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Community News

In the Community: Upcoming Events and News

Each month, Literary Arts staff will round up news, events, and more happening in Portland, and beyond. Let us know if you have any events or news to share.


Refining Our Writing Voice Through Poetry (with Nick Jaina, Fishtrap)
Wednesdays, September 8, 15, 22, and 29
Online | Register here
One of the core components of writing is developing a distinctive voice. Oregon Book Award finalist Nick Jaina (Get It While You Can) teaches this workshop on developing a poetic heart to improve our writing, no matter what genre it might be.

Washington County Arts and Culture Grants Panel for Individuals (Creative Impact Series)
Thursday, September 9, from 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Online | Register here
Join representatives from Awesome Portland, Oregon Arts Commission, Literary Arts and RACC for a free panel discussion to learn about grant opportunities specifically for individual artists in Washington County. Learn tips for writing the best grant applications. Determine which opportunities fit best with your needs and get the chance to connect with grant makers who can answer your questions. Susan Moore, Director of Programs for Writers, is one of the panelists.

Poetry Is A Prompt: Community Healing Project (IPRC)
Through September 11 | Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Martha Grover Zine Library | 318 SE Main Street, Suite 155
The Independent Publishing Resource Center invites you to the new Martha Grover Zine Library/classroom to contribute to a collaborative poetry garland that is a collective meditation on grief and healing from the past year of heightened racist violence and the evolving COVID pandemic, as well as the many personal losses each of us experience. Come visit the IPRC to be, to write, and to take away journals and booklets made by IPRC staff to help you continue your healing journey through writing. Masks required.

Portland StorySLAM: Gatherings (The Moth)
Monday, September 13th | Doors open 7:00 p.m., show starts at 8:00 p.m.
The Old Church | 1422 SW 11th Ave
$15.00 | Buy tickets online
Prepare a five-minute story about coming together. Family reunions, meet-ups, rallies, and glee clubs. Births, weddings, or funerals. Speed dating, stamp collecting, soul searching. Seances to spelling bees. Joining forces of facing off, down the street or across the world. Tell us about a time it took a village.

*Please note that proof of vaccination will be required for entry.*

Livewire: Sarah Marshall, Dino Archie, Omar El Akkad, MAITA (Alberta Rose Theatre)
Thursday, September 16 | 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Alberta Rose Theatre | 3000 Northeast Alberta Street | Buy tickets here
Features Omar El Akkad, author of international bestseller American War, winner of the 2018 Oregon Book Award for fiction.

PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival 2021 (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art)
September 16–October 3
Hybrid Event (events online, at PICA, and in-person) | Buy pass here
PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival is a convergence of contemporary art, international artists, global audiences, and local in-person gatherings. It is a time to come together in celebration of experimental works and ideas and to push the boundaries of what it means to make—and who can participate in—contemporary art. Since 1995 Portland Institute for Contemporary Art has been working on and against this edge, championing artists from around the world. This year you can enjoy the festival with pay-what-you-can pricing and our new single-pass structure.

Campfire Stories (Artists Repertory Theatre + BackFence PDX)
September 18–25
Artists Repertory Theatre
In collaboration with BackFence PDX, ART presents CAMPFIRE STORIES, an outdoor storytelling event you won’t want to miss! Spend a fall evening around a campfire enjoying your favorite outdoor treats while your favorite Portland storytellers spin tales of wonder.

Creative Vitality™ Summit (Western States Arts Federation)
September 20–21
Free to attend | Register here
The Creative Vitality Summit brings together creative economy experts, economic development professionals, arts and culture leaders, solidarity economy advocates, and equity champions to share knowledge and practice in six interrelated areas: New Economic Models and a More Just Economy, Mapping Creative Vitality, Creative Vitality and Social Cohesion, Networks and Practice in the Creative Economy, the Future of Creative Work, and Creative Economy Policymaking and the Future. The creative economy convening will bring together numerous panelists, a few speakers, and as many participants as we can manage in a virtual space over two days. 

2021 Waterston Desert Writing Prize (High Desert Museum)
Wednesday, September 29, from 5:30–7:30 p.m.
High Desert Museum | Bend, OR | Register here
The Waterston Desert Writing Prize honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy with the desert as both subject and setting. Wednesday, September 29 will honor the winner and finalists of this year’s Prize. This year, the Museum welcomes Elizabeth Woody (Navajo, Warm Springs, Wasco, Yakama) as the Prize’s guest judge. Woody, the executive director of the Museum at Warm Springs, is also a renowned poet, author, essayist and visual artist. She was named Oregon’s Poet Laureate in 2016, won the American Book Award in 1990 and the William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry in 1995, and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards in 1995.

Garden of Verses 2021: A Virtual Benefit for The Merwin Conservancy on the Occasion of W.S. Merwin’s Birthday (The Merwin Conservancy)
Thursday, September 30, at 3:00 p.m. PDT
Free to attend | Register here
The Merwin Conservancy will gather virtually with friends around the world to celebrate the poetry of W.S. Merwin on the occasion of his birthday, and share our vision for stewarding his legacy. 
Poets Puanani Burgess, Jorie Graham, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Ada Limón, and Matthew Zapruder will read selections of William’s poetry along with several other special guests yet to be announced. 


A message from the National Endowment for the Arts

The NEA wants to ensure that artists and arts organizations are aware of the existing resources through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, and how they can best be used to keep people in their homes. We believe this could provide real aid to members of the arts and creative industries during this very challenging time.

