Reading Frenzy ~ An Independent Press Emporium

MISSION

Reading Frenzy -- An Independent Press Emporium -- is a small, specialty bookshop/gallery/event space in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1994, we are devoted to supporting independent/alternative media and culture.

We stock hundreds of hard to find titles, host dozens of literary and art events every year.

HISTORY

In the early days, Reading Frenzy occupied a tiny space in what was formerly the office of an auto body shop. The adjacent rare bookseller had a performance space in back that we occasionally used. Several months into our first year we expanded -- from 150 sq ft. to 300! -- but six months later when torrential rains threatened to flood the tightly packed storefront I knew it was time to move.

In spring of 1996 we relocated to downtown Portland on what was then a fairly desolate block, albeit cattycorner from Powell's City of Books. The Acorn Block (named for it's Oak St. locale, and the fact that it's shaped like an A) rapidly evolved into a hub of cool, independent businesses and is where we remain today. It's true there was a little scuffle over our lease in the late 90s, when a fastfood chain that will remain unnamed, tried to lease our space out from under us, but due to public outcry we prevailed. Luckily for us, the building was purchased soon after by an amazing local property developer, who's devoted to supporting independent businesses, building community and historic preservation.

In 1996 we hosted our first art opening, Dishwasher Pete's collection of Macaroni & Cheese boxes. Since then we've gone on to show dozens of unknown, emerging and established artists, as well as unusual collections. Including, but not limited to Rachel Denny, Bwana Spoons, Martin Ontiveros, Isabel Samaras, Tae Won Yu, Cynthia Connolly, Mike KingFawn Gehweiler, Art Chantry, Alicia Justus, Nikki McClure, Stella Marrs, Khaela Maricich and Kalah Allen.

A couple of years later Rebecca Gilbert and I combined our resources, rented a small office upstairs, and began a project that would eventually evolve into the literary non-profit Independent Publishing Resource Center. As a co-founder I served on the board until January 2001, when I took leave to focus on impending parenthood. I still serve on the advisory board, but can take very little credit for the current offerings and continued success of the project.

In 2005 I realized a long held dream of launching a small press. Show & Tell Press is the proud publisher of Crap Hound -- A Picture Book for Discussion & Activity, and we have other titles in the works including a Reading Frenzy Anthology, a Show & Tell Annual, and lots of other tantalizing titles involving words and pictures.

EVENT HISTORY

This is an almost comprehensive list of our events. Have we left something out? Please contact us.

1994

  • Reading Frenzy opens September 1st in SE Portland
  • Kevin Sampsell and John Dooley

1995

1996

  • Reading Frenzy moves downtown
  • Coos Bay City Rollers play our grand re-opening party
  • Dishwasher Pete: Mac 'n' Cheese Box Collection
  • Stella Marrs: The History of Fashion
  • Rachel Denny
  • Bwana Spoons: Exhibit
  • Kill Zinesters Summer Vacation Tour
  • Flatter Fest!
  • The School of Secret Knowledge: Sex and Obscenity with Teresa Dolce
  • The School of Secret Knowledge: Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous with Tad Kepley
  • The School of Secret Knowledge: Fair Use/Copyright Infringement with Mark Hosler and Kohel Haver
  • The School of Secret Knowledge: Kooks, Cults and Conspiracies with Donna Kossy and Adam Parfrey.
  • Amy Lynn Parker: 13 Page
  • The School of Secret Knowledge: How to Fire Your Boss
  • Lisa Crystal Carver: Dancing Queen
  • Donna Barr: Desert Peach
  • Diamanda Galas: The Shit of God
  • 1st Annual Cheap Art Show

1997

1998

  • Scott Gregory: Magic Boxes
  • 2nd Annual Valentine's Invitational 
  • Pander Brothers and Matt Wagner: Oni Double Feature #1
  • Rebecca Gilbert: Exhibit
  • Maurice Vellekoop: Vellevision
  • Joe Sacco and Jim Woodring: signing
  • Martin Ontiveros: Monsters, Robots, Freaks and Fire
  • Kristan Kennedy and Topher Sinkinson: 1000 Polaroids
  • The Great Lease Debacle
  • Robert Williams: Malicious Resplendence
  • Tae Won Yu: I Like to Look
  • Michael Moynihan: Lords of Chaos
  • Ducky DooLittle: exhibit
  • James Yu: exhibit
  • Isabel Samaras: Exhibit
  • Stella Marrs: Community Print
  • Amber Gayle, Jamie Schweser, Ed Gray and Roy Tinsel
  • Steve Diet Goedde: The Beauty of Fetish
  • Amy Lynn Parker: Doll Show
  • Michelle Tea: The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America
  • 3rd Annual Cheap Art Show
  • Paul Joannides: Guide to Getting It On

