All Classical Radio James Depreist

LitWatch August: Cheryl Strayed to speak at Willamette Writers Conference

Readings in August include the authors of books about a 2,500-mile bike ride, Portland's Forest Park, and comedian Ernie Kovacs.

|

The 54th Annual Willamette Writers Conference takes place Aug. 2-6 in Portland.

The annual Willamette Writers Conference is back and this year the keynote speaker will be Cheryl Strayed, the New York Times bestselling author of Wild and Portland resident. The highly anticipated event will take place Aug. 2-6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Portland and will be streamed online for those who cannot attend in person.

“I’m excited to return as a keynote speaker to the Willamette Writers Conference, where I’ll share the most important lessons I’ve learned in my writing career,” Strayed said in a press release from Willamette Writers. “I love how the conference brings together a diverse range of writers to discuss the art, craft, and business of writing. The conference always leaves me feeling inspired, challenged, and invigorated, and I’m honored to be a part of it this year.”

Willamette Writers Conference, which began in 1965 with a mission to foster community in a craft that is often thought of as solitary, is one of the most expansive writers’ organizations in the Pacific Northwest. It offers career support to writers of all genres, from nonfiction to graphic novels, through programming that spans Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The theme of the 54th annual conference is “Dream Big!” and will follow a hybrid format including in-person and streaming conference talks, 5-hour-long master classes, critiques, writing sessions, and workshops in both English and Spanish. For $29 per pitch, writers will have the opportunity to pitch their works to eight literary agents accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, suspense/thriller, comics and graphic novels, mystery, suspense, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, romance, memoir, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, poetry, and oral history.

While the conference itself requires registration (registration closes July 26) and a fee to attend, with additional pricing for master classes, the Writer’s Fair from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel is free and open to all.

Week 1: Aug. 1-7

Sponsor

MYS Oregon to Iberia

One Page Wednesday
Presented by Literary Arts
7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2
Literary Arts
925 S.W. Washington St., Portland
Free

Come share up to one page of work or attend as a listener to hear works-in-progress by writers of all experience levels. Emme Lund, 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction recipient, Oregon Book Award finalist, and Portland-based author, will host this month’s One Page Wednesday gathering.

The Practice of Belonging by Lisa Kentgen
Presented by Roundabout Books
Roundabout Books
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3
900 N.W. Mt. Washington Drive, No. 110, Bend
Free

Author Lisa Kentgen will discuss her newest release, The Practice of Belonging. The book, subtitled “six lessons from vibrant communities to combat loneliness, foster diversity, and cultivate caring relationships,” uses examples from a tiny-home village for houseless individuals, study circles between Native and non-Native people, a community choir, a Buddhist care center, and others to reflect on what it means to foster healthy and happy communities — and discusses commitment to care, acceptance, diversity, skillful conflict resolution, bonding rituals, and hospitality.

Alenka Vrecek rode her bike 2,500 miles through the desert before writing her debut memoir.

Author Reading with Alenka Vrecek: She Rides
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Yugoslavia-born and Lake Tahoe-based author Alenka Vrecek will read from her new memoir, She Rides, a story about an adventurous 2,500-mile solo excursion through the Sierra Nevadas and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Traveling with only a bike and her backpacking belongings, Vrecek discusses the triumphs and difficulties of her trip and the lessons she learned along the way.

Week 2: Aug. 8-14

Sponsor

All Classical Radio James Depreist

Poetry Reading, the Poets of Cirque Press, Featuring Janice Rubin
Presented by Tsunami Books
4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette St., Eugene
Free

Join Janice D. Rubin, nominee for the Pushcart Poetry Prize and Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry, for a reading in honor of her newest poetry collection, Crossing the Burnside Bridge, a nod to Portland’s own Burnside Bridge across the Willamette River. Rubin will be joined by Eugene-area poets Ingrid Wendt, Jenny Root, and Tim Whitsel; Salem poets Marc Jansen, Sherri Levine, Dale Champlin, and Amalie Hill; and the editors of Cirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, Sandy Klevin and Cynthia Steele.

Week 3: Aug. 15-21

Christopher Miller and Debra Gwartney will be at Powell’s City of Books on Aug. 17.

Christopher Miller in Conversation with Debra Gwartney
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Based in both Kyiv, Ukraine, and Brooklyn, New York, author Christopher Miller will be joined by Debra Gwartney, author of I Am a Stranger Here Myself, to discuss his book The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine. The book takes on the topic of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects not only on the residents of Ukraine, but also on all of Eastern Europe. Signed copies will be available to order on the website.

Week 4: Aug. 22-31

Sponsor

MYS Oregon to Iberia

Jessica Carew Kraft in Conversation with Tony Deis
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Independent journalist Jessica Carew Kraft will discuss Why We Need to Be Wild, her book about the benefits of rewilding — discovered after she quit her job and left life in the modern world to pursue an existence closer to nature. Kraft will be joined by Tony Deis, founder of Trackers Earth, to talk about her journey and what she learned about being alive in the tech era of the 21st century.

Ernie Kovacs, whose pioneering comedy style in the 1950s influenced everyone from Monty Python to the Muppets, is the subject of “Ernie in Kovacsland,” to be discussed Aug. 24 at Annie Bloom’s Books.

Author Reading with Pat Thomas and Josh Mills: Ernie in Kovacsland
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Pat Thomas and Josh Mills will read from their new book, Ernie in Kovacsland: Writings, Drawings, and Photographs from Television’s Original Genius. They will be joined by Shawn Levy, Portland-based bestselling author of In On the Joke: The Original Queens of Standup Comedy, to discuss comic and television star Ernie Kovacs, his absurdist 1950s television shows, and the impact he had on show business and film.

Marcy Cottrell Houle in Conversation with Laura Guderyahn, Dave Helzer, Hannah Prather, Chris Prescott, and Pamela Slaughter
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Marcy Cottrell Houle, award-winning author and biologist, will be joined by Laura Guderyahn, ecologist for Portland Parks & Recreation; Dave Helzer, City of Portland biologist; Hannah Prather, visiting assistant professor of biology at Reed College; Chris Prescott, watershed ecologist for Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services; and Pamela Slaughter, executive director of People of Color Outdoors, to discuss Houle’s new book, Forest Park: Exploring Portland’s Natural Sanctuary. The work contains 21 hikes over 75 miles in Northwest Portland and aims to help readers appreciate Portland’s urban park as a beautiful and expansive natural resource.

Be part of our
growing success

Join our Stronger Together Campaign and help ensure a thriving creative community. Your support powers our mission to enhance accessibility, expand content, and unify arts groups across the region.

Together we can make a difference. Give today, knowing a donation that supports our work also benefits countless other organizations. When we are stronger, our entire cultural community is stronger.

Donate Today

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.

SHARE:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Triangle Productions FLO
PCS Clyde’s
MYS Oregon to Iberia
Profile Theatre Orange Sky
OCCA Monthly
NW Dance Project
Maryhill Museum of Art
PAM 12 Month
Pacific Maritime HC Prosperity
PSU College of the Arts
Oregon Cultural Trust
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.