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Events, Classes, and Seminars

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Featured Events

Upcoming Events

January 2021

Monday

Jan 25

Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, January 25 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Monday, repeating until Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

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Tuesday

Jan 26

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler

Tue, January 26 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

“The world is full of painful stories. Sometimes it seems as though there aren't any other kind and yet I found myself thinking how beautiful that glint of water was through the trees.” Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower “You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed When the unimaginable is occurring, how do we navigate…

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Tuesday

Jan 26

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Essay Intensive: Lyric and Personal

Tue, January 26 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

In this eight-week intensive workshop, we will generate writing to prompts, finding our way into some lyric or personal essays. Participants will share drafts for focused feedback on specific craft issues and overall essay structure. The first four weeks will focus on one project, the second four weeks on another. Join this class to produce and workshop two essays and deepen your understanding of the essay form. I'm a strong believer in writing together and the kind of alchemy that…

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Wednesday

Jan 27

Free Events Youth Events

WITS Reading: Benson High School

Wed, January 27 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm PST

Writers in the Schools (WITS) has served public high school students with creative writing residencies in Portland, and more recently Gresham, since 1996. Published local writers collaborate with classroom teachers to lead an immersive semester-long workshop series designed to further class themes, curricula, and student interests. Each residency culminates with a public reading, ordinarily held in a local café or bookstore. With distance learning, we look forward to hosting our reading on Zoom and invite you to join us in…

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Wednesday

Jan 27

Free Events Youth Events

WITS Reading: Madison High School

Wed, January 27 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm PST

Writers in the Schools (WITS) has served public high school students with creative writing residencies in Portland, and more recently Gresham, since 1996. Published local writers collaborate with classroom teachers to lead an immersive semester-long workshop series designed to further class themes, curricula, and student interests. Each residency culminates with a public reading, ordinarily held in a local café or bookstore. With distance learning, we look forward to hosting our reading on Zoom and invite you to join us in…

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Thursday

Jan 28

Portland Arts & Lectures

2020/21 Portland Arts & Lectures: Madeline Miller

Thu, January 28 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PST

Madeline Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles (2011) and Circe (2018). Writing in a genre Miller refers to as “mythological realism,” these titles reimagine ancient Greek myths for the modern reader. The Song of Achilles won the 2012 Orange Prize (now The Women’s Prize for Fiction), was a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, and was praised by acclaimed author Ann Patchett as “a book I could not put down.” Circe was a #1 New York Times bestseller…

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Thursday

Jan 28

Portland Arts & Lectures

Portland Arts & Lectures 2020/21 Season

Thu, January 28 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PST

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Tue, May 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Literary Arts is pleased to announce the author line-up for the 2020/21 Season of Portland Arts & Lectures. Subscriptions start at just $90 for the series. Subscribe today! At this time, all lectures are scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 

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Friday

Jan 29

Deadlines Free Events Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships

Special Award Nominations Deadline

Fri, January 29

As part of the Oregon Book Awards, Literary Arts offers three awards that recognize significant contributions to Oregon’s literary culture: The Charles Erskine Scott Wood Distinguished Writer Award is presented to an Oregon author in recognition of an enduring, substantial literary career. Past recipients include George Hitchcock, Ken Kesey, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Barry Lopez. The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award is presented to a person or organization in recognition of significant contributions that have enriched Oregon’s literary…

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February 2021

Tuesday

Feb 2

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

A Different Sort of Gilead: Marilynne Robinson

Tue, February 2 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Marilynne Robinson’s first novel, Housekeeping, was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1982. In 2005, she was awarded the Pulitzer for her second novel, Gilead. In this seminar we will read both novels; a subsequent seminar will focus on Robinson’s third and fourth novels, which take up and expand upon the story told in Gilead. All novels are concerned with questions of family, home, memory, and the often fraught nature of human relationships. In Housekeeping, two sisters struggle…

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Wednesday

Feb 3

Free Events Youth Events

WITS Reading: Parkrose High School

Wed, February 3 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm PST

Writers in the Schools (WITS) has served public high school students with creative writing residencies in Portland, and more recently Gresham, since 1996. Published local writers collaborate with classroom teachers to lead an immersive semester-long workshop series designed to further class themes, curricula, and student interests. Each residency culminates with a public reading, ordinarily held in a local café or bookstore. With distance learning, we look forward to hosting our reading on Zoom and invite you to join us in…

