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Fishtrap Lures $12,000 Grant For Reading Project

Wallowa County’s writing incubator, Fishtrap, has just received federal funding for a community reading project. It’s one the community has done before. But this time, Fishtrap’s incorporating an artist who’s known in the community.

Luis Alberto Urrea lives in Illinois. But for several years now, he’s been traveling to Oregon to lecture at Fishtrap’s summer series.

His novel, Into the Beautiful North, was one of the books that the National Endowment for the Arts selected for this year’s Big Read — a community reading project.

Fishtrap executive director Ann Whitfield Powers says of the approximately 7,000 people in the county, she estimates a thousand or more take part in the Big Read.

“It’s  the book that people read,” Powers said, “if they’re not going to read every other book. You hear people talking about it at the coffee shop int he morning, at lunch, in the bars.”

Fishtrap will get $12,000 to develop programs to encourage people to read and discuss the book.

Urrea will be at Fishtrap for a previously scheduled seminar in July, and will return to talk with readers this winter.