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LitWatch April: Literary Arts’ Oregon Book Awards ceremony & Literary Fellowship reading

It's poetry month. It's Oregon Book Awards month. Authors talk about how to foster community and to preserve Black culture through a feminist lens. And Chewy the Beaver makes a special appearance in Bend.

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The 2023 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipients

Literary Arts recently announced 15 author recipients of the 2023 Oregon Literary Fellowship in categories including Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young Readers, and Drama, as well as the Oregon Literary Career Fellowships. Two Portland publishers also received fellowships: Berm Magazine and YesYes Books. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, Literary Arts will host the fellowship awardees at its downtown Portland location for a free reading open to the public.

Literary Career Fellowships, with a stipend of $10,000, were awarded to Grace Chao of Eugene and Matthew Dickman of Portland. Fellowships of $3,500 were awarded to another 13 writers, as well as the two publishers. Many of the following fellowship recipients will share their works:

Grace Chao (Eugene), Matthew Dickman (Portland), Dustin Hendrick (Portland), Margaret Malone (Portland), Cecily Wong (Portland), Judith Barrington (Portland), Elanor Broker (Portland), Deb Miller Landau (Portland), Julie Morris (Portland), Emily Shetler (Portland), kim thompson (Portland), Trevino L. Brings Plenty (Milwaukie), Sara Burant (Eugene), Stephan Nance (Portland), and Sofia Molimbi (Portland).

Literary Arts will announce winners of the 2023 Oregon Book Awards in a ceremony hosted by Luke Burbank, host of public radio’s Live Wire. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, at Portland Center Stage in The Armory. Tickets range from $12 in the upper balcony to $65 for VIPs. This year’s finalists chosen by out-of-state judge panels include:

Sindya Bhanoo (Corvallis), Cai Emmons (Eugene), Emme Lund (Portland), Jon Raymond (Portland), and Lidia Yuknavitch (Otis) for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction; Matthew Dickman (Portland), Michele Glazer (Portland), Janice Lee (Portland), Amy Miller (Ashland), and Eric Tran (Portland) for the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry; Anita Hannig (Portland), Lauren Kessler (Eugene), Leah Sottile (Portland), Deb Vanasse (Warrenton), and David H. Wilson Jr. (Portland) for the Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction; and many more.

In addition to these two notable events, the calendar is chock-full of exciting author readings, book signings, meet and greets, and workshops spanning the state from Eastern Oregon to the Willamette Valley.

Week 1: April 1-7

Sponsor

Portland Playhouse Passing Strange Portland Oregon

Reading: Lisa Kentgen’s The Practice of Belonging
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 4
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Lisa Kentgen, author and psychologist with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, will sign and read from her newest release, The Practice of Belonging: Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships. In her book, Kentgen pinpoints and describes six important traits of healthy communities: commitment to care, acceptance, diversity, skillful conflict resolution, bonding rituals, and hospitality.

Week 2: April 8-14

Author Event: Katie Holten Reading, Book Signing, Meet & Greet
Presented by Tsunami Books
4 p.m. Sunday, April 9
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette St., Eugene
Free

Katie Holten, author of The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape, will sign copies of her new release during a meet and greet at Tsunami Books. A celebration of the natural world, Holten’s book delivers the reader a tree alphabet that she utilizes to translate new and original writings from nearly 60 authors including Ursula K. Le Guin, Ada Limón, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, James Gleick, Elizabeth Kolbert, Plato, and others.

Week 3: April 15-21

Author Event: Paul Neville Reading, Book Signing, Meet & Greet
Presented by Tsunami Books
2 p.m. Saturday, April 15
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette St., Eugene
Free

Sponsor

Portland Columbia Symphony Adelante Voices of Tomorrow Beaverton and Gresham Oregon

Paul Neville, retired award-winning journalist, reporter, and editor, will sign and read from his book The Garbage Brothers. The book follows the story of young man Jesse Wheeler and the summer job he takes as a garbage collector after the death of his father. Throughout this coming-of-age story, Wheeler falls in love, learns hard lessons, and discovers the joys of friendship.

