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WITS Writer Winter Reading

Thu, December 17 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PST

Join Writers in the Schools (WITS) as we close out this year in community for our annual WITS Writer Winter Reading. Although we’d normally gather in the library at Literary Arts, we invite you to cozy up from the comfort of your own spaces and listen to literary excellence at this virtual reading held via Zoom.

This free public event will feature WITS writers Brian Benson, CJ Wiggan, Matt Smith, Meg E. Griffitts, Valarie Pearce, and others.

RSVP HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdOmgqTMoGdIQc07ZCqqDMYiPaExtqLNw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event. For tech questions about the event, please contact Jules Ohman, WITS Program Specialist, at jules@literary-arts.org.

To learn more about Writers in the Schools, and our roster of teaching artists, head to literary-arts.org/about/programs/youth/writers-in-schools/


Valarie Pearce 

Valarie Pearce is a Portland-based writer, educator, and curriculum content developer. Having earned her M.Ed. from Concordia University, she has taught high school women’s studies and social sciences.  Valarie has written four children’s books: When Mommy Needs A Timeout, When Daddy Needs A Timeout, I Love Colors, and Little Dot.  Her work  appears in SMART’S Oregon Reads Aloud:  A Collection of 25 Children’s Stories by Oregon Authors and Illustrators. She is currently working on a YA novel centering a young girl, abandoned and troubled, who finds the miracles of love and compassion shine brightest in the darkest of nights. For more information about Valarie www.imarapublishing.com
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Meg E. Griffitts

Meg E. Griffitts is a poet, educator, and freelance writer. She’s the author of the forthcoming collection— Hallucinating a Homestead, which was chosen by Traci Brimhall as the winner of the 2020 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her poem “When the Doctor Doesn’t Believe Your Pain” was a finalist in Inverted Syntax’s 2020 Sublingua Contest chosen by Dr. Khadijah Queen, and in 2018, her essay “Hyemation” was a runner-up for the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri ReviewMediumBlack Warrior Review, Homology Lit, and others. She is currently working on her first full- length poetry collection and a memoir. She lives in Portland with her partner and many animals. Find more of her work at megegriffitts.com.
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Matt Smith

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 what it means to be multi-racial in America. Matt was a 2017-18 WITS apprentice.
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CJ Wiggan

CJ Wiggan is a Nebraskan writer and illustrator creating emotional artwork about gender, relationships, magic, nature, and hair. CJ relocated shortly after earning a double BA in English and Art from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD and now works in youth art programming in Portland. Some of CJ’s art can be found in Theories of HER: An Experimental Anthology, JUR(Y): The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, and a little bit on this locked tumblr page: https://chanelheart.tumblr.com.
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Brian Benson

Brian Benson is the author of Going Somewhere (Plume, 2014), and co-author, with Richard Brown, of This Is Not For You: An Activist's Journey of Resistance and Resilience (OSU Press, March 2021). In addition to his work with Literary Arts, Brian teaches at the Attic Institute and facilitates free Write Around Portland workshops in schools, treatment centers and affordable housing. His short nonfiction has been published in EntropyThe Sun and Off Assignment. He is at work on his third book, a novel.
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