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Magic Barrel (copy)

Oregon State University professor and award-winning essayist Elena Passarello was the emcee for "The Magic Barrel" literary event in 2015. Next Friday night, she returns to the stage of the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis as one of the event's 10 readers. 

Ten Oregon authors, including five from the mid-valley, will be reading from their works on Friday, Oct. 19 at the 24th annual Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger.

The doors open and music starts at 6 p.m., with the readings beginning at 7.

The event, which raises approximately $10,000 for Linn Benton Food Share, takes place at the historic Whiteside Theater, 361 SW Madison Ave. in downtown Corvallis.

“During these times that seem fraught with issues that divide and distract people — issues ranging from homelessness and racial injustice to partisan politics, immigration and climate change, the Magic Barrel offers an evening of storytelling and human connection, and it's a wonderful way to support the hungry among us," said Gregg Kleiner, a Corvallis writer who serves on the Magic Barrel's all-volunteer steering committee.

This year's emcee is Jon Raymond of Portland, the author of three novels — "Freebird," "Rain Dragon," and "The Half-Life," — and the short-story collection "Livability."  He is also the screenwriter of the film "Meek’s Cutoff" and co-writer of the films "Old Joy" and "Wendy and Lucy," both based on his short fiction, and the film "Night Moves." He also cowrote the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce."

This year’s readers include mid-valley writers Nick Dybek, John Larison, Dionisia Morales, Chad Murphy of "Lord Birthday" fame and Elena Passarello. Other readers this year include Jose Angel Araguz, Omar El Akkad, Sam Roxas-Chua, Mary Szybist and Leni Zumas. 

Live music will be served up before the show and during intermission by Perkins, Bliss, Brassfield, and Pfender Quartet, which includes Audrey Perkins (vocals), John Bliss (guitar and mandolin), Ray Brassfield (bass) and Bill Pfender (clarinet).

Tickets are $12 in advance and can be purchased online at If seats are left on the day of the event, tickets will be sold at the door for $15 (cash only).

See next Thursday's E section for more details about this year's Magic Barrel. 

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