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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.


Celebrating Avel Louise Gordly (Oregon State University Press)
Wednesday, March 30, from 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Free to attend | Register here
Join a virtual celebration of Avel Louise Gordly’s 75th birthday! This Women’s History Month event will feature readings of Avel Gordly’s memoir, Remembering the Power of Words. Gordly, a longtime Portland activist and community leader, was the first African American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate. Sections of Gordly’s memoir will be read by Dr. S. Renee Mitchell, Antoinette Myers Perry, Ed.D., and Latricia Tillman. The event is jointly organized by the Portland State University Department of History, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Oregon State University, and Oregon State University Press. It will be held on Zoom, and books will be available for sale through Third Eye Books and Gifts, Portland’s only black-owned bookstore.

Spring 2022 AuthorFest (Simon & Schuster)
Thursday, March 31, at 5:00 p.m.
Virtual | Zoom Link will be provided
Simon & Schuster partners with the book festival community each season to bring exclusive author programming to readers across the US. The Spring 2022 AuthorFest event will feature #1 internationally bestselling authors Nelson DeMille and Janet Evanovich. Both DeMille and Evanovich have created some of the most iconic recurring characters in fiction, keeping them interesting, surprising, and fresh, novel after novel. In this fascinating conversation, these literary legends will discuss how to keep their readers coming back for more of their beloved characters.

Chelsea Bieker in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons (Powell’s Books)
Tuesday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m.
In-person at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
From Chelsea Bieker, the acclaimed author of Godshot and “a pitch-perfect ventriloquist of extraordinary talent and ferocity” (T Kira Madden), comes Heartbroke, a defining book of Californian stories where everyone is seeking or sabotaging love. Bieker will be joined in conversation by Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light.

An Evening with Slam Poet Alex Dang (The Reser at the Round)
Thursday, April 7, from 7:00–8:30 p.m.
The Reser, 12625 SW Crescent Street, Beaverton, OR
Join for an engaging evening with internationally performing poet, Alex Dang! Join us for a thought-provoking performance followed by reflection and dialogue on identity and lived experience in our community. Vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic (Art at the Cave)
Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 p.m.
In-person at Art at the Cave, 108 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA
| Virtual available
Featuring Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic will celebrate National Poetry Month by featuring Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino at their April event. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige. Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help continue to include friends from around the country  as well as local poets who can’t make it in person. Email katecrackernuts@comcast.net by no later than midnight on April 13 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Word Reign Open Mic (The Queens Head)
Thursday, April 14, from 7:00–9:00 p.m.
The Queen’s Head, 19 SW 2nd Avenue, Portland OR
Free to attend
A spoken word, poetry, rap, and word art open mic taking place biweekly at The Queen’s Head in Portland. They invite “queer writers, poets, people who wanna take the stage for the first time, & simply folx who enjoy spoken word” to speak. Feel free to come as you are, any level of experience, any language welcome—translation unnecessary! This is an all-ages event, so minors may attend. Work that needs it should have a content warning, and folks should come expecting to hear challenging work. Tashon Phoenix will be hosting.

In the Name of Forgotten Women (CoHo Productions)
Through April 16
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
CoHo Productions, 2257 NW Raleigh St., Portland, OR

Written by Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipient)
In the Name of Forgotten Women bears witness to the global oppression of women and testifies to their resilience. Inspired by real-life incidents in over 15 countries, this dramatic work features the individual and collective voices of seven diverse women, culminating in a powerful call to action.  Dramatizing poetry with music, movement, ritual, and projection, this dynamic “choreopoem” is, in essence, a ceremony to restore the Feminine in the world.

Emily St. John Mandel in Conversation With Omar El Akkad (Powell’s City of Books)
Tuesday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m.
In-person at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, Portland OR
Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon 500 years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space. Mandel will be joined in conversation by Omar El Akkad, author of What Strange Paradise.