Arts practitioners and artists who have been experiencing housing instability, or are having trouble making rent or mortgage payments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic should know that they are not alone. Federal, state, and local governments are offering help with housing expenses and avoiding eviction. Information is available at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s mortgage and housing assistance site on available resources.

KHN Residency
Deadline: September 1

Nebraska City, NE | Residency Period: January 3–June 24, 2022
The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts awards up to seventy juried residencies per year to established and emerging visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists from across the country and around the world. Residencies are available for 2 to 8 weeks’ stays. Each resident receives a $100 stipend per week, free housing, and a private studio. 

Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant Program
Applications open for activities taking place between November 1–30, 2022

Deadline: September 8, 2021
The Career Opportunity Grant program supports individual Oregon artists by enabling them to take advantage of timely opportunities to enhance their artistic careers. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 depending on the scope and nature of the opportunity. Artists from the following disciplines may apply: Literature, Dance, Music, Theatre and Performance Art, Visual Arts, Design Arts, and Media Arts. Folk & Traditional artists whose practice falls in one of the identified disciplines are welcome to apply. Artists from traditionally or currently underserved communities, including rural communities and communities of color, are especially encouraged to apply.

Soapstone Fall Study Groups

Reading Alison Bechdel & Roz Chast, led by Leanne Grabel
Saturdays, October 16–November 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST | via Zoom

Reading Ellen Bass and Dorianne Laux, led by Allisa Cherry and Laura Moulton
Sundays November 7–December 12, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST | via Zoom

Call for Zine Submissions (Salem Art Associate Zine Collection and Library)
The Salem Art Association (SAA) seeks Oregon artists, writers, creatives and community members to submit zines for the Salem Art Association Zine Collection and Library. This Collection houses zines from across Oregon covering a wide range of topics and is permanently housed on the SAA Annex landing. The SAA is interested in zines from the past, as well as work by current artists. One copy of each zine is available to the public as part of the Zine Library, which can be perused on site. Another will be filed away for safe keeping. Submit zines by mail or in person at the Annex.


StoryWalk (Tigard Public Library)
Wednesday, September 1–Thursday, September 30
Fanno Creek Trail
| 13500 Southwest Hall Boulevard, Tigard, OR
Free event
Enjoy reading and nature at the same time as you walk the Fanno Creek Trail behind the library. Pause along the way at displays of each page from a specially-chosen picture book. A new story will go up each month through October!

Garden Storytime (Blossom Back to School at Milwaukie Floral & Garden)
Saturday, September 4 at 12:00 p.m.
Milwaukie Floral & Garden | 3306 SE Lake Road

Sunday, September 5 at 2:30 p.m.
Sellwood Community House Play Yard | 1436 SE Spokane Street

Monday, September 6 at 12:00 p.m.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden | 5801 SE 28th Avenue

Join award-winning children’s author, Rose Collins, and gardening guide Anne, curator of Garden Rosies, for a special start to school celebrations!

PDX Kids Film Festival (The Lot at Zidell Yards)
Sunday, September 12 from 1:00–10:00 p.m.

“The Best of the Festivals Short Films” will feature nine fun, inspiring and clever short films for kids, curated by the team at PDX Kids Film Festival. They will screen the 1984 classic movie The NeverEnding Story, about a boy who dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book. The Portland Kids Film Festival is Portland’s first international film festival for children and their families. The PDX Kids Film Fest has proudly screened over 100 beautiful and impactful animated, live action and documentary films from all over the world. 

YoungArts National Arts Competition
Deadline: October 15
The application for YoungArts’ award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12 from across the United States is open until October 15. Each year, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects 20 YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.

The Amanda Gorman Poetry Award
Opens: October 1 | Deadline: February 1, 2022
Penguin Random House has announced a partnership with Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, to launch the Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry, a new creative writing award focused on poetry for public high school students. With a first-place prize of $10,000, the award will recognize a student for an original literary composition in English for poetry. The competition will also award an additional first-place prize to the top entrant from the N.Y.C. area in recognition of the Creative Writing Awards previously being centered in New York City. Those who are currently in their senior year of high school who attend public school in the United States, the District of Columbia, all U.S. territories, and are planning to attend college–either a two-year or four-year institution–in the fall of 2022 are encouraged to apply.


10 Can’t-Miss Shows Coming to Portland This Fall (PDX Monthly)
Portland Monthly included the Portland Book Festival as a can’t-miss event this fall.

Best Places to Read in Portland, Oregon ( Powell’s Books)
Powell’s explores some of the best spots in Portland to read. Many are outdoors, but also include book-friendly bars and coffee shops.

Multnomah County Library chooses Mira Jacob’s illustrated memoir ‘Good Talk’ for Everybody Reads 2022 (The Oregonian)
The Oregonian discusses the 2022 Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads selection, Good Talk by Mira Jacob.

New College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Join Willamette this Fall (Willamette University)
One of the new faculty members is Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light, winner of the 2020 Oregon Book Award for Fiction.

Portland Arts Venues Require COVID Vaccination or NegativeTest for Audiences (KOIN)
Literary Arts is part of the Portland Performing Arts Vaccine Coalition requiring vaccines for all in-person events. We are committed to keeping audience members, artists, volunteers, and staff members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.


New Literature in Translation: August 2021 (Powell’s Books)

The 34 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2021 (TIME Magazine)

The Best Books of Fall 2021 (Esquire)

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