Friends of Nestucca Spit Press
It’s been a busy year of writing for me. I have three new books out this spring: Choice Cuts of Oregon Fiction, The Old Crow Book Club, and The Savage of State Street: The Thieving and Literary Lives of Smoky Epley.
They are all available for direct purchase through the NSP website using PayPal and credit cards. If you prefer another method of payment, let me know. Website address: https://www.nestuccaspitpress.com/
Amazon carries Choice Cuts and The Savage of State Street.
All titles are available at select bookstores. The Old Crow Book Club will also be distributed via street libraries. Readers can make a special donation through the website to fund this unique distribution model that employs homeless people.
I always appreciate your support. NSP is going on its 21st year in business and we are now one of Oregon’s longest running independent publishers.
Descriptions of books below:
Choice Cuts of Oregon Fiction by Matt Love contains 20 stories, all set in Oregon. The cast of characters includes a depressed Santa Claus, Steve Prefontaine, Jack Ramsay’s fast break offense, socialist squirrels, a clearcut, a dead deer, a junior high football team, a high school tennis player, a dissipated teacher, a man who evolves into a beaver, a homeless vet, a jilted preacher, a double date to a prom, rural degenerates, a wily caterer, and much more.
The publication of the collection culminates a quarter century of the author’s writing about Oregon and rambling around the state.
In December of 2020, author Matt Love moved to Portland to care for his elderly father.
Returning to the Rose City jolted Love after 23 years residing on the Oregon Coast. In the Sellwood neighborhood where he lived, Love met a homeless man named Mark. They formed a friendship over literature and the unforeseen magical discoveries in street libraries. They created the Old Crow Book Club, and yes, sometimes that involved drinking Old Crow on a sidewalk. The club also included several other Sellwood homeless men and women cut from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row cloth.
In due course, Love learned the members’ stories of homelessness and how they survived. He wondered what happened to his beloved state of Oregon and attempted to help Mark get off the streets only to run up against the seemingly futile policies to address the crisis.
Along the way, he had the best conversations about books in his life and wrote The Old Crow Book Club, where he recounts his interactions with the homeless people in his neighborhood and offers some suggestions how to alleviate what he considers the greatest man-made American humanitarian disaster of his adult life.
In 1973, Oregon State University Press published Men in Exile: An Anthology of Creative Writing by Inmates of the Oregon State Penitentiary. Twenty of Smoky Epley’s pieces appeared in the book.
Smoky spent most of his adult life in state and federal prisons for robbery. In 2008, during one of his brief stints of freedom, Smoky became friends with Matt Love, an Oregon author and publisher. They met after Love discovered Men in Exile and wrotea newspaper column about the landmark book. Smoky read the column and reached out.
He returned to prison in 2009 after forging a check. Upon his release in 2011, Love encouraged Smoky to write a memoir. He completed half of Auto before dying in February of 2013 at the age of 66.
Nestucca Spit Press is proud to present the story and writings of Smoky Epley, the greatest unheralded writer in Oregon history, and also one of its more mediocre, colorful and persistent thieves.