Poetry Workshop with OSU Cascades
Presented by Roundabout Books
4 p.m. Sunday, April 16
Roundabout Books
900 N.W. Mt. Washington Drive, No. 110, Bend
$5

Poetry month kicks off with a workshop at Roundabout Books that invites readers to present one or two poems of 40 lines or less. After readers present, they will receive feedback from instructors in the OSU Cascades MFA program. RSVP is required for both readers and guests and can be done by emailing events@roundaboutbookshop.com.

Consider This with Mónica Guzmán
Presented by Oregon Humanities
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18
Alberta Rose Theatre
3000 N.E. Alberta St., Portland
$15, limited free tickets available

Mónica Guzmán, author of I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, will take part in an on-stage conversation with Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities. The conversation, which aims to help others learn to connect and foster community during divided political times, will take place in person at the Alberta Rose Theater with online live streaming in La Grande and on YouTube.

Poetry Reading: Rachel Barton, Suzy Harris, Emily Newberry
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, April 20
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Join Portland writers Rachel Barton, Suzy Harris, and Emily Newberry for an evening of poetry. They will read from their recent, respective collections: This is the Lightness, Listening in the Dark, and Signs. Together, the trio will consider themes of nature, wilderness, growing up, imagination, perseverance, and the human experience, and how our pasts can influence and brighten the present moment.

Sponsor

Chamber Music Northwest Imani Winds and BodyVox Beautiful Everything The Reser Beaverton Oregon

Week 4: April 21-30

Marcy Cottrell Houle, Forest Park: Exploring Portland’s Natural Sanctuary
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Wednesday, April 26
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway St., Portland
Free

Marcy Cottrell Houle will read from her book Forest Park: Exploring Portland’s Natural Sanctuary, published by Oregon State University Press. After studying Portland’s Forest Park as both a biologist and author for nearly 40 years, Houle has written a book of appreciation that explores the wildlife, geology, history, and impact of the park throughout its existence.

Anastacia-Reneé in Conversation with Jamila Osman
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Friday, April 28
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Archivist and author Anastacia-Reneé will discuss her poignant new book, Side Notes from the Archivist, with Jamila Osman, Somali writer, educator, and community organizer. According to Powell’s Books, the event will feature both artists discussing the collection they call a “preservation of Black culture viewed through a feminist lens,” and Anastacia-Reneé will discuss her role in the women’s movement.

Endi Bogue Hartigan in Conversation with Flávia Rocha
Presented by Literary Arts
7 p.m. Friday, April 28
Literary Arts
925 S.W. Washington St., Portland
Free

Endi Bogue Hartigan will introduce her new poetry collection, oh orchid o’clock, which explores the clock as a living organism and how time can become weaponized and transactional. Hartigan will be joined by Flávia Rocha, Brazilian poet and journalist, reading from her most recent book, Exosfera.

Sponsor

Portland Center Stage at the Armory Coriolanus Portland Oregon

Author Event & Book Signing: Beaverland by Leila Philip
Presented by Roundabout Books
Noon Saturday, April 29
Summit High School
2855 N.W. Clearwater Drive, Bend
$0-$15, free entry for children under 8

Leila Philip, award-winning author, will sign and read from her newest release Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America. Through narrative science, Philip follows trappers, wildlife managers, PETA activists, Native American environmental activists, scientists, engineers, and others to uncover the importance of beavers in the history and environmental ecosystems of America. Chewy the beaver will make a special appearance at the event, which is sponsored by the Deschutes Land Trust and Central Oregon Community College.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Amy Leona Havin is a poet, essayist, and arts journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She writes about language arts, dance, and film for Oregon ArtsWatch and is a staff writer with The Oregonian/OregonLive. Her work has been published in San Diego Poetry Annual, HereIn Arts Journal, Humana Obscura, The Chronicle, and others. She has been an artist-in-residence at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Archipelago Gallery, and Art/Lab, and was shortlisted for the Bridport International Creative Writing Prize in poetry. Havin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts and is the Artistic Director of Portland-based dance performance company, The Holding Project.

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