White Bird Dance Paul Taylor Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon

LitWatch May: Hear authors, delve into Emerson, and visit a pop-up bookstore

Broadway Books throws a party, a traveling bookstore stops in Portland, and writers Karl Marlantes, Shawn Levy, Emily St. John Mandel, and Peter Rock talk books.


Ralph Waldo Emerson — 19th-century New England essayist, poet, and philosopher — is the subject of a Literary Arts Delve Readers Seminar beginning May 8.
Ralph Waldo Emerson — 19th-century New England essayist, poet, and philosopher — is the subject of a Literary Arts Delve Readers Seminar beginning May 8.

Called “one of the most profound and devastating novels ever to come out of Vietnam — or any war” by the New York Times, Karl Marlantes’s 2010 book Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War will be featured alongside his 2019 novel Deep River as part of Cannon Beach Library’s NW Authors Speaker Series on Saturday, May 7, at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse.

Marlantes is an author and Astoria native who grew up in on the Oregon Coast. He attended Yale University before becoming an infantry officer with the 1st battalion of the U.S. Marines in 1968. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and other medals of honor. His combat experiences inspired both Matterhorn and his 2011 memoir, What It Is Like to Go to War, an account of his return to civilian life after being drafted during the Vietnam War. In 2017, he was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War, where he spoke about his experiences.

In 2019, Marlantes pivoted his focus to write Deep River, a novel exploring the role of the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, in Northwest canneries and logging during the early 20th-century. Chronicling the journey of a family from Finland to Astoria and Southwest Washington, Deep River draws on the author’s family history and his grandparents’ immigration to the United States.

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Proof of COVID vaccination is required and masks are optional.

Week 1: May 1-7

Author Event: “The Book Woman’s Daughter” by Kim Michele Richardson
Presented by Roundabout Books
Wednesday, May 4
5 p.m., via ZOOM

Kim Michele Richardson, historical fiction author and New York Times bestselling memoirist, will read from her newest release, The Book Woman’s Daughter, in a virtual event hosted by Bend’s Roundabout Books. The novel is about young Honey Lovett, a daughter who takes over her mother’s packhorse library route in remote Appalachia. It examines the importance of familial ties and the strength cultivated by women living in a male-dominated society.

Author Karl Marlantes
Author Karl Marlantes appears May 7 in Cannon Beach as part of the NW Authors Speaker Series.

NW Authors Speaker Series: Karl Marlantes
Presented by Cannon Beach Library
Saturday, May 7
2 p.m., in-person
Coaster Theatre Playhouse
108 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach
Free, proof of COVID vaccination required

North Coast native Karl Marlantes will join the NW Authors Speaker Series to talk about his two novels, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War and Deep River. Originally from Astoria, Marlantes drew on his experiences in the U.S. Marines to write Matterhorn in 2010 before exploring the history of Columbia River’s 20th-century logging industry in Deep River in 2019.

Week 2: May 8-14

Emerson’s Essays: Cultural and Philosophical Themes
Presented by Literary Arts
Sundays, May 8 through June 19
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM
$250, access rates available

Join Portland State University’s Bennett Gilbert, author of A Personalist Philosophy of History, as he leads this Delve Readers Seminar on Ralph Waldo Emerson — “the man with the mind on fire.” Texts explored will focus on his essays, including Circles, Address to the Graduates of the Divinity College, and the Library of America edition of Essays & Lectures. Discussions will focus on Emerson’s critiques of Christianity, philosophical beliefs, and his ideas on education.

Emily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel discusses her new book in a virtual presentation by Barnes & Noble.

Emily St. John Mandel Discusses “Sea of Tranquility”
Presented by Barnes & Noble
Tuesday, May 10
3 p.m., presented virtually

Emily St. John Mandel, award-winning Canadian author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, will talk about her most recent novel, Sea of Tranquility, as part of this Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick event. A story about an eclectic group of individuals including a time traveler, a British exile, a lonely girl, and the resident of a futuristic moon colony, Sea of Tranquility is considered a unique and timely combination of science fiction, psychological drama, and dystopian narrative perfect for our trying times.

