Community Read 2013
Books will be available in the Library Wednesday, Feb. 6th
Contents May Have Shifted
Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel is told by a narrator named Pam in 144 short
vignettes. Pam travels to fifteen countries and twenty-one states in the book. The
author explains that she has: "144 chapters. 132 of them are titled with a place name,
divided into groups of 12 by 12 single stories that take place no place—on an airplane."
In the course of the book the narrator travels to numerous locales partly because of her lifelong wanderlust and partly because she is looking for "something." In the course
of the novel, Houston deals with life's universal issues as she describes a "spiritual journey toward a life rich in love and freedom." Houston has described this novel as "trying to live, as it does—as I believe many books do—between fiction and memoir."
- Related Special Events (all free)
- Author Profile
- Discussion Groups
- The Community Read Program and How it Works
- Suggested Further Reading
- Slideshow of Pam's Travels
Venture: To Take a Risk! - A Juried Art Show All Month - Opening Reception - March 2 (Sat) 5:30 pm
Northwind Arts Center Juror: Robin Anderson, Director of the Port Angeles Art Center. The show will feature the work of regional artists. Refreshments will be served at the
PT Shorts March 2 (Sat) Pope Marine Building 7:30 pm
Readings from Contents May Have Shifted presented by local actors.
Venture: To Take a Risk! March 3 (Sun) Northwind Arts Center 1:00 pm
Art show talk by Robin Anderson, Director of the Port Angeles Art Center and Juror of the
Hiking the Camino de Santiago March 6 (Wed) Cotton Building 6:30 pm
Martha Crites and Jim Limardi share the adventure of journeying on this pilgrims' pathway
Film: Shirley Valentine March 10 (Sun) Rose Theatre Noon
The story of a middle-aged Liverpool housewife on a journey of self-discovery in Greece. An
audience discussion of the film, moderated by Janette Force, Director of the Port Townsend
Film Institute, will follow the showing.
A Smörgåsbord of Alternative Treatment Options March 11 (Mon) Madrona MindBody Institute (Fort Worden) 7:00–9:00 pm
Julia Rouse, Piper Dunlap, Allison Dey, and Marcia Perlstein—a panel of therapists—will
offer an opportunity to sample the therapies of Chinese medicine, movement, collage in
psychotherapy, and guided visualization—followed by a group discussion.
Collaborative Creativity and Play
March 16 (Sat) Cotton Building 10:00 am to Noon
Leif Hansen leads a morning of fun activities for all ages.
Contents May Have Shifted from a Writer's Perspective
March 25 (Mon) Library Learning Center 6:30 pm
Award winning author Judith Kitchen will discuss the book from her own experience as an
author and literary critic.
Meet the Author : Pam Houston in Port Townsend
March 28 (Thurs) Port Townsend High School Auditorium 7:00 pm
Pam Houston will discuss Contents May Have Shifted and her experiences as an author.
An audience question session will follow her talk. Copies of her books will be available for
sale to be autographed by the author at the end of the presentation.
Throughout the month KPTZ (FM 91.9) will air an interview with Pam Houston.
Pam Houston grew up in New Jersey. She received a degree in English from Denison University in Ohio, then rode across Canada on a bicycle, proceeded to Colorado, where she worked at a variety of jobs, and later entered a doctoral program at the University of Utah. In addition to teaching at writing conferences and programs in the US and England, she is an accomplished horsewoman, and a licensed river guide. She skies, rafts, tracks, and climbs. In addition to Contents May Have Shifted, published in 2012, she is also the author of two collections of linked short stories: Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel Sight Hound and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She has won the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Literary Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and multiple teaching awards. She is the Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis and teaches in the Pacific University low residency MFA program, and at writer's conferences around the country and the
world (including the Centrum Writer's Conference in Port Townsend). Her home is a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
March 4 (Monday) Book Lovers' Café 2:30 pm, Library Learning Center (Pink House)
March 13 (Wednesday) The Writers' Workshoppe 5:00 pm, 234 Taylor Street
March 14 (Thursday) Hilltop Tavern 7:00 pm, 2510 W. Sims Way
March 19 (Tuesday) Pippa's Real Tea 5:00 pm, 636 Water Street
March 20 (Wednesday) Northwind Arts Center 3:00 pm, 2409 Jefferson Street
The City of Port Townsend has proclaimed March as the official "Reading Month."
Community Read is designed to promote closer ties among community members
through the shared experience of reading, sharing and discussing the same book and
ideas related to topics raised by the book.
• A limited number of free copies of the book will be available at the Port Townsend
Public Library on a first-come first-served basis. Additional copies will be available
at the Library on two-week loans; or you may purchase a copy at the Library
circulation desk for the cost of the book to the Library. This book is also available
through local bookstores and online booksellers.
• Read the book; then pass it on to others.
• Prepare for a discussion about the book with your own book group or join in the
groups listed below. A brochure with discussion issues and questions is available at
• Promote the program by wearing a button (available at the Library) that says:
"I'm Reading It!"
• Attend the many related events in the community during the month of March.
This program is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide
nonprofit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Washington, and by the Friends of the Port Townsend Library.
Thank you to our other associates: Port Townsend Jefferson County Leader, Rose Theatre, Port Townsend School District, Pippa's Real Tea, Northwind Arts Center, Madrona MindBody Institute and Key City Players (for PT Shorts).