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Wednesday

Feb 3

Winter 2021 Writing Classes Writing for Children

Kick Start Your Picture Book

Wed, February 3 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST

Do you have an idea for a picture book that you’ve never had the chance to get on paper? Or a work in progress that you want to polish into picture book form? This 6-week intensive class will take you through the most vital steps in picture book writing. Through studying the picture book form, reading successful picture books, and focused writing exercises that help you develop your characters, narrative and voice, this workshop will help you write a picture…

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Wednesday

Feb 3

Free Events

One Page Wednesday: February

Wed, February 3 from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Share or listen to one page of work in progress from talented writers from everywhere. Come with a single page of work and sign up to read – or come to listen and prepare to be inspired! Hosted by Natalie Serber. February's featured reader is Brian Benson. Register in advance for this event

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Wednesday

Feb 17

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Hybrid Writing Along The Seam

Wed, February 17 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Consider the sphinx: head of a woman, haunches of a lion, wings of a bird. A creature powerful and wise enough to guard the seam between the sacred and the secular, life and afterlife. Hybrid forms of writing possess a similar power, harnessing two or more established forms to create something new, unique, and potent. Hybrid forms are actually ancient, preceding all genres — genres are forms into which the hybrid was broken. When we reunite these forms, we welcome…

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Thursday

Feb 18

Free Events

Slamlandia

Thu, February 18 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 7:00 pm on day Third of the month, repeating until Fri, May 21, 2021

Slamlandia is a poetry open mic and slam that meets every month. This mic provides a creative, fun, and welcoming space for all literary communities in Portland. We encourage poets new and old to come share their work. We strive towards a safer space for poets to read their own poetry, witness others, and participate in community. Hosted by Julia Gaskill. Register in advance for this event If you have any questions, please contact slamlandia@gmail.com or jessica@literary-arts.org.

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Thursday

Feb 18

Portland Arts & Lectures

2020/21 Portland Arts & Lectures: Ibram X. Kendi

Thu, February 18 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PST

Ibram X. Kendi is a New York Times bestselling author and the founding director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A professor of history and international relations, Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of The Black Campus Movement and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Kendi was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and he was honored on The Root…

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Sunday

Feb 21

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

February BIPOC writer workshop

Sun, February 21 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

One-day Workshop: Open to writers of color at all levels writing in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. A variety of prompts will be presented as avenues for generating and sharing new work in an informal setting. You can also bring your own prompts and questions about the writing process, and explore them with the group.

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Wednesday

Feb 24

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

Enrique Vila-Matas: On Writing

Wed, February 24 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

This Delve will focus on the work of perhaps one of the most celebrated contemporary Spanish authors, Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948) has been the recipient of numerous literary awards including the Premio Rómulo Gallegos, Prix Médicis and Premi Nacional de Cultura de la Generalitat. Widely translated and with a body of work that expands over 30 novels and several books of essays and short stories, Vila-Matas’ characters are writers who have stopped writing, who have fallen ill from reading too…

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Thursday

Feb 25

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

Dystopias of Turkish Modernity: Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book and Bilge Karasu’s Night

Thu, February 25 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

This Delve seminar looks at two acclaimed authors of modern Turkish literature and their dystopian novels, The Black Book and Night. Dystopian narratives portray oppressive systems, and they display a deep suspicion of power structures and their alliance with scientific progress and technology. Published in 1985 in the aftermath of a brutal military coup in Turkey, Night depicts a violent secretive regime set out to murder its dissidents. Dystopian imagery of an unnamed city is permeated with dismembered bodies, silence,…

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Thursday

Feb 25

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Four Letters: The Epistolary Form

Thu, February 25 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

To write a letter is an inherently generous act that rewards both the writer and the recipient. Letters are also an accessible, relational, and forgiving form; everyone can write a letter. Letters bridge distance by slowing us down and fostering deep connections. In this class, you will write four letters. These four letters will serve as the four posts in the foundation of your new letter writing habit. You’ll receive inspiration, prompts, support, and guidance. We’ll learn from each other’s…

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Thursday

Feb 25

Free Events

Ridgerunner: Gil Adamson in conversation with S. Tremaine Nelson

Thu, February 25 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Join us for an evening with Gil Adamson, winner of the 2020 Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her new novel, Ridgerunner. Set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West, Ridgerunner is a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition and a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humor and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural…

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Friday

Feb 26

Free Events

BIPOC Reading Series- February

Fri, February 26 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST

We're kicking off the new year with the theme "VISIONS."  This bimonthly reading series is intended to prioritize the safety, creativity, and stories of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. Come listen to our featured readers, or sign up to share your work in our open mic. Readings will be followed by a short community discussion. Click here to register for this event. You do not need a Zoom account to participate. This event is open to everyone, but…

