July 17
7 PM

Newport Visual Arts Center
777 NW Beach Drive
Newport OR 97365

open mic follows

Admission $6.00
Free to Students


Live Through This

Debra Gwartney is the author of Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love, published 2009. The book has been featured in People magazine and on Good Morning America.

Gwartney was a former correspondent for Newsweek, and a reporter for The Oregonian. Her memoir grew out of a piece she did in 2002 for National Public Radio’s This American Life. Grief, guilt and shame rip through every page.

Live Through This examines Gwartney’s own history and her relationship with her four daughters. What at first seemed normal rebellion turned deadly serious, as alcohol, drugs and a street subculture loomed ever larger in the girls' lives. Then one day in 1995, Amanda, 16, and Stephanie, 14, hopped a freight train and disappeared. "I woke in panic, lived my day in panic, went to bed in panic," says Gwartney.

In the book she recounts her history with their happy-go-lucky father, how it was his wildness that drew her to him even as it was the cause of their divorce. And though her husband is reckless and her daughters are defiant, she takes more than enough of the blame on herself. She readily states that her own pain and need drove her daughters away. “It wasn’t right,” she says, “to need a child this much.”

Gwartney’s work has been featured in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Prairie Schooner, Washington Square Review, Kenyon Review, Salon, Triquarterly Review, and others. She received fellowships from the Oregon Commission on the Arts, Literary Arts, the Hedgebrook Writers’ Colony, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, and was a nonfiction scholar at the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. She is the co-editor, with her husband Barry Lopez, of the anthology Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, named a New York Times “Top 10” book in 2006. Gwartney taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, and now teaches nonfiction at Portland State University in Portland. She is the mother of four grown daughters.

For more information: http://www.debragwartney.com