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Join us for live events, reading seminars, and writing classes.

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February 2020

Thursday

Feb 20

Ticketed Events

2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures: Susan Orlean

Thu, February 20 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The 35th season of Portland Arts & Lectures features some of the most engaging writers at work today. They are novelists, essayists, and journalists whose award-winning works cover the most compelling issues of our time. On February 20, we will host Susan Orlean, author of eight books, including her most recent, The Library Book, a New York Times best seller and a Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year for 2018. The 2019/2020 season is sold-out. Please check back in May 2020 for next season’s lineup.…

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Saturday

Feb 22

Writing Classes

Grief and the Lyric Essay

Sat, February 22 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Two-week Class: We will try different ways into the conversation with grief, first through reading other writers, then in our notebooks. Writing exercises will allow you to explore memory, specifically as it can be accessed through the body.

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Sunday

Feb 23

Delve Readers Seminars

The Autofiction of Rachel Cusk

Sun, February 23 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Six-week Seminar: This Delve seminar will explore the recent trilogy—Outline, Transit, and Kudos—by Rachel Cusk and contextualize it within the developing literary form of autofiction.

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Saturday

Feb 29

Writing Classes

Collage Your Writing Project: A New Way Into Your Work

Sat, February 29 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Two-week Class: These are just a tiny sample of how we're going to dig deep and investigate our projects through a visual art form. Come with a big project, come with a story, come with an idea about something you want to begin.

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March 2020

Monday

Mar 2

Delve Readers Seminars

Howards End: E.M. Forster

Mon, March 2 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Four-week Seminar This class will focus on Forster’s use of symbolism and allusion, lyrical figurative language, and his keen observations of British life in this early 20th century literary masterpiece.

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Tuesday

Mar 3

Writing Classes

Personal Essay Writing 101

Tue, March 3 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Four-week Class: In this workshop, you will be guided through the personal essay writing process step by step. We’ll build upon the fundamentals of creative nonfiction in a supportive, respectful setting and draw inspiration as diligent readers. Invest in your writing, learn to overcome your fear of the blank page, generate new ideas and reawaken resting ones, share space with a new community of writers, and challenge yourself to write all the way to an ending.

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Wednesday

Mar 4

Free Events

One Page Wednesday – March

Wed, March 4 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Writers, escape the solitude of your desk. Readers, come hear great fresh work. Here is an opportunity to share or listen to one page of work in progress from talented Portland writers. Come with a single page of work and sign up to read – or come to listen and prepare to be inspired! Doors open at 6:30. Please, no reading from electronic devices.   Free

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Thursday

Mar 5

Ticketed Events

Everybody Reads 2020: Tommy Orange

Thu, March 5 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Literary Arts is proud to host an evening with award-winning author Tommy Orange as the culminating event of Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads program. This year’s programming will center on Orange’s debut novel, There There.

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Sunday

Mar 8

Writing Classes

New Ecological Writing

Sun, March 8 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Four-week Class: This course will help you to explore your own relationship to your environment, highlighting the interconnected nature of the world in which we live. Whether you write creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or something in between, this course will help you to explore ecologies through your work.

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Thursday

Mar 12

Writing Classes

Short Story Intensive TWO

Thu, March 12 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Six-week Class: The focus of this class will be revision and reworking of in-process stories. We will work together as a group to hone and refine existing craft techniques and to suggest possibilities for strengthening each piece.

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Sunday

Mar 15

Writing Classes

March Writer of Color Sunday Morning Workshop

Sun, March 15 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

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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Tuesday

Mar 17

Delve Readers Seminars

Kissing the Witch: Modern Fairytales

Tue, March 17 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Three-week Seminar: In Kissing the Witch, Irish writer Emma Donoghue weaves a magical web of interconnected stories about female power and choosing one’s own path in the world. These age-old fairy tales are given a new spin as women, young and old, tell their own stories of love, hate, honor, revenge, passion, and transformation.

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Sunday

Mar 22

Writing Classes

Advanced Memoir

Sun, March 22 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Six-week Class: This workshop is for participants deep into writing their memoir. We will spend our time discussing one another's work, looking at tools and practices of the form, reading some sample memoir sections, and helping to boost writing stamina as you strive toward a finished draft.

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Sunday

Mar 22

Writing Classes

Spring 2020: Mastering Revision

Sun, March 22 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In this four-week class, we will take an editor’s perspective on polishing our work.
The class will be structured as a mini-workshop and we will devote most of our time to peer reading and critique with an emphasis on elements of developmental editing as well as line editing

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Monday

Mar 23

Free Events

Kissing the Witch Preview

Mon, March 23 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Corrib Theatre will give a sneak preview of their upcoming play Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, which plays April 3–26, 2020 at New Expressive Works (corribtheatre.org) In a magical web of interconnected stories about female power and choosing one’s own path in the world, these age-old fairy tales are given a new spin as women, young and old, tell their own stories of love, hate, honor, revenge, passion, and transformation. Artistic Director Gemma Whelan will introduce the play, actors…

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Monday

Mar 30

Delve Readers Seminars

Graphic Literature as Autobiography

Mon, March 30 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Six-week Seminar: In this Delve seminar, we’ll explore autobiographies executed in the medium of comics, and in doing so sample from a few of the world’s most respected illustrator-storytellers. In turn, Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi will each inspire and challenge participants as we examine graphic literature’s unique perspective on created identity.

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April 2020

Wednesday

Apr 1

Delve Readers Seminars

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Wed, April 1 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Six-week Seminar: Composed in the era of the Second World War, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings has become, through various incarnations, one of the best known stories in the world and also part of a larger system of myth and lore--thee so-called "Tolkien universe"--that also includes the Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and countless additional tales in prose and verse.

