All Classical Radio James Depreist

LitWatch June: Bigfoot Poetry Festival, Portland Book Week, and the Rose City Book & Paper Fair

Other June events include two appearances by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, a memoir workshop led by Leanne Grabel, and readings by Oregon author Victor Lodato in Bend, Hood River and Sunriver.


New York Times columnist and Oregon native Nicholas Kristof appears in Eugene and Portland this month in conjunction with the release of his memoir, "Chasing Hope: A Reporter's Life."
New York Times columnist and Oregon native Nicholas D. Kristof appears in Eugene and Portland this month in conjunction with the release of his memoir, “Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life.”

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

I Opened a Book by Julia Donaldson

Team TBD from Portland and Seattle won the 2023 Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam.

The Bigfoot Poetry Festival returns to downtown Portland June 13-15 with open mics, readings, and slam poetry. A Welcome Poetry Open Mic on June 12 at Powell’s Books kicks off the event, which continues with events including guided meditation, yoga, and journaling hosted by Tomi Simmons and Hayli Nicole; Haiku Death Match! hosted by Ember Matthews; workshops led by Evris Oake, Rylan Scott Keeling, Brennan DeFrisco, Cheryl Maddalena, Nisha Patel, and others; a Meet & Mingle; Youth Poetry Slam; Latinx & Indigenous Poets Mic; and Queer Poets Mic. Locations include the Woodlark Hotel, Literary Arts, the Ace Hotel, and Multnomah County Central Library. The festival culminates with the slam Finals Stage (the only ticketed event), in which four finalists from 16 entered teams will compete for the championship title and prize money at 7 p.m. June 15 at First Congressional United Church of Christ.

Bookish festivities continue with Portland Book Week, June 10-16 throughout the city. The event features local independent booksellers hosting bookstore crawls, activities, and promotions such as children’s storytime, bookstore bingo, blind date book swaps, readings, signings, trivia night, and more. Participating bookstores include Belmont Books, Rose City Book Pub, Annie Bloom’s Books, Backstory, Broadway Books, Powell’s Books, Grand Gesture Books, Melville Books, and many others.

The 18th Annual Rose City Book & Paper Fair presented by Cascade Booksellers will take place at the Lloyd Double Tree Hotel.

That same week, the 18th Annual Rose City Book & Paper Fair, presented by Cascade Booksellers Association and sponsored by Abebooks and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, will take place at the Lloyd Double Tree Hotel in Portland. The event will feature 60 exhibitors showcasing collectible books, prints, vintage photos, magazines, and more, for sale and viewing. Entry to the fair is $5 at the door and tickets are also available online.

Week 1: June 1-7

Author Event: Nicholas D. Kristof
Presented by Tsunami Books and the Wayne Morris Center for Law and Politics
6 p.m. Monday, June 3
175 Knight Law Center, University of Oregon School of Law
1515 Agate St., Eugene


Washougal Art & Music Festival

Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and co-author of Tightrope, will read from his new memoir, Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life. The book looks back on his long career investigating injustices, social movements, and civil rights across the globe, including Communist Poland’s 1981 crackdown on Solidarity protests, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and more. He will also appear at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, in Portland’s Revolution Hall in conversation with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), presented by Powell’s Books. Tickets to that event are $42 and include a copy of the book.

Oregon resident Victor Lodato will read from his third novel, “Honey,” on June 4 in Bend.

Author Event: Victor Lodato
Presented by Roundabout Books
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4
Roundabout Books
900 N.W. Mt. Washington Drive, No. 110, Bend
$5 or purchase book online

Victor Lodato, author of  Edgar and Lucy and Mathilda Savitch, will read from his third novel, Honey, whose main character is described as “a free-spirited cynic, an irreverent mix of Rosalind Russell’s Auntie Mame and Wednesday Addams.” The daughter of a New Jersey mobster, she returns home to reckon with her violent past. Lodato’s short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in Ashland. Lodato will also appear at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Waucoma Books in Hood River and 5 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Sunriver Books & Music.

Poetry Reading: Chris Anderson and David Oates
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland

Join Chris Anderson, Catholic deacon, poet, and retired professor of English, as he reads from his new book of poems, Love Calls Us Here. The collection looks at how the divine meets the world, and where to look for those hopeful encounters. Anderson will be joined by poet David Oates, Oregon Book Award finalist for The Mountains of Paris: How Awe and Wonder Rewrote My Life, discussing his recent works, including collaborative pieces appearing in the German literary journal Wortschau.

Noé Álvarez in Conversation with Jude Brewer
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Wednesday, June 5
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Noé Álvarez will discuss his memoir, Accordion Eulogies: A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico. The book takes the form of a spiritual quest to learn about his grandfather, as the author resolves to journey to Mexico and learn about his family history. Álvarez aims to make sense of his identity as a father, son, and musician, while uncovering the mysteries of his family’s past. He will be joined by Jude Brewer, creator of the Webby-nominated show, The Process.


