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WITS Writers Spring News & Events


Brian Benson and Portland activist and photographer Richard Brown co-wrote Brown’s memoir This is Not For You, out this month from OSU Press. He was interviewed on Literary Arts’ blog about the book. Watch Benson and Brown’s author event at Powells here.


Bruce Poinsette has a new piece out in Oregon Humanities, “We Know Who’s Got Our Six Now: How the Father’s Group is elevating Black life in Bend” excerpts of which were originally recorded as part of his series The Blacktastic Adventure: A Virtual Exploration of Oregon’s Black DiasporaLaunched in late 2020, this ongoing project illuminates the stories of Black communities across Oregon through interviews with artists and organizers.


David Ciminello is teaching The Writers’ Gymnasium: The Writing Workout through Literary Arts this spring. This prompt-driven generative workshop will give writers an opportunity to flex their literary muscles. Classes will provide an intimate, structured, and supportive time to broaden basic and complex writing skills. The workshop is from April 18 – May 23, 2021 on six Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to noon.


Emilly Prado‘s debut memoir-in-essays, Funeral for Flaca, will be published this June by Future Tense Books.

In Funeral for Flaca, Emilly Prado retraces her experience coming of age as a prep-turned-chola-turned-punk Chicana growing up in the predominantly white suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area. Funeral for Flaca seeks to unearth the roots of her many identities by sifting through memories, family stories, examining truth, and sharing excerpts of old diaries. Sign up for pre-order notice here.


Jennifer Perrine is a new co-host of Incite, a bimonthly reading series for and by local queer writers, and the current guest editor at Broadsided Press, which is looking for writing in response to artwork for their annual Switcheroo feature. The deadline to send work is 4/10/21.

Jennifer will be teaching two classes through Literary Arts this spring: Contents Under Pressure, starting April 11th, and Talking Back, starting May 17th.

They will be participating in an online reading & Q/Q with the First Draft Writers’ Series on Thursday, May 20th, at 7pm PST. They have new poems coming out in the spring issue of New Letters and in the upcoming “Rebellious Joy” issue of The Seventh Wave, and their essay, “Bend the Line,” was published last month in The Gay & Lesbian Review’s “Here’s My Story” feature.


Jessica (Tyner) Mehta has two books coming out. When We Talk of Stolen Sisters is releasing in spring 2021 by Not a Pipe Publishing, and Antipodes is releasing in the summer of 2021 by New Rivers Press.

She read this month at ‘We the Indigenous’ is a virtual reading series showcasing the best of Indigenous literary talent. See her read here. You can also hear one of her Birdy Poetry Prize-winning poems, read by Brian Daldorph, here.


Jules Ohman‘s debut novel, Body Grammar, a queer coming-of-age love story set in the world of international modeling was announced last month and will be published by Vintage.


Valarie Pearce has an upcoming author event at Literacy Night, in partnership with Fidelity Charitable Grant Fund & Portland Public Schools, on April 1st from 630-7:30PM PST.

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