Artist Registry (Oregon Arts Commission)
As a tool for sharing funding opportunities, the Oregon Arts Commission partnered with The Ford Family Foundation to create the Oregon Artist Registry. Professional artists are strongly encouraged to sign up for the registry by completing a brief survey about themselves and their artistic practice.The goal is to reach and connect with as many Oregon artists as possible, including those who haven’t previously accessed funding programs. Read the full release

Call for Guest Speakers (Salem Art Association + Bush Barn Art Center)
Reviewed on a rolling basis
In honor of their centennial year, Salem Art Association and the Bush Barn Art Center introduce a new event called “Arts in Our Lives”—a series of presentations promoting an appreciation for creativity in the visual, literary, and performing arts. “Arts in Our Lives” is accepting applications for individual or group presentations. An academic degree is not necessary and there are no age restrictions. Stipends are available. Email David Wilson, Gallery Director, at david@SalemArt.org with a letter of introduction, a one-page proposal on your topic, a resume or CV, and a list of three references.

Hugo Fellowship (Hugo House)
Deadline: March 31
The Hugo Fellowship program provides education, space, and resources for up to six emerging writers in the Seattle area per year to support the development of new work. Applicants are selected for the program based on the excellence of their writing and ability to complete the proposed project. Projects may include (but are not limited to) completing the first draft of a novel, developing and workshopping a solo play, or creating a manuscript of poetry.

First Pages Prize
Submission window: March 1–April 10 / 24
Open to unagented writers worldwide, the First Pages Prize invites writers across the globe to enter their first five pages (1,250 words) of a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction for a chance to win cash awards, a tailored edit, and an agent consultation. The prize judge this year is author Justin Torres. In four years, this prize has awarded over $25,000 in prizes to 27 writers in seven countries.

Soapstone Winter/Spring Study Groups
Study Group on Deborah Levy’s memoir trilogy: Things I Don’t Want to Know, The Cost of Living, and Real Estate, led by Natalie Serber
Saturdays April 2–May 14, from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PST | via Zoom

The Writer Craft Writer’s Retreat (organized by Valerie Ihsan)
Registration closes April 2
August 11–14 | In-person at the Tipi Village Retreat Center,
39615 Wendling Road, Marcola, OR
There are only ten tickets available to The Writer Craft Writer’s Retreat, described as a “COVID-safe, socially-distanced, in-person, ALL-INCLUSIVE writing retreat and workshop.” Registration fee includes lodging, meals, writing instruction, networking, retreat space, a free writing strategy/coaching session, optional yoga instruction (suggested $10 donation), and optional reflexology (for an additional fee). Teachers include Oregon Book Award winner Joe Wilkins, Dante Zúñiga-West, and Valerie Ihsan.

Call for Submissions: “Memory” (Oregon Humanities)
Deadline: April 11
Oregon Humanities magazine is now accepting submissions for the Summer 2022 issue of their magazine, “Memory.” They’re looking for nonfiction pieces that explore the people and events we choose to commemorate and those that are buried or erased, justly or unjustly. 

The Poetry & Poetics of Lucille Clifton (The Writers’ Annex, Community of Writers)
Thursdays, April 21–May 12 | Online | Register here
Poet Kazim Ali will lead a weekly virtual course on the Poetry and Poetics of Lucille Clifton. This short course on Clifton’s work will examine the major themes and qualities of her poetry.

Artist Residency and Writing Workshop Applications Open (Fernland Studios)
Deadline: April 22
Fernland Studios is accepting applications for their summer artist residencies and writing workshops. Their programming offers people time, support, and a network to honor how their work contributes to larger bodies of activism, artistry, community, and research. They’re providing $1,500 to five artists working remotely across the United States through the artist residency program. Their in-person summer writing workshop, Building Black and Indigenous Environmental Futures, will be at Silver Falls State Park from July 11–15. Storyteller and environmental educator Ashia Ajani will guide aspiring and established writers to learn more about diasporic storytelling. They are providing $1,000 to five writers working and living in the Pacific Northwest to participate in the workshop. 