BodyVox The Spin Dance Portland Oregon

David H. Wilson Jr. in Conversation With Nancy Egan & Richard Meeker
Presented by Powell’s Books
Friday, May 13
7 p.m., in-person
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

David H. Wilson Jr. will be joined by Nancy Egan, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Paiute Chief Egan, and Richard Meeker, publisher of Willamette Week. They will discuss Wilson’s new release Northern Paiutes of the Malheur: High Desert Reckoning in Oregon Country. Wilson’s book aims to reveal the scope of injustice and atrocities inflicted 140 years ago on the Northern Pauite people while depicting real events and stories passed down throughout their history.

Broadway Books 30th Anniversary Celebration
Presented by Broadway Books
Saturday, May 14
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in-person
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland

Come celebrate with Broadway Books as the store marks its 30th anniversary with cupcakes, contests, a book sale, jigsaw puzzles, photo booth, and more family-friendly activities. Wear a Broadway Books T-shirt or hoodie sweatshirt to the party and automatically become eligible for additional discounts on book purchases all day.

Week 3: May 15-21

Shawn Levy: “In On the Joke”
Presented by Broadway Books
Wednesday, May 18
6:30 p.m., in-person
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland

Shawn Levy — film critic, author, blogger, and former writer for The Oregonian — will appear in person at Broadway Books to read from In On the Joke: The Original Queens of Standup Comedy. Called “a seminal work on the incredible journey of women in comedy, past and present” by comedian Margaret Cho, In On the Joke brings to light female trailblazers of the genre and the compelling stories of their success.

Susan Rich and John Sibley Williams
Presented by Literary Arts
Friday, May 20
7 p.m., in-person
925 S.W. Washington St., Portland

Susan Rich will be joined by John Sibley Williams for the launch of Rich’s new book, A Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems. This collection gathers prominent and award-winning poems from her past four collections as well as unpublished works created during the last 20 years of her travels.

Week 4: May 22-31

Liz Carlisle in Conversation With Latrice Tatsey
Presented by Powell’s Books
Tuesday, May 24
7 p.m., in-person
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Join author Liz Carlisle as she recounts stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers working to revive the ancestral food-growing techniques and methods that have been-diminished by the industrial food system. From replenishing the soil to enacting practices for fungi restoration, Healing Grounds addresses the importance of taking a “holistic approach that values diversity in both plants and people.” Carlisle will be joined by ecologist and tribally directed bison-restoration advocate Latrice Tatsey (In-niisk-ka-mah-kii).

Peter Rock
Peter Rock, author of “My Abandonment” and “The Night Swimmers,” talks about his new novel, “Passersthrough,” on May 25.

Peter Rock: “Passersthrough”
Presented by Powell’s Books
Wednesday, May 25
7 p.m., in-person
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland

Twenty-five years after disappearing in the Mount Rainier National Park wilderness as a child, Helen reconnects with her father, Benjamin, in Portland. Peter Rock, author of Passersthrough (Soho) and Reed College professor, will appear live at Powell’s City of Books to discuss his novel rooted in a haunting tale about family, mystery, memory, and mortality.

Bookstore at Extracto
Presented by St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary
Monday, May 30
8 a.m., in-person
Extracto Coffee Roasters
2921 N.E. Killingsworth St., Portland

Join St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary as it sets up shop at Extracto Coffee Roasters for a book sale pop-up featuring strong coffee, fresh pastries, good conversation, and French accordion performances by local musician Shirley.


Submit your literary events, workshops, readings, and book releases to the Oregon ArtsWatch LitWatch Monthly calendar. Send your event information, press materials, and 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.

Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards Portland Center Stage at the Armory Portland Oregon
Portland Opera Rusalka Keller Auditorium Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Stravinsky Portand Oregon
White Bird Dance Paul Taylor Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Triangle Productions The Inheritance Portland Oregon
Hand 2 Mouth Theatre Performance Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Theatre Snow White Portland Community College Sylvania Campus Portland Oregon
Hallie Ford Museum of Art Willamette University Salem Oregon
Jamuna Chiarini Odissi Dance Echo Theater Portland Oregon
BodyVox The Spin Dance Portland Oregon
PassinArt Seven Guitars Brunish Theatre Portland Oregon
Eugene Ballet Dance Hult Center Eugene Oregon
Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award Oregon
Portland Piano International Solo Piano Series Portland Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Future Prairie Artist Collective Portland Oregon
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