March 2013 – Upcoming Literary Events

1 Mar


Looking for something fun AND literary to do this month? Check out these events:

through March 24th – Smoke Signals: The Literature & Culture of Native America @ Central Library (free)

Featuring highlights from the John Wilson Special Collections enhanced by historical items and artifacts provided by the Native American Youth & Family Center, this exhibition offers audiences an inside look at Native American culture and traditions. The library’s Native American collection contains rare early works, such as the first book of poetry by a Canadian Indian woman, Emily Pauline Johnson (Mohawk); scarce first books of important writers of our day, such as Leslie Silko (Laguna Pueblo), N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), Joy Harjo (Muscogee/Creek) and James Welch (Blackfeet); beautifully printed broadsides of poetry; and manuscripts and correspondence by native writers. The exhibition will also feature rare works by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene), the author featured in Multnomah County Library’s 11th annual community reading project, Everybody Reads 2013.

March 4th, 7p – Oregon Encyclopedia History Night @ Mission Theater (all ages; free)

Ever wandered the neighborhoods of Portland, admiring the variety of homes and wondered, “What the hell is that?” While many similar architectural themes are seen throughout the city, many homes defy classification. Oregon Encyclopedia has partnered with the Architectural Heritage Center for the presentation “Houses Without Names: The Common, Everyday Houses of Portland’s Neighborhoods” by professor of architecture Thomas C. Hubka.

March 5th, 7p – The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination (Tor), however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses from their own wonderfully twisted point of view. Joining editor John Joseph Adams will be contributors David Levine and Daniel Wilson.

March 5th, 7p – Amber Keyser @ The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th (free)

Amber Keyser will be joining us to talk about “transmedia.” This new buzzword is one every YWW should add to their internal dictionary, as it will most likely be a part of their future. Transmedia is the idea of multiple platforms for delivering a story: film, novels, graphic novels, audio, flash fiction, and interactive websites. As Amber puts it, “Transmedia is about CONNECTION because of fan participation in the story-telling process and because each form of media engages and unites a different set of fans.”

March 5th, 7p – William F. Nolan @ The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th (free)

Willamette Writers welcomes renowned science fiction, fantasy and horror author William F. Nolan, who will speak to the membership on the joys and sorrows of a lifetime of creative writing. With more than 85 books to his credit, plus over a hundred scripts, articles and short stories embracing a dozen genres, William F. Nolan is an official Living Legend (voted that honor by the International Horror Guild in 2002). When he accepted the award, Nolan said “it was better than being a dead legend.” He further posits that he’s “just a hardworking man doing the best he can … and if you’re around long enough, you’ll eventually get attention.”

March 7th, 7:30p – Matt Ruff @ Powell’s Hawthorne (free)

From Matt Ruff, the beloved cult author of Bad Monkeys, comes The Mirage (Harper Perennial), an unprecedented, mind-bending psychological thriller in which an alternate history of 9/11 uncovers startling and harrowing truths about America and the Middle East.

March 8th, 4:30p – Book Fan Friday @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

Book Fan Friday is a workshop for kids 10 to 18 years old who love to write. This month, author Joni Sensel (The Timekeeper’s Moon) will lead a discussion about self-publishing and how to decide if it’s the right choice for you. Join us!

March 9th, 5p – Poetry Out Loud @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

Students at 35 high schools in 21 Oregon communities are preparing to participate in Poetry Out Loud. Now in its eighth year (and reaching nearly 4,000 Oregon students), Poetry Out Loud involves the memorization and recitation of classic poetry. Participants compete for more than $50,000 in college scholarships awarded at the state and national levels. Nationwide, more than 300,000 students are expected to participate. Schools in the Northern and Eastern parts of Oregon, including the Portland metro area, will compete for the chance to advance to the state competition. Join us!

Check out this post for details specific for Lincoln folks.

March 11th, 7p – Joyce Carol Oates @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

A major historical novel from Joyce Carol OatesThe Accursed (Ecco) is an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early 20th-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads of the powerful and the damned.

March 12th, 7p – PSU Hosts Visiting Writers Reading Series @ PSU Smith Hall, Room 296 (free)

Please join us for the third visiting writers reading of 2013 with poet Mary Szybist.

Mary Szybist is a Portland-based poet and faculty member at Lewis and Clark College. Her appearance will coincide with the publication of her second collection,Incarnadine, by Graywolf Press. Her first book, Granted (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; she has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Library of Congress. The event will also feature a conversation about her approach to poetry with PSU faculty member John Beer.

March 13th, 7p – Supernatural Teen Fiction Extravaganza @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

Join us for an evening of strange and supernatural teen fiction. With us will be six authors presenting their newest works: Elizabeth Fama with Monstrous Beauty (FSG); Jessica Brody with Unremembered (FSG); Marissa Meyer with Scarlet(Feiwel & Friends); Lish McBride with Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Square Fish); Jennifer Bosworth with Stuck (FSG); and Ann Aguirre with Outpost(Feiwel & Friends).

March 13th, 7p – Poet Timothy Donnelly @ PSU, Smith Hall Room 296 (free)

Timothy Donnelly received the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his second book, The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010). Also a Guggenheim Fellow, Donnelly teaches in Columbia University’s Writing Program and serves as poetry editor for the Boston Review.

March 14th, 7p – Patrick deWit t& Michael Helm @ Literary Arts (free)

Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. It won the Oregon Book Award for fiction in 2012. Michael Helm was born in Saskatchewan. His most recent novel, Cities of Refuge, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award.

