The Seattle Post Intelligencer has a great (small but slowly, slowly growing) section online on Northwest writers that includes a range of writers from novelist Tom Robbins to cartoonist Ellen Forney. Each piece has a sample of writing as well as a video of the writer speaking on a variety of topics.
Looking through the section always makes me realize how little Canadian and American literary communities and readers know about each other despite their proximity
If you know Jack Hodgins on Vancouver Island do you know Ivan Doig in Washington? If you’ve read Jonathan Raban’s sailing book Passage To Juneau, have you read Gary Geddes‘ Sailing Home or the classic west coast book Curve Of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, all three a literary look at boating the coastal west?
If you live in Minneapolis who do read from Winnipeg? How about New Brunswick and Maine?
I’m sure the writer’s know each others names, or at least I hope they do but I don’t think readers often do. There are exceptions, Robbins and Raban are well known internationally but what about all the others?
A challenge, find an author you don’t who lives across your border and track down a book of theirs, order it in and give it a read. If you like their work invite them on up to give a reading in your town.