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March 2021

Tuesday

Mar 2

Free Events

THE SUM OF US: Heather McGhee, presented by West x Midwest

Tue, March 2 from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST

One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

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Tuesday

Mar 9

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

Imagining the Future: Dystopic and Utopic Fiction

Tue, March 9 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Many of us have described the past year as “apocalyptic” or “dystopian.” We’ve been living through a global pandemic, a critical presidential election, ravaging wildfires, and a national reckoning with our country’s legacy of racism and police violence. Utopic and dystopic fiction can help us make sense of our experience and ask questions about our future. In this seminar we’ll read three works of utopic and dystopic fiction written by women authors. In our reading and discussion of each text,…

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Sunday

Mar 14

Memoir SPRING 2021 Writing Classes

Memoir Infusion!

Sun, March 14 from 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm PDT

This class is meant to get you moving, excited and deeply engaged with your memoir project.

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Sunday

Mar 14

Delve Readers Seminars Spring 2021

Søren Kierkegaard: What is Our Situation?

Sun, March 14 from 5:00 pm - Mon, March 22 from 7:00 pm PDT

In the six meetings of our Delve seminar we will read selections from books by Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), a philosopher of the highest importance and influence in general philosophy, moral philosophy, and religious thought. In Western philosophy, he stands with Plato and Nietzsche alone as a literary stylist of the greatest genius. The most familiar characterization of Kierkegaard is that he is the founder of existentialism. In this seminar we will try as best we can to look at him…

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Saturday

Mar 20

SPRING 2021 Writing Classes

Revision: Taking a Second Look

Sat, March 20 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

Most authors know that real writing begins with rewriting. Yet, revision is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. How do we dig deeper and color in the edges to make our writing more evocative? How do we use the senses to make it come to life? What would happen if we approached the same material from the perspective of a different character? Or from an entirely different point of view (third person as opposed to first-person…

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Thursday

Mar 25

Delve Readers Seminars Winter 2021

Joy Harjo: American Sunrise

Thu, March 25 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

...we still want justice. We are still America. We know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They die soon. -Joy Harjo,“American Sunrise” Our current poet laureate Joy Harjo describes her work as writing that both “tells the truth and creates the truth", providing a “memory on which to build.” Harjo, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is the author of nine books of poetry, one memoir, several plays, children’s books, and most recently, the editor of…

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April 2021

Saturday

Apr 3

SPRING 2021 Writing Classes

The Path of Perseverance: Writing No Matter What

Sat, April 3 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

This class is for serious writers who are ready to reclaim their commitment to writing. The writing journey, exhilarating and wondrous as it is, can be punctuated with delays and disappointments. Sometimes the demands of daily life or an unexpected crisis can send us into a tailspin. How do we keep writing through chaos or a stressful live event? For many of us, 2020 threw various hurdles in the way of our ability to write consistently. Yet, we pressed on.…

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Thursday

Apr 8

Ticketed Events

Everybody Reads 2021: Ross Gay

Thu, April 8 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT

Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads 2021 selection is acclaimed author and poet Ross Gay and his collection of essays, THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS. Literary Arts presents the culminating event of the program—an author lecture, which will be held virtually this year on Thursday, April 8, at 6:00 p.m.

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Tuesday

Apr 20

Portland Arts & Lectures

2020/21 Portland Arts & Lectures: Joy Harjo

Tue, April 20 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

Joy Harjo is a renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and was named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019. Harjo is the author of nine books of poetry—most recently An American Sunrise—several plays and children’s books, and a memoir, Crazy Brave. She has received numerous prominent awards, including the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and 2015 Wallace Stevens Award. The Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, says: “Her work powerfully connects us to the…

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May 2021

Tuesday

May 18

Portland Arts & Lectures

Portland Arts & Lectures 2020/21 Season

Tue, May 18 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Tue, May 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

One event on Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Literary Arts is pleased to announce the author line-up for the 2020/21 Season of Portland Arts & Lectures. Subscriptions start at just $90 for the series. Subscribe today! At this time, all lectures are scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 

Find out more
Tuesday

May 18

Portland Arts & Lectures

2020/21 Portland Arts & Lectures: Yaa Gyasi (RESCHEDULED)

Tue, May 18 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

Yaa Gyasi is the author of the forthcoming novel, Transcendent Kingdom (Knopf, August 2020). Her best-selling debut novel, Homegoing (2016), is an intergenerational saga following two split branches of a Ghanaian family through three hundred years of history. Homegoing won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, was shortlisted for the British Book Award – Debut of the Year, was named a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, and…

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