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Pop-up: Megan Stielstra

Sat, Nov 11, 2017 from 3:15 pm - 3:45 pm PST
1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Megan Stielstra pops-up in the Portland Art Museum galleries with her most recent book of essays, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

Stielstra is paired with Untitled (Cloud Topped Mountain) by Percy Manser; found in the Northwest Art, floor 3, gallery 304. Please reference the Portland Art Museum Map to find this location.


In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece “The Wrong Way To Save Your Life,” she answers the question of what has value in our lives—a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family’s goes up in flames. “Here is My Heart” sheds light on Megan’s close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality. 

Whether she’s imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra’s work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful—this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.

Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections: Everyone Remain CalmOnce I Was Cool, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, winner of the 2017 Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Review of Books. Her work appears in Best American Essays, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Believer, Poets & Writers, Tin House, and elsewhere. A longtime company member with 2nd Story, she has told stories for National Public Radio, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and theatres, festivals, and classrooms across the country. She teaches creative nonfiction at Northwestern University and weird, wonderful Zoom spaces in your living room.
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