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LitWatch June: Pride and plenty to read

June is still a Zoom month for readings and lectures, and there are lots of them. Tune in, turn on.


Cover of Any Dumb Animal (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.)

Nearly every year in June, thousands of individuals across the nation take to the streets to celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month with a series of parades, marches, events, and more. In honor of this year’s pride month, a new book of poems appears on the scene: June marks the presale of Portland author AE Hines’s debut collection of poetry, Any Dumb Animal, forthcoming November 2021 from North Carolina’s Main Street Rag Publishing Co.

According to Hines, the timing for this presale couldn’t be better due to “the book’s strong autobiographical narrative about [his] life growing up and coming out in the rural, evangelical south.” 

While this may be Hines’s first book of poems, he has been published before. Winner of The Red Wheelbarrow Prize and a finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, he has placed individual works in various publications including Canary and Crab Creek Review

What makes Any Dumb Animal particularly fitting for this month in addition to its autobiographical content is that the author and friends have organized a fundraiser in which proceeds of every book preordered will be matched with a donation to The Trevor Project. Founded in 1998 by Peggy Rajski, Randy Stone, and Celeste Lecesne, this nonprofit organization offers suicide prevention and crisis help for LGBTQ+ and transitioning individuals under 25 years of age.

AE Hines, courtesy of the author’s Twitter page

This compellingly candid work speaks the language of courage,
of breath-taking transcendence. Finely crafted, it is a remarkable debut collection. Take note, world: a powerful lyric poet has
emerged. Take note and rejoice!
Paulann Petersen, Sixth Oregon Poet Laureate on Any Dumb Animal

While you patiently await your preorder to arrive, take a look at the many book releases occurring this month. From Donna Ward’s She I Dare Not Name and Daisy Hernández’s The Kissing Bug to a Delve Readers Seminar on Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera presented by Literary Arts, June is the time for heading outside to enjoy a good book in the sunshine.

Week 1: June 1-7

Persistence: What It Takes to Publish a Book, featuring Ellen Michaelson, Joanna Rose, and Suzy Vitello
Presented by Broadway Books
Monday, June 5
5pm via ZOOM
Free Event

For all writers, publishing can be a daunting task that requires both patience and perseverance. On Monday, June 5th, Join Portland writers Ellen Michaelson, Joanna Rose, and Suzy Vitello, authors of The Care of Strangers (Melville House), A Small Crowd of Strangers (Forest Avenue Press), and Faultline (Ooligan Press) for a conversation about what it really takes to get your book published and read.

Donna Ward, courtesy of Annie Bloom’s Books

Livestream Reading: Donna Ward & Jackie Shannon Hollis
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
Monday, June 7
7-8pm via ZOOM
Free Event

Join Australian author Donna Ward for the US debut reading of her memoir, She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster’s Meditations on Life. Described as both a manifesto and a confession, Ward takes the reader on her journey of realizing a fulfilling life as a single, childless woman in a society designed specifically for those adhering to traditional family structures. Ward will be joined by Portland author Jackie Shannon Hollis, author of This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story.

Hood Feminism cover (Viking)

Week 2: June 8-14

Hood Feminism with Mikki Kendall
Presented by Literary Arts
June 9
4-5pm via ZOOM
Sliding Scale $0-$100

Presented by Literary Arts, Mikki Kendall will read from her book Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot. An activist and author, Kendall has been featured on BBC, NPR, The Daily Show, PBS, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and more talking about race, pop culture, and feminism. Kendall will be joined by the Women’s Foundation of Oregon’s board chair Shadiin Garcia for a conversation post-reading.

Daisy Hernández in Conversation With Amy Stewart
Presented by Powell’s Books
Tuesday, June 15
5pm via ZOOM
Free Event

Profile Theatre How To Make An American Son Imago Theatre Portland Oregon

Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects will be in conversation with Daisy Hernández about her new book The Kissing Bug (Tin House). A poignant story of the Chagas illness and how it has directly affected Hernández’s family, the author exposes elements of public policy that have continually kept this virus, which has befallen over 300,000 Americans, under wraps.

Week 3: June 15-21

Complexity and Simplicity: Unlocking the Genius of Your Craft
Presented by Literary Arts
Tuesdays, June 15-July 27
4:30-6:30pm via ZOOM

Instructor Radhika Sharma, author of Parikrama and Mangoes for Monkeys, will lead this six-session workshop series on learning to deepen your narrative by creating strong, compelling, and compassionate fictional worlds. Intended for students with some writing experience, participants will focus on honing their work and preparing it for publication.

Livestream Reading: Megan Culhane Galbraith with Liz Prato
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
Thursday, June 17
4-5pm via ZOOM
Free Event

Join two-time Pushcart Prize nominee Megan Culhane Galbraith for a reading from The Guild of the Infant Savior, a story of motherhood, adoption, and the journey to learn more about the adoptee author’s own past. Galbraith will be joined in conversation post-reading with Oregon Book Award Finalist, author of Volcanoes, Palm Trees & Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i, and fellow adoptee Liz Prato.

Week 4: June 22-30

Cover of Love in the Time of Cholera (Vintage)

Delve Readers Seminar: Love in the Time of Cholera
Presented by Literary Arts
Tuesday, June 22-July 13
6-8pm via ZOOM

Called “shining and heartbreaking” by Inherent Vice author and New York Times Book Reviewer Thomas Pynchon and “a love story of astonishing power” by Newsweek, Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera is a triumph and a masterpiece. In this Delve Readers Seminar led by Benjamin McPherson Ficklin, participants will explore Márquez’s decade-spanning narrative throughout a four-week-long course.

Kai Bird in Conversation With T. J. Stiles
Presented by Powell’s Books
Wednesday, June 23
5pm via ZOOM
Free Event

Powell’s Books presents Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kai Bird talking about his newest work, The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter (Crown), which reevaluates the complexities of Carter’s time in office. Commenting on the considered failure of a one-term presidency and the hardships endured by Carter, Bird reveals the accomplishments and missteps of the country’s 39th president. Bird will be joined in conversation by Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, T.J. Stiles.

Submit your literary events, workshops, readings, and book releases to the Oregon ArtsWatch LitWatch Monthly calendar. Send your event information, press materials, and book review inquiries to Amy Leona Havin at amyleonahavin@gmail.com.

Amy Leona Havin is a writer, choreographer, and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and is the Artistic Director of Portland-based multi-media dance company The Holding Project. Her works can be read in Humana Obscura, San Diego Poetry Annual, The Dust Magazine, The Chronicle, Mountain Bluebird Magazine, and others, and she has been shortlisted for the Bridport International Writing Competition Prize in Poetry. Havin’s artistic process is rooted in classical and somatic movement practices, non-fiction writing, and honoring the landscape of the natural world.

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