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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.


Winter Fishtrap: Resilience in Our Natural World
An Online Conference: Saturday, January 23
Many of us have special places in the world where we go to build resilience within ourselves, but are those places and the nature that surrounds us every day resilient? How do we know? What does resilience look like in the natural world? Join staff from The Nature Conservancy and Eastern Oregon Legacy Lands as we explore the meaning of resilience in our world and why certain places may prove to be more (or less) resilient in this era.

The Moth National Mainstage
January 27 | 4:30 p.m. PST | $15
Join The Moth for stories from the razor’s edge. Taunting fate and laughing in the face of danger. Close calls, brazen stunts, or death-defying heroics. Dancing too close to the fire, grazing the flames or magically escaping unscathed.

Create, Connect, and Inspire: Julia Cameron on The Listening Path
January 27 | 7:00 p.m. PST
Having enriched the creative and artistic journeys of millions with her Artist’s Way program and books, Julia Cameron lives up to her New York Times-bestowed moniker, “Queen of Change.” Now, at the dawning of a new year that promises much-welcomed change, the “Godmother of Creativity” will show us how to harness that spirit of renewal with her latest guide to attunement and fulfillment, The Listening Path

How I Wrote This
January 28 | 7:30 p.m. PST
Join Esmé Weijun Wang, Muse 2020 Fellow in Non-Fiction, to discuss her singular essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias. This conversation  will be as much about the process of writing and publishing The Collected Schizophrenias as about the content of the book itself.

Morristown Festival of Books @Home
February 20 & 21
Featuring Kristin Hannah, V.E. Schwab, David Michaelis, and debut memoirist Nadia Owusu.

Powell’s Inauguration Reading List
Powell’s has put together a reading list based on President-elect Biden’s publicized policy goals for his first 100 days in office. From pandemic response and criminal justice to immigration and the economy, these books are a starting point for understanding the social issues that underlie the policy priorities of the incoming administration.


The Big Moose Prize
Deadline: January 31
The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers with an unpublished novel. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book.

Fields Artist Fellowship
Deadline: February 15
The Fields Artist Fellowship aims to support artists who are at a pivotal moment or inflection point in their careers, where the fellowship can provide meaningful impact. Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Humanities will award four Fields Artist Fellows $100,000 each over a two-year period; along with robust professional development, networking and community building opportunities. In addition, a one-time sum of $10,000 will be awarded to eight finalists.

2020 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction
Deadline: February 15
This contest is open to any short fiction writer of English. The prize includes a $2,000 cash award and publication of the winning manuscript. Judged by Alice Sebold.

Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships
Deadline: February 23
The 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are $50,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities. 

Dramatist’s League Foundation
DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

Waterson Desert Writing Prize
The Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy  with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of Central Oregon’s High Desert, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide. Emerging, mid-career and established nonfiction writers are invited to apply. Previous applicants who have not won an award are eligible to submit a new project. The Prize is awarded to a nonfiction full-length book proposal.


A Kids Book About Live Q&A
Tuesdays | 10:30 a.m. PST
Interviews with A Kids Book About authors hosted by kids! Hosted live on their Instagram. Topics include A Kid Asks About: MLK Day, Systemic Racism, Belonging, Emotions, and more!

Word is Bond’s Youth Poetry Collection
Word is Bond’s debut youth poetry collection, I Got A Story to Tell, will be available on February 1, 2021. It features poems written by the young Black men community ambassadors and law enforcement officers of the Rising Leaders summer internship 2020 here in Portland, OR.

Lesson Plan: Discuss 22-year-old Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb”
In this lesson, students examine the poetry of Amanda Gorman, who was chosen to read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. Gorman’s poem complimented Biden’s message and themes of “unity.”

Bodecker Foundation Virtual Workshops
Dates vary
Led by professional artists, writers, musicians, and educators, our FREE creative workshops for high school students include a mix of online group activities and offline individual and/or collaborative project work. February offerings include Socially Engaged Art with Patricia Vázquez Gómez and Lyric Writing with Chris Funk. See all available classes here.

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards Program in Partnership with We Need Diverse Books
Deadline: March 2, 2021
Calling all high school seniors attending a public high school in the United States! We Need Diverse Books and Penguin Random House are happy to announce that submissions are open for the 2021 Creative Writing Awards, a scholarship program dedicated to furthering the education of students with unique and diverse voices.

Waterson Student Essay Competition
Deadline: May 1, 2021
The student award contest is open to all high school-age students (grades 9-12), 18 years old or younger, who reside in Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson or Lake County. Public school, private school and home-schooled students are eligible.


‘Inaugural,’ an Original Poem by Jericho Brown

Heavily stylized pencil drawing of a hand reaching through broken ground, with a small circle representing the sun beside it.
Illustration by Rob Sato

I would love to live

In a country that lets me grow old.

I long. I long for that. We are otherwise

Easily satisfied. Where do we get

Tangerines for cheap? Can we make it

There on the Metro? How hot is the fire

Fairy blister of chocolate chipotle sauce,

And will you judge me if I taste it? But now,

We’ve put our hunger down for the time it takes

To come and reconcile ourselves to the land

Because it is holy, to the water

Because it swallowed our ancestors,

To the air because we are dumb enough

To decide on something as difficult

As love.

Blog cover image from Rob Sato.

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