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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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A Poetry Reading by Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker is the author of ten books, including, most recently, SoundMachine (Wave Books, 2019). A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell Colony and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Zucker is an adjunct professor at New York University and the founder and host of the podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People). Zucker is currently working on an immersive audio project (also called SoundMachine) and a book of lectures calledThe Poetics of Wrongness. Location: Frank Manor House

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A Poetry Reading by Nikky Finney

Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, within listening distance of the sea.  A child of activists, she came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff’s Amista murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). The John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997), edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National…

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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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Reading: Stephanie Thornton Plymale: American Daughter

Annie Bloom’s welcomes Portland author Stephanie Thornton Plymale. At age 4, Stephanie Thornton Plymale survived a full throttle, head-on collision in a mail truck stolen by her mother’s boyfriend. Again, at age 5, sat in the back of a van going 70 miles per hour, Stephanie survived a drunken rollover crash. She was twice physically unscathed but left mute with trauma, a condition which would come and go for years. She later suffered life-threatening burns due to neglect and became blind in one eye. Homelessness evolved to isolation in the Dependent unit of the state of California – to placement in several foster homes, one of which being horribly abusive. By age 10, Stephanie’s experience was that of criminal neglect, chronic hunger, truancy, homelessness, and…

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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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Grief and the Lyric Essay

For writers at all levels It can be a challenge to access grief, not to mention represent it in word and forms, yet writers like Claudia Rankine, Ann Carson, and Maggie Nelson pull it off beautifully and in wildly different ways. 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. You will leave with a solid start into a new piece of writing or a fresh take on an older draft. Saturday, February 22 from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Sunday, February 23 from 2:00–5:00 p.m. (two sessions) CLASS LIAISONS: All classes have one liaison position. Liaisons receive free tuition in…

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Poetry Revising & Publishing Workshop with Christopher Luna

Poetry: Revising and Publishing Workshop with Christopher Luna What should you do after writing a first draft of a poem? How do you shape and develop a poem into a publishable piece of work? How do you decide if and when to publish your work? Discuss strategies for revising and editing your poetry, followed by an overview of how to find outlets that might publish your words. Explore the importance of chapbooks and whether or not entering poetry contests is a good idea. Please bring 3-5 typed, unfinished poems to class and a lunch. Saturday, February 22 10 am to 4 pm Multnomah Arts Center Room 08 Price: $62.00 Ages: 18 and up https://apm.activecommunities.com/portlandparks/Activity_Search/lit-arts-poetry-revising-and-publishing/121009 For more information about Christopher Luna’s classes and workshops, or to…

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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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