Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

First WordFest of 2023 set for January 10

The first WordFest event for 2023 will be held Tuesday, January 10, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1428 22nd Avenue in Longview.

Local comedian Coree Spencer will present her book, I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK, an activity book for when people are feeling down, anxious, or depressed. She created it from her own experience of having to rely on laughter to cope with mental health issues. “This book is like being with a hilarious friend who has no good advice but totally gets what you are going through,” she says. It offers a bingo board to track signs that things may be off; a list of conversation enders and excuses for staying home when social anxiety creeps in, and a handy punch card that tracks the number of times one has canceled social plans. “The book is brightly illustrated but unafraid of the dark side, says Spencer. “We’ve all been there, and that’s OK.”

Spencer organized the Cinder Block Comedy Festival in New York City, which received coverage in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and the Village Voice for its empowerment of marginalized groups.

Shirley Clukey of Woodland will read from Dis-Membered: A Mormon Mom’s Memoir. The work-in-progress tells the story of why she joined the church at age 19 and why she left it four decades later. The story includes how grateful she remains for her years in the church and how she wishes she’d never had anything to do with it.

Clukey spent 43 years as a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as choir director and holding a number of teaching and leadership positions in the US and overseas. Things changed after her 20-year-old son came out as gay.

Hans Schaufus from Kalama has been writing an annual Christmas letter since 1996. They are pure fiction and represent different settings, in America, and several European and Latin American countries. He will read several of these letters.

After growing up in Baltimore, Schaufus traveled around the US and Europe for a number of years, earned a BA in History at the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, in 1972, and spent 25 years working at the Longview Public Library where he was instrumental in creating the "Art at the Library" program. Since his retirement in 2006, he’s been involved in Longview’s Outdoor Gallery, the downtown sculpture project, and is the author /photographer of Am Ende der Strasse Links: Eine Reise Durch die Ehemalige DDR, a photographic essay on the former East German republic.

An open mic will follow the presentations.

Due to Covid, it is recommended that people be vaccinated and boosted if possible, and wear masks when not eating or drinking.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 p.m., in the fellowship hall of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Alan Rose at


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