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2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures: Colson Whitehead (Sold Out)

Colson Whitehead is a novelist, essayist, and reviewer whose most recent works include 2019’s The Nickel Boys and 2016’s The Underground Railroad, a New York Times best seller which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by theNew York Times Book Review. NPR hailed The Underground Railroad as “an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction.” Whitehead’s other books include The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. He is a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The 35th season…

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CANCELED – Maggie Chula and Shawn Aveningo Sanders

We are pleased to host poets Margaret Chula and Shawn Aveningo Sanders at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 25th, to read from their most recent books, Shadow Man and What She Was Wearing, respectively. In Shadow Man, Chula brings her father out of the shadows where he had been since 1957, the day her mother packed their five children—all under the age of ten—into the car and drove away. Over the years, Chula comes to accept the differences between a mother who wants China cups and a father content with Budweiser. Writing about these awkward, often heartbreaking, interactions with her estranged father, she discovers that there’s more than one truth and that each of us must find our own. Chula lived in Japan for twelve…

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Les AuCoin

Former US Congressman Les AuCoin joins us at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 10th, to read from his memoir, Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics, published by Oregon State University Press. In 1974, at the age of thirty-two, Les AuCoin became the first Democrat to win a US House seat in Oregon’s First District. He was one of the post-Watergate reformers who shook up an insular, autocratic Congress and led fights for affordable housing, “trickle-up” economics, wilderness protection, abortion rights, and nuclear arms control. In the 1980s, the Oregonian called him “the most powerful congressman in Oregon.” In this compelling collection of life stories, AuCoin traces his unlikely rise from a fatherless childhood in Central Oregon to the top ranks of national power.…

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Everybody Reads 2020: Tommy Orange

Celebrate the power of books to create a stronger community by attending the 2020 Everybody Reads author event with Tommy Orange. 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. Tickets start at $15, available at Portland5.com With the selection of There There, Everybody Reads 2020 centers around the experience of urban Native Americans in Oakland, California. Through a shared reading experience, we will explore a multitude of themes in the book, from identity and ownership to the urban-rural divide. About There There: Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow,…

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2019/2020 Portland Arts & Lectures: Susan Orlean (Sold Out)

Susan Orlean is an author and journalist, and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992. She has written eight books, including, most recently, The Library Book, a New York Times best seller and a Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year for 2018. Her other books include Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. Orlean has been called “a national treasure” by the Washington Post, and the New York Times has said that her work “has that elusive quality to it: exquisitely written, consistently entertaining and irreducible to anything so obvious and pedestrian as a theme.” The 35th season of Portland Arts & Lectures features some of the most engaging writers at work today. Our 2019/2020 season features George Packer, Amor Towles, Min Jin Lee, Susan Orlean, and Colson…

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Marcy Cottrell Houle: A Generous Nature

We are delighted to host Marcy Cottrell Houle reading from her book A Generous Nature: Lives Transformed by Oregon, published by Oregon State University Press. She will be joined in conversation by one of the heroes featured in the book: Michael McCloskey, an Oregonian who was the director of the national Sierra Club for thirty-five years and whose work helped to pass the Wilderness Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The book offers profiles of twenty-one conservationists and activists who have made enduring contributions to the preservation of Oregon’s wild and natural places and its high quality of life. These stories speak to their courage, foresight, and actions–at times against great odds–to save places, enact legislation, and motivate others to cherish and protect the…

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Pam Houston and Stephanie Land

We are pleased to host authors Pam Houston and Stephanie Land reading from their most recent books. With prose as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Pam Houston’s memoir Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country delivers her most profound meditations yet on how “to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief… to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive.” On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. With her devoted…

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Geraldine Foote, Leanne Grabel, Gwen McNeir, and Elaine S. Nussbaum

Join us for an evening of spoken word with Pacific Northwest poets Elaine S. Nussbaum, Leanne Grabel, Geraldine Foote, and Gwen McNeir. All have recently published books with Finishing Line Press. Elaine S. Nussbaum is the author of Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest. She is a former special education teacher and occasionally teaches poetry and lyrics at a juvenile detention center in Portland. She holds a Certificate in Poetics from Naropa University and an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. In 1986, she walked across the USA with the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. Leanne Grabel’s graphic collection of prose poems, Gold Shoes, is her most recent published work. Grabel is a writer, illustrator, performer, and special education teacher. Currently, Grabel is…

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Jackie Shannon Hollis

Jackie Shannon Hollis in Conversation with Annilee Durfey Hyre We are pleased to welcome Portland author Jackie Shannon Hollis to read from her new memoir, This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story, published by Forest Avenue Press. Joining Hollis in conversation will be her niece, Annilee Durfey Hyer, to discuss the many ways of being a parent and mentor to the children in our lives. As a farm girl in eastern Oregon, feeding bottles to bummer lambs and babysitting her little sister, Hollis expected to become a mother someday. After a series of failed relationships, she met Bill, the man she wanted to spend her life with–a man who never wanted children. Saying “I do” meant saying “I don’t” to a rite of passage her…

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Rene Denfeld and Kimberly King Parsons

Rene Denfeld and Kimberly King Parson, in Conversation We are thrilled to welcome Portland authors Rene Denfeld and Kimberly King Parsons to discuss their most recent books, The Butterfly Girl and Black Light, respectively. The authors will each read and then discuss writing, individual life experiences and influences, and the publishing process, as well as take questions from the audience. Rene Denfeld is the author of the acclaimed novels The Enchanted, The Child Finder, and The Butterfly Girl. After captivating readers in The Child Finder, Naomi–the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children—returns in The Butterfly Girl. In addition to being an internationally bestselling author, Denfeld has also worked as a journalist and licensed investigator. She lives in Portland, where she is the…

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