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Recent Events

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Next Fireside is Friday, April 10 at 7pm2015FishtrapFiresideApril10draft copy

Kristy Athens
Kathy Hunter
Maya Polan

More on the featured writers for April 10, 2015.

Kristy Athens is the author of Get Your Pitchfork On!: The Real Dirt on Country Living (Process Media, 2012). In 2014, she received an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts. She will complete an M.S. in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University in June 2015. She lives in Wallowa County, Oregon, where she works as the outreach specialist for NE Oregon Economic Development District.

Kathy Hunter retired to Wallowa County after a career in Alaska as a freelance journalist, college teacher and editor. In Wallowa County she discovered a new career as a performing storyteller, a logical combination of her talents in creative writing, music and theater.  Ever since her radio show of 14 years, Fishtrap Storytime, was cancelled, she has been figuring out, again, what to be when she grows up.

Maya Polan has an appetite for travel. She first drove cross-country when she was 18, and has since been to forty-seven states. She’s lived in Connecticut, California, Indonesia, and Oregon, and graduated with a BA in Literary Arts from the University of Redlands en route. Currently, she’s a degree candidate for an MFA in poetry from Oregon State University in Corvallis, where she’s also worked for the Spring Creek Project, OSU Press, and Cloudbank Books. She’s nearly finished her thesis, a collection of poems, two of which can be read in the most recent edition of the New Haven Review.


Fishtrap Fireside

A Monthly Event for Wallowa County Writers to Read and Share their Work

Fishtrap Fireside takes place the second Friday of every month October through April from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Fishtrap House, 400 East Grant Street in Enterprise. The community is encouraged to attend these events, share light refreshments, and hear new work by local writers beside a crackling fire.

The next Fireside is Friday, March 13 @ 7pm

2015FishtrapFiresideMarch13draftJean Falbo
Alyssa Halton
Barrie Qualle

Jean Falbo was raised in Clearwater County, Idaho and made the improbable journey from a one-room country school to a PhD in Biology. She is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Planning, Sonoma State University. She is a naturalist, amateur photographer, poet, essayist and world traveler. She and her mathematician husband retired to Wallowa County ten years ago where they are active in several community organizations.

 Alyssa Halton was born and raised just outside of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. She is a recent East-to-West Coast transplant and now lives in Joseph, where she is an MFA Candidate in Creative Non-Fiction at Oregon State University. Her writing is interested in examining the connection between place and personal identity, often reflecting the myriad of places she, at some point, has called home.

Barrie Qualle’s life started 10 years ago when he moved to Wallowa County. Prior to that it was wrechedness and drudgery.

About the Open Mic
Open mic readings five minutes or less. A sign up sheet is available at the event on a first come, first served basis.

400 E. Grant
Enterprise, Oregon

For more information contact Fishtrap Program Manager, Mike Midlo.

Phone: 541-426-3623

Fishtrap is happy to ounce the Big Read book for Winter 2015

Into the Beautiful North
by Luis Alberto Urrea

cover_into_the_beautiful_northInto the Beautiful North is the story of a group of young people from a small town in southern Mexico who go on a quest to save their town from banditos. Luis Alberto Urrea explores, with compassion and humor, the micro-cultures within the border world, from the residents of the Tijuana garbage dump to the upscale neighborhoods of San Diego, and reveals that the distance between them is not as great as one might initially imagine.



The 2015 Big Read Schedule of Events

Thursday, January 8
Kickoff Fiesta
Join us for traditional Mexican food, music, games, and an introduction to Into the Beautiful North by Fishtrap staff.
Joseph Community Center
6-8pm – Free and open to the public
Food Available for purchase by El Bahio

Thursday, January 15
Movie: The Magnificent Seven
OK Theatre
7pm – Free and open to the public

Thursday, January 22
Movie: Under the Same Moon
TWO LOCATIONS: The Josephy Center & Wallowa City Hall
7pm – Free and open to the public

Thursday, January 29
Presentation: US and Mexico Border History w/ Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Location: Fishtrap House
7pm – Free and open to the public