1999

  • Art Chantry: exhibit
  • The IPRC officially opens!
  • 3rd Annual Valentine's Invitational, benefit for the IPRC
  • Toby Hardman: 2 Sides to Every Boxcar
  • Amber Bell: The Perfect Wardrobe
  • Keith Crowe:  I Hate Myself...For Loving You
  • Kim Hamblin: exhibit
  • Martin Ontiveros: Sharp, Prickly, Cute and Cuddly
  • Reading Frenzy Scrapbook: exhibit
  • Hothouse 1999: Ariel Gore, Teresa Dolce, Debbie Stoller, and Chloe Eudaly
  • Sonja Ahlers: Temper, Temper
  • Edith Abeyta, Bob Tower, Vanessa Renwick, and Kalah Allen: exhibit
  • Jane Graham and Jennifer Blowdryer: Floozy and White Trash Debutante
  • Kelly Newcomer: exhibit
  • 4th Annual Cheap Art Show

2000

2001:

2002

  • 4th Annual Valentine's Invitational
  • Shelly Gerik: Thirteen
  • Camden Joy: reading
  • Adrian Tomine: Optic Nerve
  • Muffie White: Correspondence Course
  • Dave Eggers: You Shall Know Our Velocity
  • Alicia Justus: exhibit
  • Eric Drooker: Blood Song
  • Ron Sokalsky: Surrealist Subversions
  • Anti-Capitalism Reader: Joel Schalit and John Brady
  • Past Due Tour: Jim Munroe, Andy Healey and Paul Ash
  • Monica Nolan: Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories
  • 7th Annual Cheap Art Show

2003

  • Copy and Destroy: Joe Biel, Alex Wrekk, Harmony Heartson, The Urban Hermit
  • 5th Annual Valentine's Invitational
  • Jenny Davidson: Heredity
  • Amy Farah Weiss: Photo Exhibit with Jack Saturn, Sally Johnson, The Dying Ember, Coast Ghost
  • Dame Darcy: Frightful Fairytales
  • Daniel Higgs: The Doomsday Bonnet
  • Jason: Sshhhh!, Hey, Wait..., and The Iron Wagon
  • Fly: Peops
  • US=/>THEM: Margart Pao, Paul Ash, Rose O'Keefe and Carlton Mellick
  • Stacy Wakefield and Amber Gayle: Not for Rent
  • Gallery of Words: Moe Bowstern and Mark Russell
  • David Lasky: Urban Hipster
  • Gallery of Words: Kate Schwab and Mark Russell
  • David Greenberger: Duplex Planet
  • Paul Shiek: Diptych
  • Robbie Conal: Artburn
  • Amanda Stern: The Long Haul
  • Kelly Campbell: September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
  • Jeneve Parrish and Iris Porter: exhibit
  • Joe Sacco: The Fixer
  • The Harper's Arrow: Sarah Dougher
  • 8th Annual Cheap Art Show

2004

  • Paul Ash and Marissa Madrigal: What I Think About When I Go to the Job and 8lb. Gorilla
  • 6th Annual Valentine's Invitational, benefit for Rock and Roll Camp for Girls
  • Perpetual Motion Roadshow: Matthew Blackett, Frayn Masters, and Mykle Hansen
  • Shannon Buck: Souvenirs
  • Joey Keithley: I, A Shithead
  • Robert Newman: Fountain at the Center of the World
  • Ezra Clayton Daniels: The Changers
  • Comic Art Battle: Nate Beaty, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Aaron Renier and Alec Longstreth
  • Perpetual Motion Roadshow: Girls Who Bite Back with Emily Pohl-Weary, Sonja Ahlers, and Tamara Faith Berger
  • Melody Owen: 1000 Crowns
  • Perpetual Motion Roadshow: Corey Frost, Glenna, Shannon Wheeler, Keith Knight
  • Craig Thompson and James Kochalka: Carnet de Voyage and American Elf
  • Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End with Jeffrey Knutson, Justin Hocking, Jered Maher, and Dave Carney
  • David Boyer: Kings and Queens -- Queers at the Prom
  • Beastly Book Tour: Black Olive and Christopher
  • Avow Anthology: Keith Rosson, Nate Beaty and Dave Roche
  • Triple Dare Reading Series: Pecos B, Temple Lutz and Mark Russell
  • Meredith Leonard and Steve Mathews: Little Bits of Love
  • Triple Dare Reading Series: David Ohle, Mike Daily, Matt Love and Mark Russell
  • Freedom Frenzy 10th Anniversary Party and CAE Defense Fund Benefit at Nocturnal
  • Anne Elizabeth Moore: Hey Kidz! Buy This Book
  • Forget-Me-Not: Alicia Justus, Edith Abeyta, Jenny Hart, Cathy Pitters, Susan Beal, Jennifer Fogerty-Gibson, Jennifer Knapp, Christine Shields and Janet Julian
  • Triple Dare Reading Series: Alex Wrekk, Kate Lopresti and Mark Russell
  • Ted Rall: Wake Up, You're Liberal!
  • Bill Daniel: The Western Roundup
  • 9th Annual Cheap Art Show
  • Martin Ontiveros: Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot
  • Perpetual Motion Roadshow: Josh MacPhee, Jennifer Whiteford, Melissa Klein & Vladimir
  • Dame Darcy with Death by Doll: Meat Cake Collection

