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Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY
Journalist and author
Recent Activity
My review of James Nestor's wonderful new book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves, appears in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal. Mr. Nestor is a very brave guide, indeed. How brave? Here's a clip: While... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
It's been a fabulous month of essays here on the blog, and I thank all the authors. Go re-read them, and buy their books, and mine, too. We are going to wrap it up with one of the best. Erika... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Speaking of knowing: B. Frayn Masters is one of those people in Portland that everybody knows, whether as producer and co-host of the storytelling series Back Fence PDX, her writing in McSweeney's, her general all-about-townness. I know her from when... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Back in 1997, Buzz magazine contributors attended a monthly luncheon at Maple Drive in Beverly Hills. We may not have been glamorous in our day-to-day lives, but for this we dressed, we chatted, we ate shrimp salad. One afternoon, a... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
When I moved from LA to Portland in 2004 I knew one journalist who lived here, if only by name. "You should meet Michael Totten," my buddy Matt Welch told me. "He's blogging some cool shit about Iraq." Michael was,... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Several years ago I was having dinner with a former editor, a man a few years older than I. "Don't you hate going to dinner parties these days," he said, "where everyone is over 50 and just wants to go... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
I did not meet Annabelle Gurwitch until we found ourselves on the same stage, or rather the same back porch at Sandra Tsing Loh's house, for the first annual Bad Girls of LA Lit. Annabelle was smart and sly and... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
I have known Amy Alkon since the mid-1990s. I was sitting at the Farmer's Market with Cathy Seipp, waiting for others to arrive at the every-season-or-so writer girls breakfast Cathy used to call us to, and up walked two very... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Where do I start with Mark Ebner? I knew him only a little when I lived in Hollywood; I better knew the late Andrew Breitbart, with whom Mark wrote the "nasty but truthful polemic" (as Andrew inscribed it to me)... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
I met Leah Umansky last summer, when she flew from New York to read from her book, Domestic Uncertainties, at a series of poetry events on the West Coast, including one at Ristretto Roasters. "Hello!" Leah said, sweeping through the... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
When you grow up in a neighborhood as tiny as Brooklyn Heights, you tend to know every face, every house, here is the marble flagpole base where B. gouged out a pyramid chunk of forehead, here stood the liquor store... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Destination Gacy, my e-book released today by Shebooks, tells the story of a drive I made cross-country with a pen pal of John Wayne Gacy’s, to visit the serial killer in prison in the weeks before his execution. I originally... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
As some of you know, Tafv (rhymes with "lava") Sampson is my daughter. I will not write an extended intro here, because she is shy of my bragging about her, and also because if I wrote all I wanted about... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
I met Carl Adamshick when he was reading his poetry at Loggernaut, the quarterly reading series that uses Ristretto Roasters Williams as its homebase. As usual, the place was packed. My husband Din, who can probably think of 6,892 things... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Scene: Office park somewhere in the San Fernando Valley Time: Mid-1990s Characters: Samantha Dunn, staff journalist at Weider Publications (ed: You can't remember more detail than this? NR: No, I recall Sam being at, like, nine of the magazines), agreeing... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Shortly before my daughter Tafv moved to New York in 2010, she was involved in all manner of interesting projects, including a weekly radio show on the college station with two girls I'd never met, Hannah and Nouel, about whom... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
I met Debra Gwartney when I was assigned to write about her and her book, Live Through This, a Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters. I urge you to read this book, a book that sits on my bookshelf in the... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Memory is a funny thing, what seeps in and what slips off. David Rensin most remembers our first meeting at a party; I am wearing a catsuit. I first see us standing together at an LA Press Club event at... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
It's essay a day in May on the blog, work from friends, old and new. Today, a poem from Wendy Chin-Tanner, who I have not known long but in a sense pre-know. We both went to Saint Ann's School, which... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
It's May, and a huge number of writer friends have new books out, myself included. I will run an essay each weekday in May from some of these folks, links galore. Go read! Today (and why not everyday?), let's hear... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
It's May, my front steps are covered in green spinners from the walnut tree, and a crazy number of writer friends have new books out, myself included. Each weekaday in May, I will run a piece of their work, with... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
Reprinted from the Sunday Oregonian By NANCY ROMMELMANN/Special to The Oregonian The relationship began with Walter Kirn agreeing to drive a crippled dog from Montana to New York, to be adopted by self-professed dog-healer Clark Rockefeller. It ended 15 years... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2014 at Nancy Rommelmann
A gorgeous interview with my dearest, Deborah Reed. The photos (including one with, ahem, yours truly, and what she says about the apple-and-Mounds Bar lunches is absolutely true) are dynamite, including this one of Deborah shooting like the seasoned frontierswoman... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Nancy Rommelmann
New book review in this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Chas Smith on Oahu's North Shore surf culture. The lede: What to make of Chas Smith, author of this ripping profile of the surf culture on Oahu's North Shore, where the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Nancy Rommelmann
My husband is the subject of a great profile, by the Oregonian's Michael Russell. It's in the paper on Sunday, but online now. Check it out; bonus video below xx Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2013 at Nancy Rommelmann