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Saturday

Apr 4

Writing Classes

Fear and Writing

Sat, April 4 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

One-day Workshop: Fear is a natural part of the creative process. Instead of fighting it, work with it. Through stories, mindfulness, and free-writing, you will discover simple, realistic ways to face your fear, get to know it, and use it to propel your writing, rather than hinder it.

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Sunday

Apr 5

Writing Classes

Creating Better Characters

Sun, April 5 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Four-week Class: This workshop will focus on the skills involved in creating and sustaining vibrant and complex characters for both short-and long-form works of fiction. Through a series of in-workshop prompt-based generative exercises and take-home assignments, you will create and flesh out a series of vivid characters.

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Monday

Apr 6

Writing Classes

Short Story Master Class

Mon, April 6 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

10-week Class: This intensive workshop combines study of narrative craft and model short stories with generative writing to help cultivate ideas for plot and character and workshop feedback to assist in developing story arc, structure, and sensory details.

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Thursday

Apr 9

Delve Readers Seminars

Still and Unstill: Objects and Landscapes as Human Metaphors

Thu, April 9 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Six-week Seminar: This Delve will explore museum galleries, pages of books, and the realm of memory, discovering commonalities in ways writers and visual artists recreate human experience through their hyper-realistic descriptions of material objects and natural places.

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Tuesday

Apr 14

Delve Readers Seminars

William Gaddis: The Recognitions

Tue, April 14 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Six-week Seminar: The Recognitions is savagely critical of our capitalist society and culture, but it’s also a serious novel of ideas and very funny. A celebrated work of genius, it remains as relevant today as in the ‘50s.

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Tuesday

Apr 14

Writing Classes

Short Forms: April

Tue, April 14 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Four-week Class: This class will examine short prose forms—the prose poem, the short-short story, and the lyrical essay, among others. We will take a close look within each of the forms to glean some of their distinct qualities while considering how these forms blur into one another.

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Thursday

Apr 16

Verselandia! East Side Slam – 2020

Thu, April 16 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Literary Arts’ Youth Programs presents the second annual Verselandia! East Side Slam. Cheer on high school students in the community as they perform original poetry in front of a panel of judges. Students from participating East Multnomah County high schools will be competing at this event including David Douglas High School, Gresham High School, Open School East, and Parkrose High School. Following the same rules as national poetry slams, students must perform original work without props, costumes, or music in…

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Thursday

Apr 16

Writing Classes

Writing From Our Own Voices

Thu, April 16 from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Three-week Class: In the era of #ownvoices, it is more important than ever to learn how to write our own truths. In this course, we will be talking about how to write fiction, nonfiction and/or poetry from our perspective. We will talk about bringing out #ownvoices in our writing lives and in our wider circle, as well as touch on submitting to markets we might not feel would be interested in our voice. We will do exercises to bring out our individual life experiences, and learn to feel comfortable talking in our own authentic voice that is often unseen in mainstream culture.

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Sunday

Apr 19

Delve Readers Seminars

William James: Inventing an American Philosophy

Sun, April 19 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Six-week Seminar: The philosophy of William James (1842–1910) has had world-wide influence, and yet it is in many ways an essentially American view of the nature and humanity. James was a psychologist by training. This study led him to develop his unique view of human experience, out of which grew his profound concept of the nature of knowledge and reality as the way in which we act in the world and experience life.

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Sunday

Apr 19

Writing Classes

Spring 2020: Collage in Creative Nonfiction

Sun, April 19 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Do you have a nonfiction story that struggles to mold to a traditional structure? Both collage and braided forms in creative non-fiction resist linear development, relying instead on fragmentation, silence, and resonance to shape ideas and story

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Monday

Apr 27

Ticketed Events

2020 Oregon Book Awards Ceremony

Mon, April 27 from 7:30 pm

Join Literary Arts' annual celebration of the state's most accomplished writers in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, young readers, and graphic literature. Winners will be named at the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. This year’s finalists are listed here.  Available ticket prices include: $12 - Balcony-level seating at the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony. $22 - Orchestra-level seating at the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony. $65 - Patron ticket to the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony. This…

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Thursday

Apr 30

Youth Events Ticketed Events

2020 Verselandia! City-wide Youth Poetry Slam

Thu, April 30 from 7:00 pm

Join Literary Arts for the ninth annual Verselandia! city-wide youth poetry slam. Students from local public high schools compete in individual school slams to qualify for this grand slam event. Verselandia! is a powerful community moment to show young people that their voices matter. This city-wide slam features students from Parkrose, Roosevelt, Metropolitan Learning Center, Benson, Lincoln, Gresham, Franklin, Madison, Wilson, Jefferson, Grant, and Cleveland high schools competing for poetic glory. Verselandia! is the Grand Slam for the winners from…

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May 2020

Thursday

May 7

Ticketed Events

2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures: Colson Whitehead

Thu, May 7 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The 2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures series will close on May 7 with Colson Whitehead, author of The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad, a New York Times best seller which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award.

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Monday

May 11

Writing Classes

Writing a Novel in 8 Weeks

Mon, May 11 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Eight-week Class: This is a boot-camp-style class designed for aspiring novelists who have a clear fictional project in mind and who can commit to a rigorous eight-week schedule of reading and writing.

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Wednesday

May 20

Delve Readers Seminars

The Essays of James Baldwin

Wed, May 20 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Six-week Seminar: This Delve will examine the essays of James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the black freedom struggle.

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Thursday

May 28

Writing Classes

Spring Storytelling Intensive

Thu, May 28 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The workshop covers crafting stories using the five-part story arc, delivering your best performance onstage, and a treasure trove of secrets to this satisfying artform. This class culminates in a show at the downtown Literary Arts center, where you’ll tell your story before a live audience.

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