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Youth Programs at the Portland Book Festival 2021

Youth Programs at Literary Arts has a phenomenal lineup of in-person and virtual workshops and events for the 2021 Portland Book Festival, presented by Bank of America. Join us by registering for youth or educator classes, hearing student readers at the WITS Anthology launch, and attending the #PDXBookFest!

The 2020-21 Writers in the Schools Anthology will launch in-person at the Portland Book Festival on Saturday, November 13th

Tuesday, November 9th

Embodied Writing: High School Educator Class

4:30-6:30PM PST.Free (donations accepted, but registration is required.) Workshop via Zoom.

We know how important sensory detail can be to writing, but after many months of teaching and learning online, it can be easy to feel disconnected from our bodies and our senses. In this class, we’ll combine writing prompts with embodiment practices—including trauma-informed yoga, mindful movement, meditation, and breathing—that help regulate stress and bring awareness back to our physical sensations. You’ll leave with a range of tools that can support your own and your students’ writing and well-being. All are welcome—no prior experience with writing is necessary, and the practices we’ll use are inclusive of all bodies.

Instructor Bio: Jennifer Perrine is the author of four award-winning books of poetry: Again, The Body Is No Machine, In the Human Zoo, and No Confession, No Mass. Their recent short stories and essays appear in Buckman Journal and The Gay & Lesbian Review. Perrine lives in Portland, Oregon, where they co-host the Incite: Queer Writers Read series, teach creative writing to youth and adults, and serve as a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) consultant. To learn more, visit www.jenniferperrine.org.

Wednesday, November 10th

What I mean when I say: Art meet Poetry (Grades 6-8)

4:00-6:00PM PST. Free (donations accepted, but registration is required.) Workshop via Zoom.

Ever see a work of art and you want to tell the artist or the piece: I love it, or I don’t get it, or I don’t see myself in this at all? You can! In this workshop, we’ll talk back to art. Look at examples of other artists and writers who have done the same. Send ourselves on a journey using writing exercises and imagination, collecting our poems line by line along the way.

Instructor Bio: Dey Rivers is a non-binary artist and writer. They enjoy guiding art creation with all ages, and teach creative nonfiction and fiction with local high schools through Writers in the Schools residencies where they live on stolen land. Currently, they are in the revising phase of a queer historical novel and creating a visual art project based in plant medicine, environmental studies, and storytelling. They have an educational background in Fine Arts.

Thursday, November 11th

Around the Day in Eighty Worlds: Writing about Travel (Grades 9-12)

4:30-6:30 PM PST. Free (donations accepted, but registration is required.) Workshop via Zoom.

For most of us, this year has made it hard to say all the things we want to share with family and “It was about time that I realized that searching was my symbol, the emblem of those who go out at night with nothing in mind, the motives of a destroyer of compasses.” –Julio Cortazar. In this workshop, we will try destroying compasses, writing about travel in a way that isn’t just about going places and seeing things, but about tracking a movement from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Our travels don’t require passports or flights. The unfamiliar is close at hand.

Instructor Bio: Damien Miles-Paulson teaches slow dancing, writes and still dreams of an overseas basketball career. He is a founding member of the now disbanded experimental German noise band, Flu Shot.  His stories, poems and sounds can be found at The Whole Beast Rag, The Washington Square Review, the NewerYork, Alice Blue Review, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Everyday Genius, Past-Ten, Axolotland and The Alarmist. He now walks the world with an MFA in Creative Writing from UCR in hand.

Saturday, November 13th

World Building: Science Fiction Workshop (Grades 9-12).

10:00AM-12:00 PM PST. Free (donations accepted, but registration is required.) Live and in-person at the Portland Art Museum in the PAM West Conference Room.

About: In this science fiction seminar, Matt Smith will teach students how to start brainstorming their stories. The nature of the genre often demands a lot of imagination, and the function of the class will be to show students how to make this part of the process fun and exciting. Students will receive tailored guidance through brainstorming their story and its direction, prompts will be available as well. Students will then build off of their story idea to create and develop characters, and then put together this work to create the first part of a science fiction narrative.

Instructor Bio: Matt Smith grew up in Iowa and Arizona. He earned his BA in English Literature from Arizona State University. He spent the subsequent four years after college in South Korea as an ESL teacher. His short fiction work centers on the intersections of race and identity. He is currently working on a collection of short stories focused on what it means to be multi-racial in America. Matt is a Writers in the Schools writer-in-residence.

Saturday, November 13th


2:00PM-3:00PM PST.Free for students. Live and in-person at the Portland Parks Foundation Tent, 1010 SW Park Ave Portland, 97205.

Local high school students featured in the 2020-21 Literary Arts Writers in the Schools program anthology, Curiosity in Ones and Zeros, will read from their work at the anthology launch.

Each year, Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) program publishes an anthology of exemplary student work. Curiosity in Ones and Zeros showcases poetry, prose, and journalism written by high school students from four Oregon school districts: Portland Public Schools, Parkrose, Gresham, and Woodburn. Being published is thrilling for writers of any age. Publication provides writers with validation, encouragement, and exposure to a larger audience. All proceeds from the sale of the anthologies goes back to support WITS programming. Pre-order your copy of the anthology here!

Be sure to check out the full lineup of events and start building your own Portland Book Festival schedule. Learn more about our young adult author events here.

Questions about Youth Programs’ workshops and events? Email Olivia Jones-Hall, Interim Director of Youth Programs, at olivia@literary-arts.org

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