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Finding Freedom: Searching & Identity

Sat, Nov 9, 2019 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
1422 SW 11th Ave Portland, Oregon 97201

Three stories about the struggle to figure out who you are; well, to start to sort of figure it out, at least. Michelle Ruiz Keil’s All of Us with Wings features Xochi, seventeen and alone in San Francisco, having run away from a painful past, when she meets a young girls and finds a home with her family, a group of musicians, and tries to reconcile her past with her future when she accidentally summons a pair of vengeful magical creatures. In Morgan Parker’s Who Put This Song On?, loosely based on her own teenage years and diaries, seventeen-year-old Morgan is trapped in suburbia, searching for her own identity when the world around her views her depression as a lack of faith and her blackness as something to be politely ignored. Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath follows a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx—only she’s not so closeted anymore, after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, OR, to intern with her favorite feminist writer. In Portland Juliet learns what it means to come out—to the world, to her family, to herself. Moderated by Emilly Prado, author of Funeral for Flaca.

Attendees 17 years of age and younger and/or with valid high school ID enjoy free admission. Advance Portland Book Festival passes available now.

Michelle Ruiz Keil

Michelle Ruiz Keil is an author, playwright, and tarot reader with an eye for the enchanted and way with animals. She is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels All of Us With Wings and Summer In The City of Roses. Her writing for adults can be found most recently in Bitch, Cosmonauts Avenue, and the anthology Dispatches From Anarres: Tales in Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin. She is a 2021 Tin House Scholar and the recipient of residencies from Hedgebrook, The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Bloedel Reserve. Born in San Francisco, Michelle has lived in Portland, Oregon for many years where she curates the fairytale reading series All Kinds of Fur and lives with her family in a cottage where the forest meets the city.

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Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is the author of the poetry collections Magical NegroThere Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night. Her debut YA novel Who Put This Song On? will be published in Fall 2019 from Delacorte Press, and her debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World/Random House. Park3er is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets with Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera is a Bronx-born queer Latinx babe on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever. She's the first Latina to write for Marvel comics, penning the solo series AMERICA about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. In 2017, Gabby was named one of the top comic creators by the SyFy network, and one of NBC's #Pride30 Innovators. Gabby now makes magic on both coasts, currently residing in California. She writes for all the sweet baby queers and her mom. Juliet Takes a Breath is her debut novel.
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Emilly Prado

Emilly Prado is a writer, community organizer, and the prose instructor at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, Oregon. When not writing or teaching, Emilly moonlights as DJ Mami Miami with Noche Libre, the Latinx DJ collective she co-founded in 2017. Her debut essay collection, Funeral for Flaca, was selected as #YosiBookClub summer reading pick and has been called, “Utterly vulnerable, bold, and unique,” by Ms. Magazine. Funeral for Flaca is out now with Future Tense Books.

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