International House of Mark Saltveit

Mark Saltveit

Here are some things I enjoy and/or do.  Click for details (or check my publications):

Palindromes -- I've become something of an expert on this classic wordplay -- on March 16th, I won Will Shortz' first World Palindrome Championship in Brooklyn.   I edit the world's greatest palindrome magazine, give talks and workshops, and write books, articles and of course palindromes. I've appeared recently in Harvard Magazine, The Economist, USA Today, Australian national public radio and other news media, and my standup comedy bit about palindromes is proving popular. My literary agent is Rita Rosenkranz of New York City.

Freelance Writing -- technical, creative, journalistic, humorous & grant writing -- as part of TextSmiths. Current clients include the Oregon Bioscience Association, Willamette Writers, Harvard University and the Miracle Theatre Group.

Standup Comedy -- I'm travel around the NW and Inland West, and am a regular at Helium Comedy Club, the best venue in Portland . I'll be at the Three Rivers Casino in  Florence, OR on October 17th, and at Kayo's Lounge in Bend OR on the 18th.  October 24th, I'll be part of Nathan Brannon's "Hamster Village" comedy + show at Helium.  On June 23, 2012, I hosted an amazing and unique palindrome comedy show at the Peculiarium in Portland, along with comedian Dax Jordan, musician Cymbalman, and the Olivia Darlings presenting the world's first ever land-based synchronized swimming peformance.   Hopefully we'll restage this, bigger and backwardser.  Did I mention that I have a hot comedy bit on palindromes on YouTube? For private events, I happily write special material for the occasion.

Public Speaking -- October 13-14th, I'll be MCing at the Wordstock Festival in Portland. March 4, 2013, I'll speak on "Lessons Palindromes Taught Me" at Portland's prestigious Multnomah Athletic Club.  On July 14th, I gave the keynote address to the National Puzzler's League convention in Portland.   I currently give talks and workshops for business, general and school audiences, and also appear as a guest on programs such as KOIN-TV's "Studio 6" and the Portland Trailblazers' TV postgame show, "Talkin' Ball."

Simple Mindedness -- That's the name I've given to my personal brand of unorthodox Taoism (Daoism), mixed with a little Jung, existentialism, residual Catholicism and just real life. I write stuff along these lines, for example "Comedians as Daoist Missionaries" and my "American Koans." I have a completed manuscript of the latter awaiting some enterprising literary agent or publisher.

I also like skimboarding, running, raising kids and marriage, but I'm not good enough at any of them to say more.



I interview the Palindrome Oracle about the U.S. economy, June 2012.

Politician Palindromes in the Oregonian for political primary season, March 2012.

Column on the manly task of watching Glee with daughters, December 2011.

My article on Barry Duncan, who the Believer anointed a "master palindromist," from issue #8 of The Palindromist.

A slew of new palindromes about the Oregon Ducks football team are in The Oregonian newspaper, October 7, 2011.

I have another "American Koan" about the nature of celebrity in issue #48 of Exterminating Angel (September 2011).

My article "Literary Reversals" is in issue #6 of MeFiMag, which is in general an excellent use of your reading time. It's a new print/pdf magazine that grew out of the Metafilter website.

I wrote a profile of multi-talented musician and TV host Derrick Ashong for Harvardwood Monthly's Sept. 2011 issue.

"Comedians as Taoist Missionaries", a truly original meditation on my other career, appeared (in draft) on a great Chinese philosophy blog called "Warp, Weft and Way." The final version appeared in issue #4 of MeFiMag.

A poem I wrote, "Bathtub Palindrome," appears in the March 2011 "Fantasy" issue of Collective Fallout.

I wrote a feature article, "Curbstoned," for issue #2 of MeFiMag.

3 of my American Koans -- excerpts from my book-in-progress "Philosophy Without All Those Words" -- are in the Nov. 2010 issue of Exterminating Angel Press.


In 2010, I had a couple of short humor pieces  in The Oregonian  and Short, Fast and Deadly, issue #55.

I published a book of days called A Man, A Plan, 2002: The Year in Palindromes. A little out of date by now, but it was pretty good at the time. I should update it.

The Gecko Wears A Tiara (PDF) is a short collection of the primitive wisdom of ancient Sumer, four thousand years old now. Odd and sometimes inappropriate, but strangely compelling.

Co-wrote Computer Fun For Everyone -- a kids' project book -- with my ex-wife, Elin Kordahl, in 1996.  Amazingly enough, it is still bought and sold today.

I have essays in The GenX Reader ("Whatever") and Not Fade Away ("Reasons to Hate the Dead").  Kind of opinionated, but I got a nice shout out from The Nation ("eerily prescient media critique") a couple of years ago.

Interview with Professor Osseforp in Harvard Magazine.  He likes palindromes.



The Skeleton Closet: All the Scandals on All the Presidential Candidates (since 1995).

The Palindromist Magazine: the world's greatest palindrome zine.