Saturday, February 7
Milagro Theater Community Workshop

Enterprise HS Multipurpose Room
$10 registration – limited to 25 participants
contact Mike Midlo at Fishtrap to reserve your spot: – 541-426-3623

Milagro Theater’s production of Searching for Aztlan
OK Theatre
3pm matinee – Free and open to the public

Sunday, February 8
Finale with author Luis Alberto Urrea
Potluck with tamales provided by La Laguna
Hurricane Creek Grange Hall
$5 youth – $10 adults – $25 family
*get your tickets at The Book Loft and at Fishtrap

CLICK HERE to visit The Big Read web site and learn more about Into the Beautiful North.

Fishtrap Fireside

A Monthly Event for Wallowa County Writers to Read and Share their Work

Fishtrap Fireside takes place the second Friday of every month October through April from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Fishtrap House, 400 East Grant Street in Enterprise. The community is encouraged to attend these events, share light refreshments, and hear new work by local writers beside a crackling fire.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Lynne Curry
Mary Ellen Emerick
Ralph Swinehart

Lynne Curry is a professional cook and writer who moved to Joseph from Seattle in 2001. As a food journalist, she has written for Fine Cooking, Saveur, the Huffington Post and Los Angeles Times along with many other newspapers and magazines, and she is the author of the cookbook Pure Beef. Her narrative essays have appeared in the journal Tin House, online at Zester Daily and Leite’s Culinaria and in the collection Food and Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast.

Mary Ellen Emerick has been a firefighter, a wilderness ranger, and a naturalist in eleven states. She moved from Alaska to Wallowa County in 2009. Her essays have been published in several magazines and anthologies. In 2010 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for one of her essays, and she was a finalist for the High Desert Journal Non-Fiction Prize in 2011. She is working on a novel and a memoir. When she isn’t writing she can be found somewhere in the mountains.

Ralph Swinehart moved to Wallowa County in 1972 as part of the back to the land movement and still lives on the small farm he started building then.  He is currently a semi-retired engineer, a part time sheepherder, and is working on becoming a full time luddite. In his spare time, Ralph works on and drives his Model A’s and Model T’s.

Friday, January 9 at 7pm2015FishtrapFiresideJan9

Jon Rombach
Cameron Scott
Amy Zahm

Jon Rombach rambled on and on the first time he read something in public at a Summer Fishtrap open mic 16 years ago. He still feels bad about it and promises never to do that again. He writes columns for the Chieftain that ramble on and on.

Cameron Scott received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Arizona. His work has most recently appeared in Silk Road, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Clerestory, The Fly Fish Journal and the Watershed Review. He has been a Writer-in- Residence/teacher for both Fishtrap and Chiloquin Visions in Progress and also attended residencies through the Colorado Art Ranch and Playa. He spends his summers as a fly fishing guide at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt, Colorado where his clients like to talk about ranches so big they can only get half way across them in a day. Cam has a truck like that, too.

Amy Zahm is a Wallowa County native. After several years venturing about the American West, she returned home to practice acupuncture, ride horses, and revel in the wild beauty of her mountain home. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing through Eastern Oregon University.


Friday, December 12 at 7pm

Cathy Sterbentz a.k.a. Ester Bentz2014FishtrapFiresideDec12
Rich Wandschneider

This month’s event features a special holiday reading byRich Wandschneider, and poetry from Ester Bentz. An open mic reading follows where audience members have a chance to get up and share their favorite holiday tales too.

More on the featured writers for December 12, 2014.

Cathy Sterbentz a.k.a. Ester Bentz has been a “boomerang” resident of Wallowa County since the late 1980s. While patiently awaiting literary fame and fortune, she has eked out a living cooking at camps, tutoring kids, managing motels, writing for newspapers, and working in the woods. Now as the hourglass shifts from half-full to half-empty, she’s holding out hope for posthumous publication.

