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Tag: memoir

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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Live Online Lecture and Q & A with Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones is an essential author as well as a powerful voice in the world of literary activism, and his writing often takes on questions of identity. Formerly a major contributor at Buzzfeed, he shaped his platform into a tool for social awareness with his no-holds-barred personality. In 2019, Saeed released his highly anticipated memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. In this memoir, Saeed has developed a one-of-a-kind style that is as beautiful as it is powerful, and he has cemented himself as an essential writer of our time. This event will be free and open to the public. For the link and password to the event, write to anelson@clark.edu. *Because this lecture falls during Clark College’s spring break, a recording will be made available to…

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Vanessa O’Brien in Conversation With Phil Powers

Long before she became the first American woman to summit K2 and the first British woman to return from its summit alive, Vanessa O’Brien was a feisty suburban Detroit teenager forced to reinvent her world in the wake of a devastating loss that destroyed her family. Making her own way in the world, O’Brien strove to reach her lofty ambitions. Soon, armed with an MBA and a wry sense of humor, she climbed the corporate ladder to great success, but after the 2009 economic meltdown, her career went into a tailspin. She searched for a new purpose and settled on an unlikely goal: climbing Mount Everest. When her first attempt ended in disaster, she trudged home, humbled but wiser. Two years later, she made it…

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Mannie Murphy + Stephen R. Bissette: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden Virtual Book Launch

Portland artist Mannie Murphy celebrates the release of their new graphic memoir/history, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. Mannie is joined in conversation by special guest Steve Bissette (Swamp Thing) to discuss the new book. Told in the style of an illustrated diary, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden begins as an affectionate reminiscence of the author’s 1990s teenage infatuation with the late actor River Phoenix but morphs into a remarkable, sprawling account of the city of Portland and state of Oregon’s dark history of white nationalism. Murphy details the relationship between white supremacist Tom Metzger (former KKK Grand Wizard and founder of the White Aryan Resistance) and the “Rose City” street kids like Ken Death that infiltrated Van Sant’s films — a…

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Memoir Infusion!

The best work speaks intimately to you even though it has been consciously made to speak intimately to thousands of others.- Jeanette Winterson This class is meant to get you moving, excited and deeply engaged with your memoir project. Whether you’ve almost got a full draft, are just beginning, or somewhere in between, together we’re going to make progress. Through reading memoir samples, craft talks and readings, plus specific writing exercises, we’ll examine what makes a reader engage with your story. We will look at ways to organize and shape life-chaos into art. Through vivid details, authentic voice, inventive uses of form, captivating dialog and invigorated settings, we can indeed make our personal stories universal. During the first half of class we will workshop short…

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Rebecca Solnit in Conversation With Jia Tolentino (Ticketed Virtual Event)

In Recollections of My Nonexistence (Penguin), Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost and Men Explain Things to Me, describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was 19, became the home in which she transformed herself. She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer — books themselves; the gay community that presented a new model of what else gender, family, and joy could mean; and…

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Craft Conversations: Focus on Scenes: Build Back Better

The scene is a building block of fiction and memoir. During this discussion we will take a deep dive into the components of scene writing. What makes a scene compelling? How can we make scenes vivid and earn their place on the page? If scenes must move stories forward, and reveal character, how can you include both external events and interiority? What about handling time? Character’s goals? Obstacles? And, when is it best to use summary? Through writing examples, prompts and ample discussion, you will leave this workshop with a firmer grip on how to enliven your work with scene. Each writer should come to the workshop with a scene that has been dogging them, either it isn’t coming to life on the page, or…

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Richard Brown in Conversation With Brian Benson

This Is Not for You (Oregon State University) tells the story of activist and photographer Richard Brown, a Black Portlander who has spent decades working to bridge the divide between police and the Black community. Brown’s memoir (written with Brian Benson) brings readers with him into the streets with fellow activists, into squad cars with the rank-and-file, and to regular meetings with mayors and police chiefs. There are very few people doing the kind of work Brown has done. And that, as he sees it, is a big problem. This Is Not for You finds Brown approaching his 80th birthday and reflecting on his life. As he recalls his childhood in 1940s Harlem, his radicalization in the newly desegregated Air Force, and his decades of…

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Attic Institute: WINTER Online: Craft of Memoir w Brian Benson | Mar 2 – Mar 30

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your work-in-progress, this new workshop will help you translate your personal experiences into a vivid, absorbing memoir. Through a mix of discussion, guided exercises and peer critique, we’ll explore the many ways to pull compelling, relatable stories from one’s life story, and we’ll read and discuss a wide variety of memoir for inspiration and insight. Students will leave the workshop with many reading recommendations and writing resources. | Maximum 12 students Register for this workshop NOTE: To protect everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering our workshops via Zoom. All students must first sign up for a free Zoom account. Setting it up is easy. And we can help you with questions, if needed. For each class, you’ll receive a…

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Two Rivers Virtual Book Club February

For February we will be discussing In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. https://www.tworiversbooks.com/book/9781644450383 A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties. In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds the events up to…

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