March 17th, 7:30p – In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market — the country’s top fish market — reels in the world’s best seafood recipes with In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys (Penguin Putnam), a cookbook with friendly tips and a sustainability approach that every home cook can master. Contributor and Pike Place head fishmonger Anders Miller will be on-hand to present the book.

March 18th, 6p – Smallpressapalooza @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

To celebrate Small Press Month, we’re proud to host the sixth annual marathon reading of small press authors, Smallpressapalooza. This year’s lineup features readings by Oregon Book Award finalist Carrie Seitzinger, memoirists Lindsey Kugler and Chloe Caldwell, zinester Aaron Dactyl (Railroad Semantics), novelist Barry Graham, fiction writers Nancy RommelmannJaney Smith, and Jeremy Robert Johnson, and poets W. Vandoren WheelerThomas Patrick LevyMindy NettifeeDonald Dunbar, and Susan Denning. Hosted by Powell’s small press champion, Kevin Sampsell.

Smallpressapalooza Lineup

6:00 Carrie Anna Seitzinger Fall Ill Medicine
6:15 Susan Denning She Preferred to Read the Knives
6:30 Chloe Caldwell Legs Get Led Astray
6:45 (break)
7:00 W. Vandoren Wheeler The Accidentalist
7:15 Thomas Levy I Don’t Mind If You’re Feeling Alone
7:30 Lindsey Kugler Here
7:45 (break)
8:00 Barry Graham The Book of Man
8:15 Aaron Dactyl Railroad Semantics 7
8:30 Nancy Rommelmann Transportation
8:45 (break)
9:00 Donald Dunbar Eyelid Lick
9:15 Mindy Nettifee Glitter in the Blood
9:30 Janey Smith Animals
9:45 Jeremy Robert Johnson We Live Inside You

March 18th, 7p – Amanda Coplin @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel,The Orchardist (Harper Perennial), Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.

March 21st, 7p – Oregon Book Awards Finalists @ Literary Arts Center (free)

Join us on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at LiteraryArts for a reading from Oregon Book Awards Finalists,featuring Nicholas Buccola, Brian Doyle, Scott Farris, Katie Kacvinsky, Carrie Seitzinger, Ceiridwen Terrill, and Leni Zumas, with music by special guest Laura Gibson. Don’t forget to read the work of this year’s finalists, then vote for your favorite to win the 2013 Readers’ Choice Award.

March 22nd, 7:30p – Elissa Altman @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

From James Beard Award-winning writer Elissa Altman comes a story that marries wit to warmth and flavor to passion. With tender and often hilarious honesty (and 27 delicious recipes), Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking (Chronicle) is a universal tale of finding sustenance and peace in a world of excess and inauthenticity. It shows us how all our stories are inextricably bound up with what, and how, we feed ourselves and those we love.

March 23rd, 1-3p – Voicecatcher: Readings @ Central Library, Collins Gallery (free)

Celebrate new work by the authors of VoiceCatcher: A Journal of Women’s Voices & Visions. Co-editor Celina Wigle will emcee this lively reading of prose and poetry that captures the diverse voices of local talent. Come prepared to add your voice during our open mic segment. VoiceCatcher is an all-volunteer nonprofit that connects, inspires and empowers women writers and artists in greater Portland/Vancouver.

March 23rd, 4p – Richard Hell @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

Richard Hell‘s I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp(Ecco) is the sharp, lyrical, and no-holds-barred memoir of the iconoclastic writer and musician — progenitor of American and British punk rock — which charts the coming of age of an artist and an indelible era in rock ‘n’ roll history. This event is cosponsored by Music Millennium.

March 25th, 7p – Vintage Tomorrows @ Powell’s Cedar Hills (free)

In Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey through Steampunk into the Future of Technology(O’Reilly Media), futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.

March 26th, 7p – Shanghai Tunnels & Salty Dogs: Portland’s Lost Waterfront @ Capitol Hill Library, Capitol Hill Meeting Room (free)

Situated at the terminus of both sea lanes and railroads, with easy access to the wheat fields, sawmills and dairies of the Willamette Valley, Portland quickly became a rich and powerful seaport. As the city changed, so too did the role of the sailor — once bartered by shanghai masters, later elevated to well-paid and respected mariner. Author and historian Barney Blalock will share the fascinating history of the Portland waterfront, reading from his book Portland’s Lost Waterfront: Tall Ships, Steam Mills and Sailors’ Boardinghouses.

March 26th, 7:30p – Natalie Goldberg @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

In The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language (Atria), Natalie Goldberg, beloved teacher and author of Writing Down the Bones, reveals new breakthrough writing guidance as she recounts profound lessons she has learned from a lifetime of teaching and practice. This event is cosponsored by Willamette Writers.

March 27th, 6:30p – Verse in Person: Poetry Readings @ NW Library, Northwest Meeting Room (free)

Listen to Oregon poets read from their works. This monthly program is organized by local poets to highlight two to three poets each reading.

March 30th, 2p – Demetri Martin @ Powell’s Burnside (free)

In his first book, This Is a Book, comedian Demetri Martin introduced fans and readers to his unique brand of long-form humor writing. Now he returns with an eclectic volume devoted entirely to his trademark drawings and word play. Point Your Face at This (Grand Central) contains hundreds of hilarious drawings and visual jokes, showcasing Martin’s particular penchant for brevity.


Have a literary event you’d like to publish here? Do you know of a fun event that’s missing from this list? Please comment on this post & I’ll update for our readers.

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