“Edge of Awe” Anthology Releases May 2019

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One of Ellen Waterston’s essays is included in the forthcoming title, Edge of Awe, Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country bu A;am Contreras from Oregon State University (OSU) Press. The book includes a foreword by William Kittredge and illustrations by the late Ursula K. Le Guin. The essay is an excerpt from Waterston’s manuscript, High Centered: The Oregon Desert Trail as National Metaphot, to be published by University of Washington Press in 2020. Edge of Awe is available for order from OSU Press at this link.

Hotel Domilocos Launch Party!

My fourth volume of poetry, Hotel Domilocos, published by Moonglade Press, was just released! Please join me at a launch party, hosted by Moonglade Press, Thursday, June 22, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bend. Enjoy a reading, signings and refreshments. To attend, reserve at info@mmccompanies.org. I look forward to seeing you there!


 April 17th was my first day as the new Executive Director of PLAYA at Summer Lake, a retreat in Oregon's Outback offering residencies for creative individuals in the arts and sciences. I am honored to have been selected as the one to help grow this vibrant and critically important organization. Please visit www.playasummerlake.org for more information and for residency application deadlines. I hope to see some of you here. I'll be available for one-on-ones when you come!

Writing Ranch, Going Forward

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2017 marks the Writing Ranch's 17th year! Since 2000, over 500 writers have participated in workshops and retreats. The 2017 Writing Down the Baja © retreat in February was especially productive for all involved. That retreat's anthology, Diosas Generosas, will soon be available on this site! The 2017 PLAYA Writing Intensive was tabled until 2018 to allow me to get my feet under me at PLAYA. Also planned for 2018 are one to two Writing Ranch retreats to be held out of the country: in February, again collaborating with the Todos Santos Writers Workshop, and another at a new location to be determined. Dates and additional information will come your way this fall. 

Thank you for your interest in the Writing Ranch. Stay tuned for updates to this site. And don't hesitate to email me at info@writingranch.com or to call or text me at my cell: 541.480.3933. Or call 541.943.3983.

Ellen Waterston Selected as Next Executive Director of PLAYA

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: playa@playasummerlake.org  541.943.3983

 DATE: April 7, 2017


Ellen Waterston of Bend, Oregon to Head Up Residency Program

The Board of Directors of PLAYA in Summer Lake, a year around residency campus for artists and scientists located in the heart of Oregon’s outback, is pleased to announce the selection of arts advocate and author, Ellen Waterston of Bend, Oregon, as the next Executive Director. She will assume her new post April 28, 2017.

In addition to her work as an award-winning author and poet, Waterston has significant experience in private, public, and nonprofit sector work. Her credentials include Waterston Communications, Inc, a strategic planning and communications company; Writing Ranch, offering retreats and workshops for emerging and established writers since 2000; Waterston Desert Writing Prize, a three-year-old nonprofit annually recognizing an author for a nonfiction book proposal on any desert worldwide; and The Nature of Words, a literary arts non-profit based in Bend which Waterston started in 2002 and directed for eleven years. As an author, she has published three volumes of poetry and two nonfiction titles. Her fourth collection of poems, Hotel Domilocos, will be released from Moonglade Press in April 2017.

Waterston replaces Executive Director Deborah Ford who is stepping down after three years at the helm. Ford has attracted significant funding for PLAYA’s programs and has expanded the organization’s support of innovative thinking in the arts and sciences through both traditional and thematic residencies as well as symposia and workshops. She and her husband will return to their home in Montana where Ford will resume her work as a sought-after contemporary photographer.

“Transition and growth are the cornerstones of PLAYA’s mission encouraging dialogue between the arts and sciences,” states PLAYA Board Chair Richard Wilhelm. “The transition from the leadership of Deborah Ford to Ellen Waterston marks a new chapter in PLAYA’s growth. PLAYA’s Board of Directors deeply appreciates Deb for her commitment to our mission. It has been our great honor and pleasure to work with her. As we say goodbye to Deb, we enthusiastically welcome Ellen as PLAYA’s next Executive Director. Drawing upon her life-long devotion to the arts and extensive experience leading highly successful private, public, and non-profit organizations, Ellen will steer the growth of PLAYA, and we are thrilled.”  

PLAYA was the vision of founders Julie Bryant and Bill Roach who first opened PLAYA’s doors to residents in 2011. “As one who has personally benefitted from residencies at PLAYA I know how important retreats like this are for artists and scientists,” says Waterston. “I am honored to do my part to grow PLAYA’s base of support and to broaden PLAYA’s reach and am deeply grateful to the founders, Julie Bryant and Bill Roach, to the Board of Directors, for giving me this opportunity, and to Deb Ford for setting the bar so high! I hope to sustain and build on the momentum she created.”

Waterston joins John Martin, also of Bend, who was hired as Residency Manager in February 2017. A published poet and former owner of John Martin Landscaping, Martin coordinates all residency-related scheduling and activities. Site Assistant, Kris Norris, and Facilities Manager, Michael Norris, round out the on-site team. The couple has been involved with PLAYA since its inception.  

For information about how you can support PLAYA or for residency application information, please visit www.playasummerlake.org.

47531 Highway 31
Summer Lake, OR 97640

On the edge of the Great Basin in Oregon, PLAYA provides space, solitude and a creative community to residents working in the arts and sciences, encouraging dialogue to bring positive change to the environment and the world. PLAYA is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.