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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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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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Collage Your Writing Project: A New Way Into Your Work

For writers at all levels This class includes a $10 materials fee When you hit a wall, find another door In this two day workshop we will spend our time exploring and developing central questions about our writing projects. Some considerations may be: What is the heart of the heart of the story? Who are my characters? What is your/your characters’ biggest fear? What are the obstacles? What is the universal truth that you are exploring in you work? 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. Natalie will provide images, glue,…

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Thom Hartmann

In his new book, The Hidden History of the War on Voting (Berrett-Koehler), progressive radio host Thom Hartmann unveils the strategies and tactics that conservative elites in this country have used, from the foundation of the Electoral College to the latest voter ID laws, to protect their interests by preventing “the wrong people” – such as the poor, women, and people of color – from voting, while making it more convenient for the wealthy and white. He also lays out a variety of simple, common-sense ways that we the people can fight back and reclaim our right to rule through the ballot box.

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John Sayles

In Yellow Earth, the site of Three Nations reservations on the Missouri River in North Dakota, film director and author John Sayles introduces us to Harleigh Killdeer, chairman of the Tribal Business Council, who is contracted by an oil firm to spearhead the new Three Nations Petroleum Company. What follows in his new novel, Yellow Earth (Haymarket), with characteristic lyrical dexterity, insight, and wit, introduces us to a memorable cast of characters, weaving together narratives of competing worlds through masterful storytelling. Set shortly before Standing Rock would become a symbol of historic proportions of the brutal confrontation between Native resistance and the forces of big business and law enforcement, the fate of Yellow Earth serves as a parable for our times.

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Dan Pfeiffer

From Dan Pfeiffer, cohost of Pod Save America, comes Un-Trumping America (Twelve), a sharp political playbook for how Democrats can take on Trump, McConnell, Fox News, and the rest of the right-wing circus dominating American politics. Pfeiffer worked for nearly 20 years at the center of Democratic politics, from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill to Barack Obama’s White House. Here, Pfeiffer urges Democrats to embrace bold solutions – from fixing the courts to abolishing the electoral college to eliminating the filibuster – in order to make America more democratic (and Democratic).

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Courtney Maum in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons

It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of “cultural degenerates.” To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), impetuous American heiress and art collector Leonora Calaway begins chartering boats and planes for an elite group of surrealists to Costalegre, a mysterious resort in the Mexican jungle. The story of what happens to these artists when they reach their destination is told from the point of view of Lara, Leonora’s neglected 15-year-old daughter. Heartbreaking and strange, Courtney Maum’s Costalegre (Tin House) is inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen. Maum will be joined in conversation by Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light.

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Megan Fernandes

In an era of rising nationalism and geopolitical instability, Megan Fernandes’s Good Boys (Tin House) offers a complex portrait of messy feminist rage, negotiations with race and travel, and existential dread in the Anthropocene. Ultimately, Fernandes’s poems possess an affection for the doomed: false beloveds, the hounded earth, civilizations intent on their own ruin.

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Sierra Crane Murdoch in Conversation With Rebecca Clarren

When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her home, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, transformed by the Bakken oil boom. The landscape had been altered beyond recognition, her tribal government swayed by corporate interests, and her community burdened by a surge in violence and addiction. Three years later, when Lissa learned that a young white oil worker, Kristopher ‘KC’ Clarke, had disappeared from his reservation worksite, she became particularly concerned. Unfolding like a gritty mystery, Sierra Crane Murdoch’s Yellow Bird (Random House) traces Lissa’s steps as she obsessively hunts for clues to Clarke’s disappearance. Crane Murdoch will be joined in conversation by Rebecca Clarren, author of Kickdown.

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Delve Readers Seminars: The Autofiction of Rachel Cusk

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. In reading these novels, we will continually ask a series of questions that the publication of these novels poses. Why are so many contemporary writers turning to fictionalized autobiography that refuses the constraints of narrative convention? What is it about the current moment that has made authors embrace autofiction? What does this new form of writing allow authors to accomplish that more established forms of fiction do not? READING LIST: Outline by Rachel Cusk Transit by Rachel Cusk Kudos by Rachel Cusk Delve Access Program We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that…

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