetry, fiction, non-fiction or memoir and will be published on this page. There is a $5 fee per submission.

There will also be an opportunity for writers to read their pieces at periodic Open Mic events.

The current prompt for October through December 2023 is Transitions. The prompt for January through March 2024 is Blue.

Community Writes

Current Postings

North Coast Squid

The North Coast Squid, A Journal of Local Writing, was first published in 2012 in collaboration with The North Coast Citizen and is now published by the Hoffman Writing Program. This literary magazine offers local writers and artists—as well as those who have a strong connection to the north Oregon coast—a way to share their work in print.

Submissions for the 9th edition of magazine were accepted during June, 2023. The publication will be released on November 3, 2023.

Where Can I Buy The North Coast Squid?
The North Coast Squid can typically be found at select local and regional bookstore and merchant partners.  But get your copies early, as they do sell out. Net proceeds from the cover price go toward the cost of producing future editions.

Manzanita: Hoffman Gallery, Cloud & Leaf Bookstore, Manzanita News & Espresso, Wild Manzanita Grocery & Cafe’
Nehalem: Wild Coast Goods
Wheeler: The Roost
Garibaldi: Maritime Museum
Tillamook: Tillamook Country Pioneer Museum
Cannon Beach: Cannon Beach Book Company, Cannon Beach Art Gallery
Seaside: Beach Books
Astoria: Lucy’s Books, Salty Siren Bookstore

Or you can purchase a copy online.

Word & Image

Word & Image takes the Greek tradition of Ekphrasis — which is writing in response to art, and turns the tables to include art in response to writing. The combinations of word and image that result often reveal surprising new layers of meaning, and give both artists and writers the rare opportunity to see their art reflected in the work of another’s.  Writers and artists are randomly paired and have approximately six weeks to create new work. The paired pieces are exhibited in the form of broadsides in the Hoffman Gallery and also collected in a keepsake book, both of which are for sale. Word & Image is produced in even-numbered years.

Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize,

Submissions for the 2024 Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize open January 1, 2024.

The first place winner will receive $100 cash and have their poem published on the website. Second and third place winners also get their poems published on the website. See the 2023 winning poems and honorable mentions below.

In addition, the winning poets will read their work at a special Hoffman Center event on April 14th, which will celebrate the launch of new poetry collections from Airlie Press. .

The contest judge this year is Logan Garner, the 2023 winner of the Neahkahnie Mountain Poetry Prize. He lives and writes on Oregon’s north coast at the mouth of the Columbia River. His first poetry collection, Here, in the Floodplain, was published by Plan B Press in 2023, and his work has appeared in the Elevation Review, Flying Island, the North Coast Squid and others. He’s currently working on two more poetry collections. 

Click here to view and download event flyer

Logan Garner is the author of Here, in the Floodplain (Plan B Press, 2023). He won this year’s Poetry Prize held by Manzanita Writers’ Series and the Hoffman Center for the Arts. His poetry has appeared in The Purpled Nail (Underwood Press) and the Kneeland Center for Poetry’s Elevation Review and his fiction has been featured in speculative magazines and anthologies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science communication and philosophy from Butler University. Logan moved from Indianapolis to Warrenton, Oregon in 2015 where the roots he’s put down continue to grow.

“The sense of place I have found on Oregon’s north coast is something I never quite grasped in the Midwest. There is something about our capricious weather conditions, which never seem to make up their minds about who they are, that sets me right at home. I’m sure that’s telling. While I’ll always consider part of myself a Hoosier poet, it is here where I find myself growing, exploring, creating, staying. This is in no small part due to organizations like the Hoffman Center for the Arts and the creative communities they serve. I am so grateful for both.”

The contest judge, Lauren Mallett, commented “I feel at home in the particular grief of “5 NOVEMBER.” The coast is a character here, and–in the absence of Sam, a beloved dog–an obtrusive one at that. The natural world speaks when the speaker and partner have nothing to say.”

5 NOVEMBER

You called me.
Sam—the dog
—our sweet boy
was gone.

Come home, he’s a pile
under the kitchen table.
His late final den.

The food we ordered
some days later,
after another hours-long cry,
was deep fried, crusted thick,
figurative ash caking
the soft palates of our mouths.

Today we drive to
take a walk, just us,
mosquitoes nitpicking
and reeling close.
Your arms crossed.
My head down.

The surf pines all lean
together over us rude and
low up over the dunes.
We can see the tide
rolling in dark
beneath the gray
and climbing anvils.

We’re coming into some weather.

Logan Garner

A Chance Meeting with My Mother
on the Anniversary of Her Death

Last night I found her sitting behind the wheel
in a sunny parking lot. She looked carefree:
short brown hair, blue t-shirt, bare arms.
I was thrilled to see her in the driver’s seat again
after those last months behind the red Rollator walker
or perched on the brown recliner, elevated
on blocks so she could rise. Now it seems
she was just resting, getting ready for this younger life.
Her arms so firm and supple—were they real?
“Could I touch you?” I asked.
“People even reach right through me,” she answered. 
Mother, were you smiling when you said that?

Phyllis Mannan

Phyllis Mannan has a memoir, Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity, and a poetry chapbook, Bitterbrush. Her work has appeared in Cloudbank, the North Coast Squid, The Oregonian, Rain Magazine, and elsewhere. She has lived in Manzanita full-time since 2007.

 

Prepared

it’s important to be prepared
for emergencies
Grandpa said
opening the trunk
water
oil
towel
rope
screwdrivers
plastic bag by the tire iron
are those your emergency gummy bears Grandpa?

oh those


yes

Katz Bryan

 

Katz Bryan is a proud resident of Rockaway Beach, where he can often be found combing the beach for shells and rocks. In poetry, he seeks to honor the people he has known, and to share the humor or wisdom he has discovered along the way.

Ursula McCabe, Portland, OR  “Calling Doctor Bushtit”
L Swartz, Wheeler, OR   “OCEAN (mocking)”
Matt Wigdahl, Castle Rock, CO and Cannon Beach, OR  “Is language still the bed you seek?”

Wonder Garden Poetry Post

Submissions open for the next Wonder Garden Poetry Post May 1 through May 31st, 2024.

Submit your work on the theme of “Seasons in the Garden” for display in the Wonder Garden’s all-weather, all-seasons poetry post. We seek poems that reflect the experience of the garden, not only in summer’s colorful bloom, but all year long.

Poems should explore place, environment, and/or the relationship between humans and the garden.

Poets will be notified on June 15th and will be posted for one month in the Wonder Garden, and on the website afterwards.