2005

Reading frenzy storefront illustration by nate beaty

2006

2007

  • Valentino Achak Deng: What is the What
  • Jessica Stein: The Long Walk Back To Myself
  • Cryptozoa Book Release Party: Androo Robinson, Cathy Camper, and Jesse Reklaw
  • Drawn & Quarterly Signing: Gabrielle Bell, Kevin Huizenga and Anders Nilsen
  • World Leader Pretend: World Leader Pretend
  • Ian Svenonius: Psychic Soviet
  • The Session: Aaron Petrovich, with special guest artist Villem Benes
  • Geography Lessons: Iris Porter, Chelsey Johnson, and Spencer & Pherguson
  • Pete Jordan: Dishwasher -- One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All 50 States
  • Pete Jordan: Mac & Cheese Collection Exhibit:
  • Zine Camp Reading: with MC Sarah Ryan and Special Guests Nicole Georges and Dexter Flowers, plus the campers Rollercoaster, Kallisti, Rhythm, and Helena, and illustrious interns Mina and Flannery
  • Mike Daily: ALARM
  • Awesome But True Electric Institute in "Outfits"
  • Forget Me Not: Exhibit
  • Chris Johanson: Please Listen I Have Something to Tell You About What Is:
  • Tara Jane ONeil: Wings. Strings. Meridians. A Blighted Bestiary
  • 12th Annual Cheap Art & Craft Show

2008

2009

  • Ian Lynam: Meeting Modernity-Found Photography from Japan
  • Briar Levit: Unseen Portland-Companion Walks book release party
  • Reading Frenzy Benefit Show: Corin Tucker, Tu Fawning, Golden Bears, Mirah, Explode into Colors, Thunderant Screening with Carrie Brownstein, Arthur Bradford and Willy Vlautin!
  • Becoming the Media: A Critical History of Clamor Magazine an author chat with Jen Angel and friends
  • Ron Sakolsky: Swift Winds reading and signing
  • Urban Herbs: zine release party with Carly Boyer and Urban Edibles
  • Disappearing: Group art show and book release party with Melody Owen
  • Victoria Law: Resistance Behind Bars-The Struggles of Incarcerated Women
  • Matt LeMay: 33 1/3-Elliot Smith's XO
  • Carye Bye: Hidden Portland-The Museums artist's reception and book release party
  • Robert Lurie: No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and The Church
  • Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City - with Ariel Gore, Lois Leveen, Michael Sage Ricci, Jacqueline Raphael and Nicole Vaicunas!
  • Kate Bingaman-Burt: Obsessive Consumption- What Did You Buy Today?
  • Alon Raab: The Global Game
  • Sick: A Compilation Zine on Physical Illness Zine Release Party
  • Boneshaker Volume Three Release Party & Ride with editor Evan P Schneider, Michael Bussmann, Andrew Bohn, Dan DeWeese & Todd Simmons!
  • Jessica Max Stein: The Rainbow Connection-Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer
  • Peaches and Bats Volume 4 Launch Party: with Jesse Morse, Phoebe Wayne, and Sam Lohmann
  • Reading Frenzy Staff Show & Tell
  • Bill Cotter and Annie La Ganga: Fever Chart and Stoners & Self-Appointed Saints-Reading & Signing
  • Greasy Kid Stuff 3: Even MORE Songs From Inside The Radio Release Party! - With Belinda & Hova & Members of the Captain Bogg and Salty Crew!
  • Loose Teeth Press Tour: Reading & Signing with Joey Comeau, Zach Vandezande and Mike Lecky