Rich Wandschneider moved to the Wallowas in 1971 as a back to the lander with a job at the local County Extension Office. After five years of extension work he and his wife Judy opened the Bookloft,. They sold it to Mary Swanson in 1988. That year Rich and friends started Fishtrap, and he is now building the Josephy Library of Western History and Culture and promoting the legacy of fellow Fishtrap founder, historian and advocate for American Indians, Alvin M. Josephy Jr.

About the Open Mic
Open mic readings five minutes or less. A sign up sheet is available at the event on a first come, first served basis.

400 E. Grant, Enterprise, Oregon

For more information contact Fishtrap Program Manager, Mike Midlo.

Phone: 541-426-3623


Fishtrap Fireside is a monthly event for Wallowa County writers to read and share their work. The event takes place the second Friday of every month October through April from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Fishtrap House, 400 East Grant Street in Enterprise. Upcoming writers include, Jon rombach, Amy Zahm and Jean Falbo among others. The community is encouraged to attend these events, enjoy light refreshments and hear new work by local writers.

Every month, we light a fire in the fireplace and open the doors for an evening of readings and storytelling. Events highlight three local writers from the area followed by an open mic. We encourage the community to attend these events. Find a seat by the fire, hear new work by local writers, and even share a few stories of your own. $5 suggested donation.

 2014-2015 Dates

Friday, October 10
Friday, November 14
Friday December 12
Friday, January 9
Friday, February 13
Friday, March 13
Friday, April 10

About the Open Mic
Open mic readings five minutes or less. A sign up sheet is available at the event on a first come, first served basis.

400 E. Grant, Enterprise, Oregon

For more information contact Fishtrap Program Manager, Mike Midlo.

Phone: 541-426-3623


Wednesday, October 22 at 5:30pm
Potluck & Reading: Welcome Fishtrap’s New Team
Fishtrap House, 400 Grant St.
Free Admission

Welcome photo 2Fishtrap’s newest staff members with a potluck dinner and gathering. Our new Office Manager/Administrative Assistant, , Eric Greenwell is off to a great start and has already made a big difference in making things work more smoothly. Last year Fishtrap began an exciting partnership with Oregon State University where they send two MFA graduate students to live in Wallowa County and work at Fishtrap for a year. This year, we’re lucky to have Maya Polan and Alyssa Halton join us. Plus, we’re thrilled to be able to welcome back Cameron Scott to the Fishtrap family who is returning as part of a five year project called Fishtrap Story Lab to revitalize writing in the schools. Help us give these four a big Wallowa County welcome. All are talented writers and will be sharing short bits of writing with us.






2014FallWebBerREV2October Arts & Lecture Series


[Click here for tickets]

This October, meet three women who dared to be different. From a mother’s courageous journey in a rural Nepalese village, to the school mistress who dramatically influenced the The King and I, to the rip-roarin’ western legend of Calamity Jane, discover stories of dynamic and intrepid women during Fishtrap’s Fall Arts & Lecture Series.

Fishtrap continues its 27-year tradition of bringing interesting people and thought-provoking events to Wallowa County. The public is invited to three lectures all with Oregon authors who have explored legendary characters and while doing that, looked inwards toward themselves.

Fishtrap’s Fall Arts and Lecture series begins Thursday, October 2 with a book release party and presentation for Elizabeth Enslin’s, While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey through Love and Rebellion in Nepal followed by a book signing and party with live music, drinks, and Nepali-inspired snacks. The series continues with weekly events throughout the month.


Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm
Richard Etulain: The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane
Fishtrap House, 400 Grant St.

Everyone knows the name Calamity Jane. Scores of dime novels and movie and TV Westerns have portrayed this original Wild West woman as an adventuresome, gun-toting hellion. Although Calamity Jane has probably been written about more than any other woman of the nineteenth-century American West, fiction and legend have largely obscured the facts of her life. Etulain’s lively, concise, and exhaustively researched biography traces the real person from the Missouri farm where she was born in 1856 through the development of her notorious persona as a Wild West heroine.

