2015/2016 Portland Arts & Lectures Season
In addition to live events that are broadcast statewide on OPB radio, the program connects renowned authors with readers and writers of all ages through classroom visits and writing workshops.
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The 31st season of Portland Arts & Lectures features some of the most influential writers at work today. They are novelists, journalists, essayists, and poets who have won the most prestigious awards in their profession:
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Jane Smiley won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel A Thousand Acres (1991), which is based on Shakespeare’s King Lear. In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. She participates in the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in association with UCLA. She won the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and chaired the judges’ panel for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize in 2009. Smiley is currently at work on a trilogy of novels about an Iowa family over the course of several generations. The first novel of the trilogy, Some Luck, was published in 2014 by Random House, and the second novel, Early Warning, will be released on April 28, 2015.
Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Anthony Doerr is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector (2002) and Memory Wall (2010), the memoir Four Seasons in Rome (2007), and the novels About Grace (2004) and the number one New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See (2014), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Doerr’s fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize; the Rome Prize; the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an NEA Fellowship; the National Magazine Award for Fiction; three Pushcart Prizes; two Pacific Northwest Book Awards; three Ohioana Book Awards; the 2010 Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories; and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story. In 2007, the British literary magazine Granta placed Doerr on its list of 21 Best Young American Novelists.
Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Adam Gopnik is a Canadian American writer, essayist, and commentator. He is best known as a staff writer for The New Yorker—to which he has contributed non-fiction, fiction, memoir, and criticism since 1986—and as the author of the essay collection Paris to the Moon, an account of five years that Gopnik spent in the French capital with his family. He is the author of two children’s novels, The King in the Window and The Steps Across the Water, as well as several collections of essays, including Through the Children’s Gate: A Home in New York; Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Lincoln, Darwin, and Modern Life; and The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food. He has won the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism three times, as well as the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting and the Canadian National Magazine Award Gold Medal for arts writing. His work has been anthologized many times, in The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Food Writing, and The Best American Spiritual Writing.
Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine earned her BA in English from Williams College and her MFA in poetry from Columbia University. She is the author of five collections of poetry: Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), which received the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004); Plot (2001); The End of the Alphabet (1998); and Nothing in Nature is Private (1995), which received the Cleveland State University Poetry Prize. In 2013, Rankine was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowments for the Arts. In 2005, Rankine was awarded the Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets. She is currently the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Mohsin Hamid is a Pakistani writer and the author of three novels—Moth Smoke (2000), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013)—and a book of essays titled Discontent and Its Civilizations (2014). His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award (Moth Smoke), selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thirty-five languages. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.