2010

  • Brittany Powell: Honorable Mention Art Show
  • Ayun-Halliday: One City World Tour
  • Gordon Edgar: Cheesemonger: Life on The Wedge- Reading and Signing
  • Shelley Turley: The Natural Man Art show
  • Barbara Hammer: Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life
  • Lloyd Dangle: Troubletown-Sly and Snide Slide Show
  • The Awards Show
  • Anne Elizabeth Moore: Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh - Reading and signing
  • Flatstock: Rock Paper Show
  • Lori D: Country Club
  • A Very Bad Wizard: Conversation with Tamler Sommers conducted by David Pizarro
  • A Survey of My Failures Thus Far with Gabe Boyer and Normal Feelings
  • Harlan Mahaffy: The Sea Beasts
  • Diary Comics with Melinda Tracy Boyce, Clutch, Virginia Paine and Jesse Reklaw
  • My Baby Rides the Short Bus: Reading and Signing with with Kerry Cohen, Mitzi Waltz, Nina Packebush, Yantra Bertelli, Jen Silverman, and Sarah Talbot
  • Small Things Can Make You Feel Smaller: A Collection of Recent Collages by Mark Searcy
  • How to Make Books: with book artist and author Esther K. Smith
  • Zines on Toast: UK Zine Culture with Alex Wrekk and Friends!
  • NW Passage Book Release Party: with Marc Moscato and Friends!
  • Family Outing: New Work by Together Gallery Family Artists
  • Please Don't Bomb The Suburbs: Reading and Signing with William Upski Wimsatt
  • If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home: Reading and Signing with John Jodzio
  • Death Magazine #2 Release Party!
  • Rewild or Die: An Evening with Urban Scout
  • Forget Me Not: Memento Mori Group Show
  • Picture This: Reading and Book Release Party with Lynda Barry
  • Make Me a Woman and Drinking at the Movies: Reading and Signing with Vanessa Davis and Julia Wertz
  • Let's do Launch with Little Read Writers
  • These Mystical Things: New Work by Kinoko
  • Destroy All Movies!!! Signing with Zack Carlson and Bryan Connoly
  • 15th Annual Cheap Art and Craft Show

2011

  • Made Out in Oregon - Valentines Print Show with Portland Artists
  • Aaron Renier and Jason Shiga Reading and Signing
  • Cleveland Confidential Tour with Cheetah Chrome, Mike Hudson and Bob Pfiefer
  • Death Magazine #3 Release Party
  • The Garden of Eden: New Works by Rachel Blumberg
  • Nate Orton Draws the Portland Art Museum
  • Beware of Ghosts: New Work by Alicia Justus
  • Fine Fine Music and Friends with Cassie Sneider and John Isaacson
  • People of Coloring Book Release and Art show by Hazel Newlevant
  • Peaches and Bats #8 Launch Party! 
  • Monster Party and Yeah. No. Totally. Reading and Signing with Lizzy Acker and Lisa Wells
  • IPRC Comics Program Showcase!
  • Little Ottsu Pop-up shop with exhibition by APAK and Martine Workman
  • Work: Book Reading with Crimethinc. Ex-Workers collective
  •  X (marks the spot): Artists Map show and 17th Anniversary
  • Pressed: Flora & Fauna Group Show with Jill Bliss, Trish Grantham, Becca Stadtlander, Nikki McClure and Ashkahn
  • Discovered Virtues: The Secret Beauty of Common Weeds - Photography by Briar Levit
  • Love is Not Constantly Wondering if You Are Making the Biggest Mistake of Your Life:  Choose your own adventure style reading!
  • 16th Annual Cheap Art and Craft Show!
  • Death Magazine #4 Release PArty
  • Logodaedaly, or, Sleight-of-Words: A reading & signing with Erzsebet Gilbert, Evan P. Schneider and Melissa Reeser

2012

  • Debt: The First 5000 Years, A reading & signing with David Graeber at Alberta Rose Theater!
  • 12th Annual Valentines Invitational
  • The Encyclopedia of Doris: Reading and Signing with Cindy Crabb!
  • Seasons of Joyland: New Work by Joy Mallari
  • Print Fancy! 
  • A Very Minor Prophet: Reading with James Bernard Frost & Special Guest Martha Grover
  • Steal Like an Artist: Austin Kleon at The Museum of Contemporary Craft
  • D.I.Y. Magic: Reading with Anthony Alvorado
  • Fluent Now in the Language of Grief: Mourning Flower Illustrations by Amber Smith
  • The Loom of Ruin: Reading and Signing with Sam McPheeters!
  • My Day #20 Release Party with Nate Orton and James Yeary and Friends!
  • 100 Poem To Bestill Your Young Heart: Reading and Signing with Kenneth Woods
  • Chickfactor NW: Photographs by Gail O'Hara