Seattle Opera Pagliacci

Reading: Jimin Han’s The Apology
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Thursday, June 6
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland

Jimin Han, teacher and Barnes and Noble Discover Pick author, will read from her novel, The Apology. The book tells the story of a 105-year-old woman in South Korea who receives a letter shortly before being sent into the afterlife. Later in the story, Hak Jeonga deals with the haunting consequences of her secretive actions. The narrative continues as a defiant and funny ghost story, fairy tale, and examination of sisterhood and diaspora that spans Japanese colonialism and the Korean War. She will be in conversation with Marcia Bradley, author of The Home for Wayward Girls.

Week 2: June 8-14

Barbara Hilyer will read from “Legacy Lost: Passing Across the Color Lineon June 8 at Tsunami Books.

Book Talk: Barbara Hilyer’s Legacy Lost: Passing Across the Color Line
Presented by Tsunami Books
2 p.m. Saturday, June 8
Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette St., Eugene


Oregon Cultural Trust

Barbara Hilyer, educator and author, will be in Eugene for a reading and book signing of her newest release, Legacy Lost: Passing Across the Color Line. Growing up white in Washington state, Hilyer’s father didn’t speak about the rest of his family. She only discovered her family secret later in life. This realization took her on a journeys to Hawaii, Minneapolis, and the Deep South as she aimed to answer the question, “How could it be that I had an aunt who lived her life as an African American woman on the island of Hawaii while her brother, my father, lived his life as a white man in Seattle, Washington?”

Anastacia-Reneé in Conversation with Reagan E. J. Jackson
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Anastacia-Reneé, author of Side Notes from the Archivist, will discuss her newest book, Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere. The hybrid collection of poetry, flash fiction, and Afrofuturism sci-fi considers a world in which God is a Black woman. A contemplation of community, connectedness, and questioning “what if,” the work incorporates “monsters, nontraditional saints, witches, zombies, the couple in the apartment next door, the wise elders from down the block, and gods watching over us all” — brought to life by lyrical poetry. She will be joined by Reagan E. J. Jackson, author of Still True: The Evolution of an Unexpected Journalist.

Week 3: June 15-21

Leanne Grabel, writer, poet, artist, and author of “Brontasaurus,” will host a workshop at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

Spill Those Guts Already: A Flash Memoir Class with Leanne Grabel
Presented by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 15
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
724 N.W. Davis St., Portland

Leanne Grabel, author, poet, and artist, will lead a two-hour flash memoir workshop inspired by the current exhibit, Oregon Jews, A-Z, at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Participants will learn to write poignant, well-crafted, one- to two-page autobiographical vignettes about the people, places, objects, and moments that shaped their lives — and improve their editing abilities in the process. This workshop is open to all writing levels.

Emily Jon Tobias in Conversation with Chelsea Bieker
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Thursday, June 20
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland


All Classical Radio James Depreist

Emily Jon Tobias, Pushcart Prize-nominated author and poet, will read from her debut story collection, MONARCH: Stories. The book explores how love can heal, how loss and suffering can transform, and how characters can utilize second chances through the lenses of “the marginalized, the down-trodden, the misfits, the wanderers, and the wounded.” Tobias will be joined by Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Heartbroke.

Week 4: June 21-30

Cannon Beach Library Summer Reading Kickoff Party
Presented by Cannon Beach Library
11 a.m. Saturday, June 22
Cannon Beach Library
131 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach

Join Cannon Beach Library for a party to kick off their Summer Reading program. The celebration includes art, summer reading registration, a planting program for kids, and more. Children will also get a free book and “Read, Renew, Repeat” drawstring backpack, as well as decorate their own pot from recycled materials, plant watercress, and learn how to grow and eat plants.

On June 23, Amin Ghaziani will discuss with Cayla McCrail his new book about the joy and beauty of queer nightlife culture.

Amin Ghaziani in Conversation with Cayla McGrail
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Sunday, June 23
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Amin Ghaziani, author and University of British Columbia professor, will discuss his new release, Long Live Queer Nightlife: How the Closing of Gay Bars Sparked a Revolution, with Cayla McCrail, queer historian and preservationist. Ghaziani’s book recounts experiences at underground London parties and features more than 100 interviews with bar owners, party producers, participants, and others, for a seldom-seen look at the joy and beauty of queer nightlife culture.

Maggie Mertens in Conversation with Sarah Marshall
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Monday, June 24
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland


Oregon Cultural Trust

Maggie Mertens, award-winning journalist, will read from her new book Better, Faster, Farther: How Running Changed Everything We Know About Women, where she uncovers how women broke into competitive running. As women continue to increase their running, Mertens considers the first woman to run in the Olympics and the societal challenges and limitations still placed on women athletes. She will be joined in conversation by Sarah Marshall, writer, podcaster, and media critic.

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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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