Hello, my name is Mel, and I’m addicted to written words. You can laugh, but I’m serious. I have friends who hide their magazines when I come over because I get sucked into the articles and stop paying attention to the conversation. I’ve stumbled into classes or work with puffy, bloodshot eyes and zero attention span not because I was partying all night, but because I’d found a book that I simply could not put down. It’s embarrassing.
On the other hand, books saved my life. No, I wasn’t shot in the back and the bullet was stopped by a hardcover in my bag (although that would be kind of awesome). Nor had I decided to pull a Virginia Woolf until I read a passage by my favorite author and decided life was worth living. Sometimes I wish it was that cleanly dramatic. Instead, books taught me how to breathe when it felt as though life was drowning me.
My attempt to explain: I believe that everyone feels like a lonely oddball sometimes (as someone who hit 5’10” in 6th grade, I’m well acquainted with awkward). Books gave me a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes—to try on other people’s perspectives—as I was figuring out my own story. The more I read, the more I realized that everyone, everywhere, is making things up as they go, and that I could write my own story however I wished. This drawn-out epiphany handed me a get-out-of-jail-free card and has made me a passionate believer in the power of storytelling.
Books also led me to my current position at Literary Arts, specifically as an assistant to Mary, the WITS Program Director. I’m excited to be here…like doing-cartwheels-when-the-boss-isn’t-looking excited. My job includes a little of everything (office management, social marketing, editing, and event planning, to name a few) but best part is working with people who are fun, wicked smart, and dedicated to nurturing the literary community in Portland. I can’t wait to see a fresh group of students learning to see and tell about their world in new ways. I’m excited to learn what they have to tell.
Liar’s League PDX
October 21, 2017
Liars’ League PDX invites you to attend an evening of imaginative fiction…
Bookmark: A Benefit for Literary Arts
October 25, 2017
Click here to visit the event landing page. Bookmark: A Benefit for…
Fireweed Blossoms: A Literary Celebration and Community Gathering
November 1, 2017
Join us at Literary Arts for a multigenerational community celebration to honor the release…
2017 Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival
November 11, 2017
Join Literary Arts for Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival, our annual celebration of literature.…
The Moth Mainstage
December 11, 2017
The Moth returns to Portland on Monday, December 11. This extraordinary performance…
Everybody Reads 2018
April 5, 2018
In partnership with Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, Literary Arts is…