Listen: Ellen Waterston on Writing (and Walking) the High Desert 🎧 | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Listen: Ellen Waterston on Writing (and Walking) the High Desert 🎧 

For this week’s episode of “Bend Don’t Break,” we talk with Ellen Waterston, an acclaimed Oregon writer who has published numerous works including an essay collection, a memoir, and four books of poetry. One book of poetry “Vía Láctea, A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino,” was converted into a libretto and premiered as a full-length opera. She’s also an advocate of the literary arts and the founder of the Writing Ranch which offers workshops and retreats for established and emerging writers.

click to enlarge MARINA KOSLOW DAVIS
  • Marina Koslow Davis
During this episode, Waterston reads from her most recent book “Walking the High Desert, Encounters with Rural America along the Oregon Desert Trail,” which was published in June of 2020. The book is at once a guide to the 750-mile trail which stretches from the Badlands to Lake Owyhee, and also a loving tribute to the people and places of rural Oregon. Waterston worked as a rancher when she first moved here from New England and her appreciation for the intersection of rural values with environmentalism shines through during this conversation.


We also discuss Waterston’s contributions as an advocate of the literary arts: She was the founder and executive director of “The Nature of Words,” which brought nationally recognized writers to Bend for workshops and gatherings. Finally, we discuss how the constraints of COVID may have helped some creative people woodshed their work and as well as how agism impacts society and individuals moving into the twilight of their lives.


Listen to more from Ellen Waterston on this week's episode of “Bend Don't Break,” hosted by the Source Weekly’s publisher Aaron Switzer and co-hosted by Laurel Brauns. Every week, we feature a guest from the community with a new perspective on living through the COVID-19 pandemic including mental health professionals, economists, educators, artists, business people, local leaders and historians.

Ellen Waterston’s TEDxBend Talk
The Writing Ranch
Buy Walking the High Desert

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About The Authors

Aaron Switzer

Aaron Switzer is the founder and publisher of the Source. He remains fascinated with the art of communication even after being marinated in it for the past 30 years. He has many favorites but they pale in comparison to mountain biking on the middle fork of the Willamette with any family member who will go. Believes...
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