Courtesy of Jamie Duclos-Yourdon

This Thursday, April 20, the collective proclaiming itself “Portland’s second-most-famous writers’ group” will challenge the idea that great work is produced in cloistered solitude.

It’s easy to imagine writers as solitary dreamers, spending hours writing up stories alone. But lots of great writers, like Ursula K. Le Guin and Lidia Yuknavitch, share their best work with trusted friends.


With the right mix, group edits can make good prose great.

The authors in the writing group the Guttery are like a literary power station; about a half-dozen of them have published within the last year. The Guttery takes its name from a great Oscar Wilde quote —  “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Courtesy of Susan Defreitas

Remember Mo Daviau, who came by last year to tell us about her sci-fi punk rock novel, “Every Anxious Wave”? Although she recently moved out of state for work, she was, until that point, a card-carrying Guttery member. The novel she brought to the group is up for an Oregon Book Award later this month.

There’s great range in the Guttery. Other members include storyteller, editor, fisher, and poet Lara Messersmith-Glavin; and the Russian-born poet A. Molotkov.

We welcomed three additional members to the studio last week:  Susan Defreitas (“Hot Season”), Jamie Duclos-Yourdon (“Froelich’s Ladder”), and Tracy Manaster (“The Done Thing”) to tell us about their process.

Courtesy of Tracy Manaster

The three of them, along with Mo Daviau, will read from their work at the Northeast Portland bookstore Another Read Through, this Thursday.