Posted on: August 11th, 2011
It was a rollicking good time in the Mt. Hood conference room for the Banquet Dinner at the Willamette Writers 2011 Conference last Saturday night. A room full of writers, the performance of a fantastic PlayWrite monologue, and a call to write led to the tune of Lord of the Rings...I’d say Willamette Writers hit all the hallmarks of a successful conference.
PlayWrite’s Executive Director, Bruce Livingston, was called on stage during the dinner to receive the organization’s Humanitarian Award, “acknowledging the contribution [he’s] made and continue to make to more than 500 young writers in Oregon.” Big thanks to Salli Slaughter for a heartfelt intro! Bruce gave an articulate description of what we do at PlayWrite, noting that “putting emotion into words is a human process. It can also be art.” Diners had the opportunity to see exactly what it is PlayWrite does, when, after Bruce’s speech, Victor Mack performed “Possible Emptiness,” a punching bag’s monologue written by PlayWrite Cristina. Thanks, Victor, you brought the house down!
The evening continued on in celebration of great writing. Gus Van Sant was honored with the Distinguished Northwest Author Award, and Barry Lopez received the Lifetime Achievement award, each to great applause. Bob Dugoni, the keynote speaker for the evening, closed out the dinner with a call to all in attendance to stand firm in their will to write, borrowing a speech from Lord of the Rings to remind us all that “a day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we…write!! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you write!”
All in all, it was a fun dinner and a great opportunity to acknowledge the power of writing. Putting feelings into words, and voice to one’s story, creating art out of our unique human experience…that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?