In anticipation for Wordstock 2017, which announced its return on Nov. 11, we take a step into the time machine and revisit last year’s wordsmiths. The big news is that the subject of one of their books, a musician you might know from the soles of his shows, is coming to Oregon.


Peter Ames Carlin speaks with OPB's "State Of Wonder" host April Baer at Wordstock at the Dolores Winningstad Theatre in Portland, Oregon, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016.

Peter Ames Carlin speaks with OPB’s “State Of Wonder” host April Baer at Wordstock at the Dolores Winningstad Theatre in Portland, Oregon, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

Peter Ames Carlin on Paul Simon

Peter Ames Carlin has written about some of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century — Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson — and his new book is no exception.

Paul Simon soundtracked the 1960s, together with his soul mate, frenemy and long-time musical partner, Art Garfunkel. But as Carlin’s book “Homeward Bound” shows, the road to Graceland was strewn with contradictions, and the man who gave us some of the sweetest harmonies of the 20th century was not the guy you would want to cross over song royalties. But if he’s someone you want to see, you can catch Paul Simon in all his glory at the Les Schwab Ampitheater in Bend on June 24.

Added bonus! The enchanting Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba and Tiburones joins us for some Simon intepretation, and one of her originals off the record “Ojos Del Sol”.


Seattle-based Lindy West says pop culture wars were completely unexpected. She began as a critic, writing about movies, comedy, and more. Her memoir is "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman".

Seattle-based Lindy West says pop culture wars were completely unexpected. She began as a critic, writing about movies, comedy, and more. Her memoir is “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman”.

Roxy de la Torre/OPB

Lindy West

How exactly is it Lindy West ended up at the center of so many white-hot flash points in pop culture? She has thought through difficult subjects with rigor, creativity and brio: misogyny in comedy, fat acceptance, trolling on Twitter and more. The celebrated columnist for “The Guardian” talks to us about her memoir, “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman,” her roots at Seattle’s alt-weekly “The Stranger,” and how her parents contributed to the fireproofing that lets her fight her battles.


A contributor to the New Yorker, Rivka Galchen, if this author of this year's, "Little Labors", and the 2008 novel, "Atmospheric Disturbances".

A contributor to the New Yorker, Rivka Galchen, if this author of this year’s, “Little Labors”, and the 2008 novel, “Atmospheric Disturbances”.

Roxy de la Torre/OPB

Rivka Galchen

The exquisite essays and stories of Rivka Galchen delight readers of the “New Yorker,” The New York Times and other hot spots. All great writers meet their match, and Galchen nearly hit her own wall four years ago. Her elegantly constructed idea for a book comparing two medieval Japanese women writers was neatly derailed by the birth of her daughter. Onstage at Wordstock, Galchen tells us how she learned to embrace the kind of thoughts she was having in the throes of baby inebriation.

The resulting book, “Little Labors,” is a series of short, splendid essays that perfectly describe the altered state of maternity.

These three weren’t the only amazing authors we got to connect with at Wordstock 2016. Check out our show with Richard Russo, Jonathan Lethem, Karen Russell and Nikki McClure, and our show with Maria Semple, Alexander Chee and Rabih Alameddine.

And if you can’t get enough masters of the written work, in 2015 we had the pleasure of sitting down with Ursula K. Le Guin, the Drive By Truckers’ Patterson Hood and Willie Vlautin, as well as Colin and Maile Meloy with Carson Ellis and the amazing writing group of Chelsea Cain, Lidia Yuknavitch and Suzy Vitello