2022 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant
Deadline: April 25
The application window is open for the 2022 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant. Recognizing that works of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction require significant time and resources, up to ten $40,000 completion grants will be awarded to eligible writers for book-length works-in-progress. The program’s chief objective is to foster original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.

2022 Short Fiction Prize (CRAFT)
Deadline: May 1
The 2022 CRAFT Short Fiction Prize, for unpublished short stories from 1,000 to 5,000 words, will be awarded in October 2022. The top three entries will be selected by Alan Heathcock. The winner will receive a $2,000 award. Runners-up will receive a $500 award and $300 award respectively for the second and third place finalists. The top three stories will be published in CRAFT, each accompanied by an introduction by the guest judge and an author’s note (craft essay) by the three winning writers.

2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize (High Desert Museum)
Deadline: May 1
The mission of the Waterston Desert Writing Prize is to strengthen and support the literary arts and humanities in the High Desert region through recognition of literary excellence in nonfiction writing about desert landscapes, through community interaction with the winning authors of the annual prize, and presentations and programs that take place in association with the Prize. They began accepting submissions for the 2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize on Saturday, January 1, 2022. The submission deadline is Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Writing the Unloved: A Hands-On Literary Exploration of Great Basin Reptiles (PLAYA)
July 21–25
Lead by author and biologist Tom Titus, this 5-day guided residency will provide a hands-on opportunity to experience the biology of Summer Lake reptiles and learn to write deeply about your relationship with reptiles, as well as expand this literary exploration to the “others” that lie outside our zone of comfortable familiarity. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or certified medical exemption with negative COVID-19 test, will be required to participate in all 2022 programming at PLAYA. 


Anthology Contest (Voyage YA)
Deadline: May 1
Voyage YA is excited to offer writers a chance to have their young adult writing published in their inaugural Anthology. The editors will select eight pieces of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction to include in the collection. The selected writers will be compensated.

I Matter Poetry Contest (National Youth Foundation)
Deadline: July 23, 2022
Students in grade K–12 are invited to submit original poetry or art creation on the topic of Black Lives Matter. The contest is open to residents of the United States, as well as to international students. The winning entry will be posted on their social media pages by September 2022 (@NYFUSA).

Makerspace Minikits Available at All Multnomah County Libraries
Through Summer 2022

Makerspace minikits are STEAM-based activities in a bag, free to pick up at any Multnomah County library beginning Dec. 11. The minikits are designed for teens but are appropriate for ages 8+ with assistance. Kits will be available through Summer 2022. Makerspace programming is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation.


Authors in the running for 2022 Oregon Book Awards include a rare double finalist (The Oregonian)
Coverage of our announcement of the Finalists for the 2022 Oregon Book Awards

Daily Life (The Portland Tribune)
The Portland Tribune covered our announcement of the 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipients!

IPA to Ukraine’s Publishers and Booksellers: ‘Hope, Solidarity, and Love’ (Publishing Perspectives)
Solidarity with Ukraine from the book world.

Literary Arts Announces 2022 Oregon Book Award Finalists (Portland Monthly)
Coverage of our announcement of the Finalists for the 2022 Oregon Book Awards.

Untethered by pandemic, Oregon’s poet laureate seeks new ways for poetry to foster joy and connection (OPB)
We’re extremely lucky to count Oregon’s Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani as a member of multiple Literary Arts Councils, including being the chair of the Programs for Writers Advisory Council!


26 Most Exciting Spring Titles (Powell’s Books)

12 Must-See BIPOC Portland Family Artists (PDX Parent)

Catch up with these 10 picture books by Oregon authors and illustrators (The Oregonian)

PLA & Pacific Northwest Spotlight: Publishing in the Pacific Northwest (Publishers Weekly)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Women’s Rights: 12 Books for Women’s History Month (Powell’s Books)

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