Surprising news came last week that The Nature of Words was suddenly closing its doors and “transition its creative writing outreach programs to the Deschutes Public Library at the end of the academic year.” I first saw the news on the Cascade Business News website, and then emails went out (one to mailing list subscribers, another the full press release). Funding appears to be the main reason, based on this statement from the press release:
Facing an increasingly competitive funding landscape, the nonprofit recognized critical challenges to its long-term sustainability and approached potential allies about continuing its mission to increase access to the literary arts in the region.
I always kind of thought the Nature of Words’ annual literary festival was a strong counterpart to BendFilm and having gone on for ten years it seemed pretty stable. I’m sorry to see it close; it would be nice to see something take its place (at least on the literary festival side of things, maybe).