Community News

In the Community: Upcoming Online Literary Events and Connections

Each week, Literary Arts staff will round up news, events, and more happening in the literary community. Let us know if you have any events or book news to share.


UNFINISHED WORK: Music, Identity and Activism
(New York Times)
Monday, June 29
1 p.m. P.T.

Since the dawn of the suffrage movement, innumerable queer women — many of them artists — have played a key role in the battle for women’s rights. From suffrage songs to today’s pop hits, how do queer female musicians share messages about justice, equality, and change? How are modern artists informed by the past, and how does their music imagine a more equitable future?

Join singer, songwriter, performer, producer and founder of the Looking Out Foundation,  Brandi Carlile and performer Hayley Kiyoko in conversation with Technology and culture reporter, Nellie Bowles.

This Unfinished Work conversation will give musicians an opportunity to share stories and insights as they explore the activism in their work.

Virtual Festivals

Bay Area Book Festival #UNBOUND
#UNBOUND presents notable authors in free, stimulating literary conversations highly relevant for our challenging times. Programs debut on YouTube Premiere with live audience chat, then remain as recordings there and on our site. (Some special ticketed programs include live audience questions to the authors —join their mailing list to find out!)

Wisconsin Book Festival
Follow their Crowdcast page for upcoming events and to watch replays of past events.

Classes and Workshops

Bi-Monthly BIPOC Online Workshops (Write Around Portland)
2nd & 4th Friday of every month (beginning July 10)
from 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Please note: this workshop is only for people who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color (BIPOC) and will be led by a BIPOC facilitator. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Community Engagement Manager Jenny Chu at

BIPOC Intro to Improv Comedy w/ Mark Kendall (Kickstand)
Sundays, July 16–September 3
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. PST. 

This class is a BIPOC only intro to improv comedy class! Learn from Mark Kendall (Dad’s Garage Theatre, Dark Side of the Room, ATL) – Mark is an exceptionally talented improviser and sketch comic and regularly tours with his critically acclaimed one-man show “The Magic Negro and Other Blackness” – you can check out his latest sketch “If MARTA Came to Cobb County” here.

The class is free but limited to 12 spots so please make sure you can attend most classes before applying. All BIPOC folx are welcome to apply, but we will be prioritizing Black and Indigenous students as well as students with the most availability. 

This class will be offered again soon, so if you can’t join this round, stay tuned for the next session. Sign up here to be notified of future BIPOC classes and opportunities at Kickstand

If this sounds like fun (spoiler: it is), you can apply here!

** The deadline for completing this application is Sunday, 7/8/20 at 10pm.
Students must be 18 and up to register for all classes with the Kickstand Training Center

For Kids/ Teens

Reading is Resistance Summer Book Club

Reading Is Resistance has hand-selected three once-a-month book bundles for you, your middle reader, or your YA reader to enjoy all summer long. We source our books from North Portland’s Two Rivers Bookstore. Purchase at

Our summer reads center BIPOC authors and protagonists, and the stories range from magical adventures to grappling with race and identity. All of these are perfect for taking with you in the car, reading in a tent, lounging in the backyard, and curling up in a blanket fort in your very own bedroom.  

In addition, Reading Is Resistance will include curated anti-bias discussion questions and extended learning experiences to go with EACH BOOK! These are designed using the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards. 

Symphony Storytime (Oregon Symphony)
Symphony Storytime is a fun and unique video series from the Oregon Symphony designed for pre-K through elementary aged children and their families to experience popular story books. Each episode is entertaining and educational, and includes a great children’s story narrated by a master storyteller, with accompaniment by an Oregon Symphony musicians and guest artists, performing the book’s “soundtrack.”

Recommended Reading

8 Poetry Collections on Blackness (Electric Literature)

If You Really Want to Unlearn Racism, Read Black Sci-Fi Authors (The Mary Sue)

Toni Morrison Proved There’s No Time Limit for Success (Zora)

We Need Diverse Books Announces the Winners of the 2020 WNDB Internship Grants (WNDB)


Feeling Bookish Podcast
This episode features a conversation with Reed College professor Dr. Pancho Savery about the role of African American literature during a time of protests against systemic racism.

And more…

Journal On (Portland Art Museum)
The Portland Art MuseumPortland Public Schools, and Create More, Fear Less are assembling one enduring art journal, made up of many, to capture our shared story of this unique moment in history.

Every Saturday this summer through mid-August, a new prompt will be posted. Share your drawings, words, or photos.

Litographs have released a collection of book themed face masks, including Black Literature, Science Fiction, and Banned Books.

Blog cover image: Black Literature face mask from Litographs.

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