Meet Our 2011 Featured Authors 

Oregon Poet Laureate
Paulann Petersen

Paulann Petersen is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University whose poems have appeared in many publications including Poetry, The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, and Wilderness Magazine. She has four chapbooks--Under the Sign of a Neon Wolf, The Animal Bride, Fabrication, and The Hermaphrodite Flower. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Wild Awake, was published by Confluence Press in 2002. A second, Blood-Silk, poems about Turkey, was published by Quiet Lion Press of Portland in 2004. A Bride of Narrow Escape was published by Cloudbank Books as part of its Northwest Poetry Series in 2006. Kindle was published by Mountains and Rivers Press in 2008. Her latest book, The Voluptuary, was recently published by Lost Horse Press.

Her work has been selected for the web site Poetry Daily and for Poetry in Motion, which puts poems on buses and light rail cars in the Portland metropolitan area. The recipient of Oregon Literary Arts' 2006 Holbrook Award, Paulann has taught a number of poetry workshops for colleges, libraries, and writers' conferences, including Fishtrap, Oregon Writers' Workshop in Portland (Northwest College of Art, Portland Art Museum), Mountain Writers Series, Oregon State Poetry Association, The Creative Arts Community at Menucha, Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, and the Lifelong Learning Institute at Chemeketa Community College. She serves on the board for Friends of William Stafford, organizing the annual January William Stafford Birthday Events. 

On April 26, 2010, Governor Kulongoski appointed Paulann Petersen as Oregon's sixth Poet Laureate.

For more information on Paulann Petersen and her work, go to her website at or

[Content from and, photo by Sabrina Samiee]

Shakespeare Scholar and Author
Mary Z. Maher

Mary Z. Maher has spent most of her adult life trying to prove that she is not just another aging groupie. So, listen up while she struts and frets her hour upon this page.

She is Professor Emerita, retired from the University of Arizona and living in a small town in Oregon that boasts a Tony-award-winning Shakespeare festival and a groovy library (the Margery Bailey Shakespeare collection at Southern Oregon University’s Library). These offer fertile inspiration and profound insights into her passion, which is documenting Shakespeare through performance and, specifically, actors of Shakespeare and their work process.

She comes by her goals honestly—having taught 26 years of courses and workshops in performing Shakespeare—all the way from a Distinguished Professorship at Arizona State University to gigs at the University of London and Cambridge University. She was in NEH seminars at the Folger Shakespeare Library with Bernard Beckerman and Michael Goldman, was funded by AAUW fellowships and residencies at Centro Studi Liguri in Italy, worked on The Shakespeare Plays series at the BBC, and juried in fine arts on the USDE Jacob Javits and AAUW Fellowships programs.

She was invited into rehearsals in both of Kevin Kline’s Hamlet productions, one onstage at the New York Shakespeare Festival and also the PBS television version.  Her 50-plus articles document a number of forays into Shakespeare on film and in performance.

Three books are featured here—Modern Hamlets and Their Soliloquies (University of Iowa, 1992, Expanded Edition in 2003), an academic classic; a 2005 biography, Actor Nicholas Pennell: Risking Enchantment; and the barnstormer, Actors Talk About Shakespeare, Applause Books, Limelight Editions, 2009.

For more information on Mary Maher and her work, do to her website at

[Content from, photo by Brad Eastburn]