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PRESS RELEASE               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              

Robert McDowell, co-founder (with Lysa McDowell & Mark Jarman) and publisher of Oregon’s Story Line Press for 22 years (1984-2006), has created and launched a new Oregon literary publishing company, Homestead Lighthouse Press. The press, a 501(c)(3) corporation, will guide trailblazing global poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction into print.

HLP will also champion educational literary programs in rural and traditionally underserved areas and offer community programs in writing, writing as spiritual practice, gender enlightenment, mentor/apprentice relationships, rites of passage and the rights of marginalized people worldwide.  

The name Homestead Lighthouse Press honors the work, lives and legacies of two literary geniuses and guiding spirits, Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf. Homestead celebrates Dickinson’s Homeplace in Amherst, Massachusetts, while Lighthouse honors Woolf’s iconic metaphor at the heart of her brilliant novel, To the Lighthouse.

“Writers, activists, and readers will discover a safe haven and unwavering advocacy at Homestead Lighthouse Press,” says McDowell, who is also a poet, author ghostwriter and writing mentor. Over the course of his career at Story Line Press, he selected and guided into print more than 300 books by Pulitzer Prize winners, A Nobel Laureate, five U.S. Poet Laureates, writers in mid-career and beginning writers. The press discovered and championed many Oregon and Northwest authors, several of whom went on to win Oregon Book Awards.

Stanford University has just announced its acquisition of the complete Story Line Press archive.

For more information, contact:

Robert McDowell



FOR IMMEDIATE  RELEASE                      

Alissa Lukara’s Novel Takes Readers on a Quest to Heal Ancestral Trauma’s Impact on Future Generations

What if the trauma of ancestors we have never met through can still haunt our lives today? The field of epigenetics reveals how these past traumas are passed on to future generations in the DNA. The new novel, Secrets of the Trees by Alissa Lukara, explores one woman’s quest to heal the impact of this phenomenon in a story set in Latvia in 2003, thirteen years after the nonviolent Singing Revolution freed the country from fifty years of Soviet rule.

Nikkie, a twenty-two-year-old dancer performing at the Hollywood Bowl, is about to become a star. Instead, she’s sent reeling by the vision of a girl and her parents being shot in a forest in 1940s Latvia. Knowing she will not be able to dance again until she solves the mystery of the vision, she goes on a quest to Latvia, the land of her ancestors, to uncover the secrets hidden in the trees of her vision and to find the father she has never met.

The world-famous Latvian Song and Dance Festival is about to take place. Latvia is in the midst of a renaissance but also living in the shadow of the residual trauma from Soviet oppression. Nikkie discovers the Latvians’ mystical soul connection to nature and trees and the unifying power of their mass choir singing and dancing. She confronts how her ancestors’ resilience in the face of challenge has shaped her own life and how helping the dead of her vision could heal them and free her to fulfill her own dreams.

Alissa Lukara is a first generation American. Her family escaped Latvia during WWII to avoid deportation to Siberia and were refugees for five years. She traveled there three times to research this novel. Her memoir, Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul (Silver Light Publications), was called by the Midwest Book Review “a transcendental story about the immeasurable powers of redemption and compassion.” Night Dancin’ (Ballantine Books), her pop culture overview of New York City discoes, is now a collector’s item. She has been a professional writer and writing coach for more than thirty years. She blogs at, teaches workshops and speak on writing as a transformational journey.

Contact: Robert McDowell


Secrets of the Trees by Alissa Lukara • October 23, 2019 • Novel • Trade Paper • $17.95 • ISBN: 978-1-950475-03-2 • 334 Pages


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              


Dennis Sampson’s poems since the early Eighties stand with the greatest poems of his generation.

Selected Poems collects the best of Dennis Sampson’s poetry from seven previous volumes.

Sampson has long been considered a cherished poet’s poet by his peers. One could add ‘a poetry reader’s poet’ to this rare accolade. It fits because Dennis Sampson has always been the most voracious of poetry readers and talkers. His beloved, wholly assimilated influences include Dante and Theodore Roethke, William Blake and Delmore Schwartz, Elizabeth Bishop and D. H. Lawrence among others.

A fierce practitioner and teacher of the art of poetry, Sampson has always lived an independent, rigorous life of principle as he has come to believe in it. Poetry first, Poetry last & Poetry in between might well be his motto. Poetry is his life and his life, in all its strange guises and mazy motions, is in the poetry.

“In an era of handsomely written books of poetry largely about their own skill with language, it’s more than breathtaking to encounter a poet who writes for the most basic reason: because he has to.”  --Philip Levine

Sampson was born and raised in South Dakota. His previous volumes of poetry include The Double Genesis, Forgiveness, Constant Longing, Needlegrass, For my Father Falling Asleep at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Within the Shadow of a Man, and The Lunatic in the Trees.

The recipient of grants from The Virginia Council on the Arts and The North Carolina Arts Council, Sampson’s poems have appeared in such magazines as The American Scholar, The Ohio Review, The Hudson Review and many others. He has taught as Writer-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, as the Visiting Poet in the M.F.A Program in Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington, and at Wake Forest University. He lives in North Carolina.

Contact: Robert McDowell

(541) 787-5221

Selected Poems by Dennis Sampson • October 21, 2019 • Poetry • Hardcover • $24.95 • ISBN: 978-1-950475-00-1 • Trade Paper -$16.95 • ISBN: 978-1-950475-01-8 • 124 Pages

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