Richard W. Etulain is Professor Emeritus of History and former director of the Center for the American West at the University of New Mexico. Former editor of the New Mexico Historical Review, he is the author or editor of more than 50 books, including Beyond the ​Missouri: The Story of the American West and Telling Western Stories: From Buffalo Bill to Larry McMurtry.​

[Click here for tickets]


Thursday, October 2 at 7pm
Elizabeth Enslin: While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey through Love and Rebellion in Nepal.
The Josephy Center, 403 N Main St., Joseph
Free Admission

While the Gods Were Sleeping is Elizabeth Enslin’s intimate and compelling story of the challenges of marriage, pregnancy, and childrearing in a foreign land—among Brahman in-laws in a remote village in the plains of Nepal. While struggling to adapt to her new life, she discovers unexpected allies among local women and ultimately discovers as much about human resilience and the capacity for courage as she does about herself.

Elizabeth Enslin grew up in Seattle and went on to earn her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Stanford University. While a graduate student, she married into a Brahman family in the plains of Nepal. She has published creative nonfiction and poetry in The Gettysburg Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The High Desert Journal, among other publications. She lives in Wallowa County.

Tuesday, October 9 at 7pm
Film Screening: The King and I
Fishtrap House, 400 Grant Street, Enterprise

The film and stage versions of The King and I were inspired by Anna Leonowens’ accounts of her life in Siam. View the film before attending Alfred Habeggar’s lecture and learn how Leonowens may have misrepresented an Asian people, and a nation.


Thursday, October 16 at 7pm
Alfred Habeggar: Masked: The Life of Anna Leonowens, Schoolmistress at the Court of Siam.
Fishtrap House, 400 Grant Street, Enterprise

Masked is the first critical, fact-based biography of Anna Leonowens, the elusive India-born teacher who inspired The King and I. Based on fresh research on five continents, the book traces her hard itinerant life before, in, and after Bangkok, showing why someone of part-Asian ancestry ended up misrepresenting an Asian people and nation. Masked also explores why Leonowens’s claim to have brought democracy to Siam held a profound appeal to Americans after the Civil War, and then once again in the 1940s and 1950s, when her story offered a kind of mythical support for America’s historic shift from isolationism to foreign interventionism.

Formerly a Professor of English at the University of Kansas, Al Habegger is the author of many scholarly articles and five books, including The Father: A Life of Henry James, Sr. and the acclaimed My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. In the 1970s he and his wife, Nellie, began building a log house on their land in the northern Wallowa County, where they now reside. They make occasional trips to their daughter-in-law’s village in northeastern Thailand.

 Summer Fishtrap July 7-13

The 27th Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers takes place at Wallowa Lake. We still have a few spots open in the Songwriting Workshop with Marv Ross and Amy Minato’s Youth Workshop (ages 10-14). Go to our Summer Fishtrap Schedule page to learn more about all the great things we’ve got pled and, see a list of events that are free and open to the  public.

June 28 at 7:30pm
Josephy Center
Join us for an evening of jazz and poetry with Matt Cooper and Kevin Cahill. This Fishtrap fundraiser includes music, entertainment, prohibition-style attaire and raffle prizes including a coast getaway, Wildhorse Casino package, book package and more. The event is all in support of Fishtrap’s great programs AND a special appeal to help us replace our aging furnace – a creature from the dark ages that works at only 40% efficiency and leaves us shivering next to space heaters all winter! Come on out to have a great evening and support Fishtrap!
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Boathouse reading with author & raft guide Vince Welch June 25, 2014

Author & raft guide Vince Welch reads at the Winding Rivers Boathouse in Joseph, Oregon. Learn about the amazing river running life of Haldane “Buzz” Holmstrom as Welch reads from his book The Doing of the Thing – the Brief, Brilliant Whitewater Career of Buzz Holmstrom.

