Literary news, events & opportunities in and around Portland, March 2020.
CultureSEast – Bridging Community, Culture, and Identity Through Art
Exhibit open: January 10–March 9
Artist’s Talk: Tuesday, March 3, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Portland Community College Southeast Campus, Southeast Gallery, Student Commons ground floor
The Southeast Gallery presents two exhibits this term by artists Samantha Wall and Georgina Brooks, in conjunction with the Southeast Campus signature event CultureSEast.
CultureSEast seeks to address topics of identity and culture, bringing awareness and appreciation for the rich cultural diversity that makes up our community through storytelling, visual arts, workshops, and more. Please join us to enjoy the unique artistic styles and talent of two local artists and learn about their stories.
First Word Reading Series: The Crucible
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 pm—9:00 pm
Powell’s City of Books
March’s First Word features contributors to The Crucible, a new zine dedicated to feminist creative practice and to dismantling the garbage narratives of patriarchy and capitalism. Emceed by Leni Zumas (Red Clocks) and Sophia Shalmiyev (Mother Winter), with words by Effy Garside Mitchell, Missy Ladygo, Kristin Olson-Huddle, Renee Honn, Caitlin Delohery, Ivy Ross Ricci, and Nikki Levine.
The New Gobshite!
Thursday, March 5, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Featuring: Portland poets Ann Farley, Nastashia Minto, Selena Bekakis, and Amy Baskin; OBA-nominated Portland writer Matthew Robinson; Australian poet Les Murray and a personal memoir of Murray by Swiss writer Christoph Keller; and 25 Poems On The Death Of Ursula K. Le Guin (M. F. McAuliffe)
“A Cynical View of Dystopian America” Chapbook release
Friday, March 6, 7:00 p.m.
Featuring readers: Ben Ficklin, Andy Valentine, xesxa descents, Arthur Bradford, and Armin Tolentino.
Where the House Was
Thursday, March 12, 6:15 p.m.–7:13 p.m.
The Hugo House in Seattle was a Victorian house, turned theater, turned café, and finally, an artist residency that was a haven for writers, poets, and artists. Like in other cities, urban renewal and gentrification came for the house, to make way for mixed-use apartments, but not before co-founder Frances McCue captured what made this such a special place in the Seattle fabric. What follows is the history of not only the house, but the house’s namesake: a working-class Seattle poet whose unique style of “triggering town” is still influencing a generation of writers. Told through archival footage, recordings, animations, and a bold last hurrah, Where the House Was is a loving nod to the historical importance of places that act as conduits for creativity—and the very breath that makes urban spaces so unique.
Oregon Writers of Color 2020 Spring Showcase: Call for Submissions
Deadline: Thursday, March 12
Ooligan Press (part of Portland State University’s graduate program in Book Publishing) is seeking submissions from writers of color for the Oregon Writers of Color 2020 Spring Showcase.
The showcase features many of Oregon’s most talented writers and is designed to connect these artists with publishers seeking to hear their voices.
Wtrlmns: a poetry reading
Friday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.–9:15 p.m.
Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Featured readers: W. Vandoren Wheeler, Chrys Tobey, Alicia Jo Rabins, Jesse Lichtenstein, Matthew Minicucci, David Naimon, Ed Skoog
Ramiza Shamoun Koya in conversation with Andrew Proctor
Sunday, March 15, 2:00 p.m.
Powell’s City of Books
Ramiza Shamoun Koya reveals the devastating cost of anti-Muslim sentiment in The Royal Abduls (Forest Avenue), her debut novel. Evolutionary biologist Amina Abdul accepts a post-doc in Washington, DC, choosing her career studying hybrid zones over a faltering West Coast romance. Her brother and sister-in-law welcome her to the city, but their marriage is crumbling, and they soon rely on her to keep their son company. When he brings an ornamental knife to school, his expulsion triggers a downward spiral for his family, even as Amina struggles to find her own place in an America now at war with people who look like her. With The Royal Abduls, Koya ignites the canon of post-9/11 literature with a deft portrait of second-generation American identity.
Submission Reading Series: LGBTQIA+ Call to Submit
Deadline: March 18
Submission is a poetry and prose reading series curated by blind online submission. It will be guest edited by LGBTQIA+ writers Cosima Bee Concordia (prose) and It’s Jayy Dodd (poetry).
Submissions will be open to writers who identify as LGBTQIA+, and we require that writers indicate that they identify as such in the cover letter (You do not have to identify *how* you identify, but only that you do). The prize in each genre category is $100 and a reading at the Q Center in PDX on May 2nd, alongside the guest editors
Visiting Writers Series: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge ’69
March 19, 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Reed College – Eliot Hall Chapel
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge ’69 was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry including Empathy, Four Year Old Girl, I Love Artists and Hello, the Roses. A Treatise on Stars is forthcoming from New Directions Press along with a new edition of Empathy. She has collaborated with artists in the book arts and in theatre, including Frank Chin, Theodora Yoshikami, Richard Tuttle, Kiki Smith, Tan Dun, Davide Balula. Forthcoming is an album with nature recordings by Rafael Sanchez.
Poetry Reading: Judith Montgomery and Carol Barrett
Tuesday, March 24, 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Annie Bloom’s Books
In Mercy, local poet Judith Montgomery chronicles the story of caring for her husband as he endures cancer treatment. Though brutal in its technology, the medical world Montgomery describes is merciful in its human form, peopled by chemotherapy nurses whose expertise is matched by mercy, as they “lift the plumped / sac, poisons mixed to pour fire into flesh.”
Pansies, Oregon poet Carol Barrett’s collection of thirty slight, delicate vignettes, recounts her experience of the Apostolic Lutheran community through the lens of the young, Apostolic woman, Abigail, who babysits for her daughter.
Featuring: Armin Tolentino, Brianna Renea, and Olufunke Grace Bankole. Hosted by Jessica Meza-Torres
The BIPOC Reading Series at Literary Arts grew out of writing workshop and Delve participants requests to share their work in a BIPOC-centered space. Although open to the public, this reading series is intended to prioritize the safety, creativity, and stories of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color.We hope this series can evolve into whatever shape its participants see fit-be it a space for networking, for community discussions, or as a casual open mic. Forms asking for participant feedback will be available at the event.