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

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 was included on numerous Best Books of the Year lists. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates praised Homegoing as “an inspiration” and “what happens when you pair a gifted literary mind to an epic task.” Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama.…

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2020/21 Portland Arts & Lectures: Joy Harjo

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 earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.” Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo earned her MFA at the Iowa Writ­ers’ Work­shop and has taught Eng­lish, Cre­ative Writ­ing, and Amer­i­can Indi­an Stud­ies at numerous universities, while per­form­ing music and poet­ry…

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

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 100 in 2019. Kendi’s third book, How to Be an Antiracist, debuted at no. 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and was hailed by the New York Times as “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western…

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WRITING & THE BODY: SUMMER II, 2020, July 30 – August 2

Jennifer Pastiloff and Lidia Yuknavitch are now running their infamous workshop four times a year! Lucky for us since this workshop has been selling out a year in advance for a while now. Jenn & Lidia are both renowned in their fields in their own right, and both of them are known for their inventive, non-traditional methods. Together they lead you to your most creative place by tapping into your body first, and then picking up the pen. But don’t worry! You do not have to be a published or experienced writer or yogi- we are looking for people who have heart. You have a desire to write? You have a body? Then this weekend is for you. WRITING and the BODY: SUMMER II, 2020 WHEN: Thursday,…

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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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The Tesla City Stories – Season 6 Premiere!

A monthly night of vintage radio comedy and drama — live onstage in Portland, Oregon! Straight outta 1944! Laughs! Chills! Romance! Danger! Booze! Eats! Cash bar! Live Foley! 1940’s live music! Prizes! Audience participation! Jealousy is the theme when The Tesla City Stories brings you a night of laughs and light-hearted intrigue on March 28th with all-new (for this century anyway) episodes of a pair of your favorite shows! Join us as we kick off 2020 with: March 28th, 2020 shows: New installment of “Blevins to Betsy“. Threatened by crooner Bobby Villanova’s attentions towards Betsy, Blevins takes comfort in the knowledge he’s still first in the hearts of radio fans. He is, isn’t he? “Blevins to Betsy” is a romantic-comedy set in the world of…

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CANCELED – Delve Readers Seminar: Graphic Literature as Autobiography

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. READING LIST: ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS! by Lynda Barry FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi MAUS by Art Spiegelman: A DRIFTING LIFE by Yoshihiro Tatsumi Delve Access Program We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to…

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CANCELED – BIPOC Reading Series

Theme: “Family” Featuring: Olufunke Grace Bankole Brianna Renae Armin Tolentino Hosted by Jessica Meza-Torres The BIPOC Reading Series at Literary Arts grew out of writing workshop and Delve participants requests to share their work in a BIPOC-centered space. We conducted a survey to see if there was larger support and interest in this series. The survey went to 213 writers who had either applied for our Writer of Color fellowship, or attended a workshop for Writers of Color at Literary Arts. Although open to the public, this reading series is intended to prioritize the safety, creativity, and stories of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. We hope this series can evolve into whatever shape its participants see fit-be it a space for networking,…

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Cancelled – We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities

[From Powell’s website: Powell’s Books Suspends Event Programming Through April 2020 Following Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of new rules to slow the spread of COVID-19 and our own commitment to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, Powell’s is cancelling all author events, book clubs, and other scheduled gatherings at each of our store locations through the end of April 2020. Please check back here for updates, and thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust our plans as national and local events unfold.] As the effects of aggressive policing and mass incarceration harm historically marginalized communities and tear families apart, how do we define safety? In We Keep Us Safe (Beacon), community leader and lawyer Zach Norris lays out a radical…

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Cancelled – Ramiza Shamoun Koya

[From Powell’s website: Powell’s Books Suspends Event Programming Through April 2020 Following Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of new rules to slow the spread of COVID-19 and our own commitment to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, Powell’s is cancelling all author events, book clubs, and other scheduled gatherings at each of our store locations through the end of April 2020. Please check back here for updates, and thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust our plans as national and local events unfold.] Ramiza Shamoun Koya reveals the devastating cost of anti-Muslim sentiment in The Royal Abduls (Forest Avenue), her debut novel. Evolutionary biologist Amina Abdul accepts a post-doc in Washington, DC, choosing her career studying hybrid zones over a faltering…

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