Synopses & Reviews
The Portland Bridge Book
, now in its third edition, is a richly detailed history of the bridges spanning the Willamette and Columbia Rivers in Portland, Oregon.
This edition is totally new, with over 175 photographs and illustrations. The book makes the bridges of Portland come alive, and shows how they connect Portland's citizens on every level.
About the Author
Born near Willamette River Mile 26 (Oregon City), Sharon Wood Wortman is a first generation Far West American. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College in 1993, and a Masters of Education from the University of Portland in 1998.
A failed berry picker, waitress (one day), linotype operator, motor home sales person, executive secretary, court reporter, and railroad clerk, Sharon is now a writer of many descriptions and freelance teacher and tour guide. Her main theme is bridges, across which she takes hundreds and hundreds of students and adults walking each year in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of The Portland Bridge Book, published by the Oregon Historical Society Press in 1989 and 2001. A third edition is due out in 2006.
She has traveled with "BridgeStories A Storytelling Slide Show" as part of the Oregon Chautauqua program and was one of the historians for the recording of the lower Willamette River bridges by the Historic American Engineering Record for the Library of Congress. She didn't make much money consulting for the government, but the editors promised she'd be in print for five hundred years.
Her poems have appeared in Writers Northwest, Portland Magazine, Windfall a Journal of Poetry of Place, Street Roots, and other places. The poem "Bridges that Open Like Oysters" was "published" in chalk on the sidewalk by Looking Glass Bookstore during Poetry Month 2004. She has won writing awards from Willamette Writers, the Oregon State Poetry Association, and the National Federation of Press Women. In recognition of a work-in-progress titled The Other Side of the Bridge A Memoir in Poems and Essays, she was awarded a Frances Shaw Fellowship in 2003 to the Ragdale Artist Colony.
In 2004, Sharon founded Urban Adventure Press. Titles include Oh, Gravity! Poems About Bridges in Three Sections, a chapbook about bridges featuring a poem by Lawson Inada and the poems and art work of young people. Her first chapbook of her poems and essays, First Voice Poems & Field Notes, was published in January 2006. Urban Adventure also publishes Bridge In A Box Instructions and Patterns for Making Models of Portland's Truss Spans, a curriculum for students of all ages everywhere.
Her web page www.bridgestories.com, launched in January 2006, was funded in part by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Sharon is married to Ed Wortman, a bridge engineer. They live in Portland with their adopted Yorkshire terrier, Worf, and grandson, Josh.