Look Closer: May Spring Arts & Lecture Series


Thursday May 29 at 6:30pm
The Mushroom Hunters: A Wild Mushroom, Wine Tasting and Literary Evening with Langdon Cook
at Fishtraplangdoncook_author_sm

Writer, instructor, and lecturer on wild foods and the outdoors Langdon Cook joins us for an evening of wild mushrooms, wine, and literature! Langdon will read from and discuss his Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award winning non-fiction work, The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America about which Kathleen Flynn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry writes, “With superb detail and intrepid research, Langdon Cook leads a fascinating trek deep into the mysterious world of mushroom hunting, blending intriguing natural history and quirky characters with insight into this murky, sometimes dangerous business. Riveting stuff for food lovers.” Come early to sample freshly prepared wild mushrooms and have a glass of wine, and learn about opportunities to join Langdon on a mushroom foraging outing! This event is hosted in partnership with Slow Food Wallowas. Admission: $10. [CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS]



LC ForagingFriday, May 30

10 AM – Noon, Fishtrap House, 400 E. Grant St., Enterprise, OR 97828

Writing in the Wild, a Writing Workshop with Langdon Cook

Inspiration in nature is as ancient as language itself. In this workshop we’ll divide our time between indoor and outdoor classrooms. Langdon Cook, author of the “The Mushroom Hunters” and “Fat of the Land,” will lead participants in a series of exercises to use all our senses, hone powers of observation, and transform note-taking into narrative. Bring pen, notebook, and imagination.

Cost: $10 – Register here.

Friday May 16 at 7:00pmgregNokes
Breaking Chains: R. Gregory Nokes & Gwendolyn Trice on Slavery and Jim Crow in Oregon
at Fishtrap

Journalist, historian, and author R. Gregory Nokes returns to Fisthrap to share a multimedia presentation drawing from his Oregon Book Award nominated non-fiction work, Breaking Chains: Slavery On Trial in the Oregon Territory. Greg will be joined in conversation by Maxville Heritage Center Executive Director Gwendolyn Trice, who will also share a video presentation. The two hope to draw connections between the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws in our local history in what promises to be an illuminating conversation. $5 suggested donation.



Josephy Lecture – Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00pm
Lewis and Clark among the Nez Perce with Allen Pinkham and Steve Ross Evans

Fishtrap and The Josephy Center present the inaugural Alvin Josephy Lecture with Allen Pinkham and Steve Ross Evans authors of Lewis and Clark Among the Nez Perce. $5 suggested donation.


Sunday, May 4 at 4:00pm

mary schlick

A Celebration of the Schlick Family –  The Josephy Center
Join us for a celebration of the unique legacy of Mary Dodds Schlick. Author of Columbia River Basketry, Gift of the Ancestors, Gift of the Earth, Mary has devoted much of her life to preserving, celebrating, and educating others about the basketry, craftwork, and folkways of Native Peoples of the Columbia River Plateau. Mary will be joined by her daughter, author Katherine Schlick Noe, and son, musician Joe Schlick. Katherine will share from her novel, Something To Hold, based on her experience growing up on the Warm Springs Reservation, many portions of which began in workshops at Fishtrap’s Summer Gathering of Writers. Joe will share songs, some composed at Fishtrap’s Imnaha Writers’ Retreat. Mary’s presentation will give insight into basket weaving techniques,and will kick off a two-week exhibition of her own basketry and examples of traditional Plateau Indian baskets at the Josephy Center. This event is hosted in partnership with the Josephy Center and is free to the public.


Fishtrap Fireside – Friday, April 11FishtrapFiresideApril11 copy

It’s the final Fishtrap Fireside of the season. Join us Friday April 11 at 7:00pm for an evening of stories and readings by the fire. This month features work by Kristy Athens, Pamela Royes and Eileen Thiel followed by an open mic reading. Fishtrap Fireside is a monthly event for Wallowa County writers to read and share their work. The community is encouraged to attend these events. Bring refreshments, enjoy the fire and hear new work by local writers.


Wallowa Resources WREN Program: Nature Journaling – April 4

Fishtrap partners with Wallowa Resources’ WREN program April 4 offering a Nature Journaling class to 5-8th graders. Kristy Athens will take kids on a guided hike and help them turn their experiences into written word. CLICK HERE to learn more about Wallowa Resources’ WREN program and register.

A Fishtrap Sampler: A Fundraising Evening of Delicious Literary and Culinary Bites
Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Portland

Get your tickets now to the Fishtrap Sampler in Portland, March 15!