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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.


Multnomah County Library is one of the nation’s busiest library systems but it is also one of the smallest serving a metro area in the U.S. For years, librarians have been forced to turn children and adults away from programs due to lack of space in overcrowded buildings. Those needing access to technology at our libraries have had to wait for hours or do without. Our library facilities in East County are woefully inadequate.

Our needs from libraries have changed, but our buildings have not. Today, tens of thousands of families, students, job seekers, seniors, and those living with disabilities need a wide range of essential library services and technology we could not have imagined just 20 years ago.

Measure 26-211 addresses our outdated buildings and technology infrastructure. If passed, eight of our smallest or most outdated libraries will be rebuilt, renovated, or expanded, creating the space we need for children’s programs and services for adults. Library services in underserved neighborhoods will be expanded. All of our libraries will have gigabit speed internet for every person in our community.

Vote “YES!” to help librarians reach more people with life-changing programs and services. Learn more at YES for Our Libraries.


Portland State Creative Writing 2020-21 Reading Series
Friday, October 9 | 4:00 p.m. PT
PSU’s Creative Writing Reading Series kicks off with Cooper Lee Bombardier, an American writer and visual artist living in Canada, author of Pass with Care, a memoir-in-essays. Click here for free shipping on any featured author’s title from PSU partner Broadway Books.


A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas Book Launch
Thursday, October 8 | 6:00 p.m. PT 
Powell’s presents the book launch for Attic Institute founder David Biespiel’s new memoir, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas

Litquake 2020
October 8—24
The annual Litquake festival kicks off next week—60 events, all almost entirely free! Including: 
Sex and Vanity: Kevin Kwan with Amy Tan
Election: Film Screening and Conversation with Tom Perrotta
Every Day We Get More Illegal: Juan Felipe Herrerra with Jericho Brown. View the full schedule here.

A Reading with Coleman Stevenson, Shayla Lawson, Stephanie Adams-Santos (Daedalus Books)
Sunday, October 11 | 4:00 p.m.
Free | Register here
A virtual reading with Delve Guides and Oregon Literary Fellowship recipients Coleman Stevenson, Shayla Lawson, and Stephanie Adams-Santos.

Pop-up Magazine Fall Issue
Monday, October 12 | 6:00 p.m.
We have a stellar new lineup of comedians, artists, filmmakers, writers, and radio folks to bring you along for road trips of a lifetime, campfire tales, cross-continent friendships, intimate home movies, comedic dares, and more. Watch the trailer here.

National Book Foundation Presents: A New Black Politics?
Wednesday, October 14, 6:00pm EST 
National Book Award Winners Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) and Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America) and Longlister Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership) kick off the virtual mainstage season of NBF Presents for a conversation on the state of Black politics—offering historical context to the global uprising, Black Lives Matter, and response of Black politicians and organizers. Less than a month until the 2020 presidential election, these authors and thinkers consider where this moment leaves Black voters.

2020 Governor’s Arts Awards Virtual Celebration
October 15 | 5:00 p.m. PT
Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Arts Commission will present four individuals and one organization with the 2020 Governor’s Arts Award during a first-ever virtual celebration. The Governor’s Arts Awards is Oregon’s highest honor for exemplary service to the arts. The Virtual Celebration will feature remarks by Governor Brown and each of the awardees, as well as three special performances, including a new reading by Literary Arts board memeber and Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani.

Know Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Virtual Think & Drink with Walidah Imarisha (Deschutes Public Library)
Monday, October 19, 2020 | 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Writer and educator Walidah Imarisha will explore the idea of “visionary fiction,” fantastical art that aids in imagining and building new just futures. She will do so engaging with the work of Octavia E. Butler, renowned Black feminist science fiction writer and public intellectual. Connecting science fiction to social change, Imarisha will show the necessity of imagination to change the world.

Electric Literature’s First Ever Virtual Salon Series
October 20–29
$10 | Register here
Authors Brandon Taylor and Ross Feeler will discuss Writing White Fragility; Halimah Marcus, Marie-Helene Bertino, and Elissa Washuta on Magical Feminism; and Swords Out: A Dungeons & Dragons Murder Mystery with John Darnielle, Leah Johnson, Daniel Lavery, Amber Sparks, R. Eric Thomas, and Dungeon Master Matt Lubchansky.

Portland Virtual StorySLAM: Disguises
Tuesday, October 20 | 7:30 p.m. PT | $10
With host Elina Lim. DISGUISES: Prepare a five-minute story about going undercover. Fake mustaches, heel lifts, cloaks, a nurse’s uniform, or that giant hotdog costume. Mental disguises, like the Ph.D. you earned to appease your mother; or the “sensitive guy” persona you thought might work in your favor. Chameleon-level concealment. Pranks and mistaken identities. Wolves gussied up like lambs. The Trojan Horse, the Mighty Oz and now … you!

Consider This with Jamelle Bouie
Tuesday, October 27 | 5:00 p.m. PT
One week before Election Day, New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie will talk with Oregon Humanities about democracy, moments of transition, and the significance of this particularly charged political moment. there will be a breakout conversation on Zoom for viewers to discuss their responses to the conversation. To participate in the breakout conversation, register here.

Virtual Festivals

Fall into the Arts: A Radio Festival of Local Performances (All Classical Portland)
This nine-part concert broadcast series will air on Thursdays at 7pm PT, September 24 through November 19, in Portland at 89.9FM and streaming worldwide at allclassical.org

Library of Congress National Book Festival
September 25-27

Litquake 2020 (San Francisco’s Literary Festival)
October 8–24

Lit Crawl Austin Goes Virtual
October 31–November 15
Lineup to be announced soon!


Authors League Fund
Now accepting applications from writers experiencing income loss due to COVID-19.
The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers with dignity by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses. Repayment of this emergency support is not required. For guidelines and to apply, click here.


A Song Below Water, by Bethany C. Morrow (Reading is Resistance)
Guided anti-bias/ anti-racist reading, for Grades 4+

What We’re Reading

The Coffin, the Ship by Mel Kassel (Black Warrior Review)
 “He saves me for last because I told him to—I should be the sip that seals the night, the taste that turns in circles before settling to roost in his mouth.

The Things I Tell Myself When I’m Writing About Nature by Helen Macdonald
“A not-too-serious and also quite serious list that is entirely non-prescriptive, and is absolutely not a set of instructions. Your mileage will vary wildly. There are as many ways to write about the natural world as there are kinds of beetles. But these are the things I really do tell myself when I write about nature, and today I decided I’d confess them all.”


Noche de Película
Stream-at-home Film Festival (Hollywood Theater)
September 30–October 5
$12 | Tickets
Every year, Noche de Película brings Latinx queer stories from around the world in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French. This year the program will highlight experiences of Hispanic, Latin-American, and Afro-Caribbean LGBTQIA+ persons with films from ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Los Estados Unidos, Mexico, Peru, Reino Unido, and Venezuela.

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