CORVALLIS, Ore. - Good stories have always lifted people's spirits.  And this Friday, "The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger," good stories also will help fill hungry stomachs.

The annual "Magic Barrel" event for hunger relief will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, in the Corvallis High School Theater. Some of Oregon's finest authors will share their works in a benefit for Linn-Benton Food Share to help relieve hunger in the mid-Willamette Valley. 

The line-up features several local writers with freshly published books, including novelist and Oregon State University Distinguished Professor of English Tracy Daugherty, ("One Day the Wind Changed"), and poets Jennifer Richter ("Threshold") and Charles Goodrich ("Going to Seed").  

Also reading are Oregon Book Award-winner Scott Nadelson ("Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories"), Virginia Browne and Linda Hamner ("Letters from Cleo and Tyrone"), OSU historian Bill Robbins ("Oregon, This Storied Land"), OSU English instructor Wayne Harrison, and local poet Beth Russell. 

Bob Crum will serve as emcee, and Sideways Portal will provide live jazz.

This year's Magic Barrel theme is "Good Readings for Hard Times." Mike Gibson, director of Linn-Benton Food Share, said the economic recession has had a major impact locally.

"In our two-county area there are currently over 10,000 people officially unemployed, and we have seen many families requesting emergency food boxes who have never asked for help before," he said. "The Magic Barrel is a great example of the community support we need to succeed in our efforts to eliminate hunger in our area."

All proceeds will be donated to Linn-Benton Food Share for local hunger relief. For every dollar raised at the Magic Barrel, Linn-Benton Food Share will purchase and distribute up to 12 pounds of food for the hungry in the area.

In addition to the author readings, there will be live music starting 30 minutes before the show and continuing afterward, with complimentary desserts from local restaurants. Grass Roots Books and Music will be on-hand with autographed books.

Suggested admission: $7, no one will be turned away from lack of funds.

The Magic Barrel is sponsored by the OSU Center for the Humanities, with support from OSU Printing and Mailing, the Spring Creek Project, and other area donors.

For more information, visit the Magic Barrel website:

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Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198