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Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

Winterkill: Wolves and Buffalo Share Common Ground in Yellowstone National Park

Winter 2015 - Spring 2016

an interview with Mike Meese

Mike Meese, co-founder and current campaign coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign, has a singular focus: protection of the world’s largest wild buffalo herd, roaming throughout Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Buffalo enjoy protection while in the park itself, but as they migrate outside the park during the winter months, the buffalo are either slaughtered or hazed back into the park, for fear that the wild buffalo will transfer the brucellosis virus to Montana livestock, though, according to the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), no single such transfer has ever been documented.

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NYC to PDX: An Interview with David Bragdon

New York City and Portland, Oregon; Winter 2013-14

by Tom Webb

NYC to PDX

Most Portlanders remember David Bragdon as the president of Metro, Portland’s regional government, from 2003 to 2010. New Yorkers, on the other hand, recall their native son as Mayor Bloomberg’s choice in 2010 to serve as director of long-term planning and sustainability for New York City. Indeed, Bragdon has had his feet planted firmly in both the Big Apple and the Rose City. He once drove a cab in Portland, before working in shipping for Nike and as marketing manager for the Port of Portland. Today, he bike shares his way across Manhattan and is the new executive director for Transit Center Inc., a nonprofit promoting the use of public transit. Prior to Transit Center Inc., Bragdon was involved in the revitalization of Jamaica Bay, a 10,000-acre parkland running from Queens to Brooklyn.

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Proximal Qualities: An Interview with Author Jonathan Raymond

Interview by Casey Bush and Tom Webb

Note: This interview is reprinted from issue #29 of The Bear Deluxe Magazine (spring 2009).

Jonathan Raymond doesn’t live alone. He has a new daughter, a “girlfriend/baby mama” and numerous creative colleagues around the country. But more so, Raymond lives in a world of common experience and imagination, where your stories are his stories, your friends are his friends, and people struggle collectively to find meaning and subsistence. Through his writings and other pursuits, Raymond Parallels historical trends with modern experiences, often wrapping them within natural, yet constructed, landscapes–be they an ad hoc dumpsite in a national forest or a parking lot in a rural community. Place is as much mental as physical for this mid-career artist out of Portland, Oregon. His recent credits include the short story collection Livability (Bloomsbury, 2008), co-writing the films Wendy and Lucy and Old Joy (both based on his stories), and the novel The Half-Life (Bloomsbury, 2004). He is an editor at Plazm and Tin House, and his art writing has appeared in Art Forum and American Painters. He received his B.A. in art history from Swarthmore College and an M.F.A. from The New School. The Bear Deluxe caught up with Raymond at a park on Northeast Portland this past spring.

TW So here we are at Irving Park; can you talk a little bit about your relationship to this park and the neighborhood?

JR I have a few nodes. I feel like I’m right in the middle of a web of different things. Down the street over there there was a house I used to spend a lot of time at. It was the Bugskull back in the early to mid-’90s. It was a very important site of just hanging out and being with other interesting people. Then I have an ex-girlfriend who lived over there, so I spent a lot of time over on Failing Street. And actually I love that that street right there is Klickatat Street, which to me has that Beverly Cleary kind of valence to it. So there is stuff in every direction.

TW So what’s on the front burner these days?

JR Well, there are a few front burners. A couple of screenplay projects are moving along. I wrote a screenplay for Kelly Reichardt, who is the director who adapted stories out of Livability. In this case I just wrote a straight screenplay for her that is also Oregon based, but it is more of period thing. It is about a lost wagon train in the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, based loosely on an actual story of a wagon train that tried to take a shortcut across the Eastern Oregon desert and ended up getting lost out near Bend and Burns. Hopefully that will shoot this fall. And then I am also helping Todd Haines, the filmmaker, adapt the novel Mildred Pierce into a miniseries. And then I have a novel I’ve been nursing along for awhile.

CB Can you describe what that’s about? You don’t have to give out trade secrets.

JR If only I knew any. It’s about a couple who moves to the general Portland area in the early ’80s to work on an organic yogurt farm and end up getting involved in corporate management training processes. They become instructors. It is about trying to find satisfying work for the main character and at the same time a romance story.

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Bowing Down to Mystery: An Interview with Spalding Gray (1994)

Portland, Oregon; Issue #3

Interview conducted by Philip Krohn and Tom Webb
Note: This interview is reprinted from The Bear Deluxe Magazine #3 (1994). Magazine co-founders Krohn and Webb met with Gray before his evening performance at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. Gray arrived over two hours late for the interview but eventually shared lunch on Tom McCall Waterfront Park, talking on tape for another two hours. For background on Spalding Gray, visit

Spalding Gray is the internationally acclaimed performing artist and writer responsible for such gems as “Swimming to Cambodia” and “Monster in a Box.” A story collector and wayfarer, he is propelled by an insatiable curiosity and pursued by the bizarre. In addition to being brutally honest and side-splittingly funny, he may also be one of America’s most complicated thinkers. Orlo is grateful to have had the opportunity to spend some time with Spalding Gray during his recent stay in Portland, OR.

Orlo  A couple of years ago you interviewed the Dalai Lama. What is the extent of your interest in Buddhism?
Spalding Gray  I’m not so interested in being a Buddhist, I’m interested in being an individual. I’m a New Englandian, I’m a Thoreauzian. You know, I’m for bowing down to the mystery.
Orlo  You started your interview with the Dalai Lama talking about being on the road all the time, both of you. And trying to get comfortable. It made me think of someone else who is interested in Buddhism, Gary Snyder. And he’s very interested in the discussion of homelessness in a broad sense and trying to find a sense of place, because to him that hasn’t happened in America.
Spalding Gray  Gary’s different than I in the sense that Gary has found a place. I like Gary Snyder, but I think that he’s coming from a preachy place. I can’t quote him, but his attitude is this: “Look at me, I was able to integrate myself with the environment. I now go and argue with Congress about the spotted owl. I’m an environmentalist, I’m Gary Snyder, I found a place. The rest of you are wandering idiots.” We did a Buddhist Conference some years back, and Gary said, “I can’t tolerate it any more, that these people on the road don’t know how to roll their rucksacks.” And I go, “Oh my God.” That’s why he couldn’t hang out with Jack Kerouac after a while. He was a little anal retentive for me.  Read more »

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