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Literary Arts News

Literary Arts Welcomes New Board Members

In December, we welcomed three new members to our Board of Directors. Please join us in welcoming them!

Mitchell S. Jackson
Author and Educator

Mitchell S. Jackson attended his first Literary Arts event more than 20 years ago while still a graduate student at Portland State University. Since graduating with an MA in Creative Writing (he also holds an MFA from New York University), Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years was Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads pick in 2015 and has received widespread critical acclaim and won numerous awards. His nonfiction book, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was published in the spring of 2019 and was named a best book of the year by several publications. Jackson teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of Chicago and is a columnist for Esquire magazine. A formerly incarcerated person, Jackson is also a social justice advocate who, as part of his outreach, visits prisons and youth facilities in the United States and abroad.


Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Junot Diaz’s Drown
Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son
James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon


I’m re-reading Nadia Owusu’s new memoir Aftershocks for an event with her. 

I’ve also been reading aloud two poetry books: Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard and Vievee Francis’ Forest Primeval. Vievee with the quickness had become one of my favorite poets. I’m mad at my poet friends for not pressing her book into my hands and saying, “READ THIS!”

Maurice King
Education and Community Advocate

Maurice King has a deep love for literature and storytelling and has been a supporter of Literary Arts since 1997 when he and his wife attended their first lecture.

King has served on boards, councils, and community impact teams, and is currently the Immediate Past Chair of All Hands Raised. A commerce and production professional, he has worked for a variety of global companies including Gap, Inc., The Limited, The Walt Disney Company, and Nike.


Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires. It was brilliant meeting her last year. [Her Portland Arts & Lectures event] was wonderful.
Ta-Nehisi Coates. I love his range and appreciate his books, articles, and graphic novel work.
Malcom Gladwell. Andrew’s interview with him in 2019 remains one of my favorites.


A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

My 2021 reading challenge is to read a graphic novel each month by a BIPOC writer. Next up:  The Banks by Roxanne Gay

Geoffrey Tichenor
Environmental Attorney, Partner at Stoel Rives

Geoffrey Tichenor

Geoffrey Tichenor was selected as an Oregon Environmental Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2013 and 2014, as one of the Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, and recognized by Chambers USA from 2017 to 2020. Geoff currently serves as co-leader of Stoel Rives Consumer Products, Manufacturing & Transportation Industry Group. He continues a legacy of partnership between Literary Arts and Stoel Rives.

“I see literacy as the solution to many of modern society’s most existential threats, including the loss of truth, the denial of science, and the echo chamber traps inspired and maintained by popular web browsers and social media outlets. Also, I just plain love to read. I so support what Literary Arts is doing and view its programming as essential to our community.”

Geoffrey Tichenor

View Literary Arts’ Board Roster here.

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