Oregon Cultural Trust

LitWatch May: Hillsboro’s Katie Lineburg at Poetry Out Loud, Black rodeo culture in photos, and an evening with David Sedaris

Other bookish events include readings from and release of Write Around Portland's 62nd anthology, readings by Oregon Literary Fellows, and an opportunity to stargaze in Bend.

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Katie Lineburg, winner of the Oregon Poetry Out Loud State Contest, performs in March at Portland State Uni versity's Viking Hall.
Katie Lineburg, winner of the Oregon Poetry Out Loud State Contest, recites in March at Portland State University’s Viking Hall. The St. Stephens Academy senior competes May 1 in the national semifinals in Washington, D.C.

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Their wings.
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,

And I lean toward mine.

Beginning by James Wright

Oregon’s Katie Lineburg will head to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals. The recitation contest for high school students is organized locally by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It requires that participants memorize and present poems to deliver in a public-speaking forum.

Lineburg, an 18-year-old Hillsboro resident and senior at St. Stephen’s Academy, won the Oregon 2024 championship and will compete in the national semifinals on Wednesday, May 1. She has been a passionate public speaker from a young age and says she loves poetry because “it allows her to connect with people and express emotions in a deeper way.” She is set to perform The Pulley by George Herbert, Beginning by James Wright, and A Noiseless Spiker by Walt Whitman for the competition.

“I am so filled with thankfulness, anticipation, and awe as I prepare for my trip to Washington, D.C.,” Lineburg said in a release from the Oregon Arts Commission. “This experience has been such a whirlwind of blessing, growth, and new opportunities, and I will forever be grateful for the chance to represent my home state of Oregon as well as my school and everyone who has made this adventure of a lifetime possible as I compete at Poetry Out Loud nationals.”

The event will be live-streamed from 2 to 5 p.m. Pacific Time May 1 on the National Endowment for the Arts website. Should Lineburg advance to the national finals, she will also compete at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, May 2.

Sponsor

Oregon Cultural Trust

Week 1: May 1-7

Kate Gale will read May 1 from her new novel at Broadway Books.

Author Reading: Kate Gale
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Wednesday, May 1
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland
Free

Kate Gale, poet, and co-founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press, will read from her debut novel, Under a Neon Sun. The story, which came out of experiences during the pandemic, follows the life of Mia, a student and housekeeper living in her car. Through newfound confidence, she aims to “escape the shackles of poverty on her own terms.” Gale will be joined by Kristen Millares Young, author of Subduction, and Margaret Malone, finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction.

An image of riders during a Pony Express relay race in Okmulgee, Okla., from Ivan McClellan’s “Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture.

Ivan McClellan in Conversation with Leon Anderson
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Sunday, May 5
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Ivan McClellan, Portland-based photojournalist, will appear talk about his new photo book, Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture. In 2015, McClellan was invited to the country’s longest-running Black rodeo, the Roy LeBlanc Invitational in Oklahoma. Since then, he has been inspired to travel across America and document Black rodeo culture in Texas, Los Angeles, and many other locations. He will be joined by Leon Anderson, president of Portland-based creative agency Instrument.

Week 2: May 7-14

Mother Writes
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland
Free

Sponsor

CMNW Summer Festival SB FIXED #1, TP, Top

In honor of Mother’s Day, authors and mothers Kesha Ajose-Fisher, author of No God Like the Mother; Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light; Lydia Kiesling, author of Mobility, and multi-disciplinary artist Shalanda Sims will all read from their newest works and engage in a discussion with moderator Elizabeth Doerr.

David Sedaris will read May 11 from his new essay collection, “Happy-Go-Lucky,” at the Hult Center in Eugene.

An Evening with David Sedaris
Presented by Tsunami Books
7 p.m. Saturday, May 11
Hult Center
One Eugene Center (Seventh & Willamette), Eugene
Tickets start at $35

David Sedaris, one of America’s most prominent humor writers and author of books including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Santaland Diaries, will be at the Hult Center to read from his newest book, Happy-Go-Lucky. In this collection of comedic essays, Sedaris considers the absurd, the bitter, and the sweet in his confessional prose.

Poetry Reading: Dion O’Reilly, Francesca Bell, Emily Ransdell
Presented by Annie Bloom’s Books
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy., Portland
Free

Dion O’Reilly, author of The Catamaran Prize-nominated Ghost Dogs, will read from her new book of poems, Sadness of the Apex Predator. The collection looks at the beauty and danger of isolation in a family compound, corruption, privilege, and hunger. She will be joined by California-based poet Francesca Bell, reading from What Small Sound, which explores social and political difficulties in the United States today, as well as Emily Ransdell, reading from her debut collection, One Finch Singing, about family, the planet, loss, and humanity.

Zoë Schlanger in Conversation with Ferris Jabr
Presented by Powell’s Books
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland
Free

Zoë Schlanger, staff writer at The Atlantic, will read from The Light Eaters, an immersion into the drama of plant life and nature’s complexity. The new book asks what will happen if we look closely at plants to see that they may have formed an intelligent system parallel to our own way of thinking. By examining the latest epiphanies in botanical research, Schlanger offers a glimpse of a scientific world at odds with what a plant is and how our ecosystem should be viewed. Schlanger will be joined in conversation by Ferris Jabr, author of Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life.

Sponsor

Oregon Cultural Trust

Week 3: May 15-21

Participants will read from Write Around Portland’s 62th anthology, “Countless Vibrant Lives.”

Spring Reading & Book Release
Presented by Write Around Portland
6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16
Collins Hall at First United Methodist Church
1838 S.W. Jefferson St., Portland
Free, donations accepted

Write Around Portland, an organization that runs free creative writing and publishing programs, will hold a community reading and book release featuring work by adults and veterans in recovery, youth in alternative school settings, adults living with developmental disabilities, youth experiencing homelessness, members of low-income housing and assisted living communities, and others. They will read from Write Around Portland’s 62nd anthology, Countless Vibrant Lives, which explores themes of balance, gratitude, and nature.

Kim Stafford will be joined by Bethany Lee for a reading from his third poetry collection.

Kim Stafford with Bethany Lee
Presented by Broadway Books
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21
Broadway Books
1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland
Free

Kim Stafford, writer, educator, former Oregon Poet Laureate, and founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, will read from his new book, As the Sky Begins to Change. His third poetry collection deals with themes of nature, humor, war, politics, memory, and empathy in four parts. It has been set to music, quoted in The New York Times, posted online in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, gathered in a chapbook sold to benefit Ukrainian refugees, and posted online in response to Supreme Court decisions. Stafford will be joined by harpist Bethany Joy Lee, also reading from her new poetry collection.

Oregon Literary Fellowship Reading
Presented by Literary Arts
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21
Literary Arts
925 S.W. Washington St., Portland
Free

Join Oregon Literary Fellowship recipients for a reading from their works. Participating authors will include Eric Simons (drama), Joe Wilkins (fiction), Kieran Mundy (fiction), Evan Morgan Williams (fiction), Karleigh Frisbie Brogan (nonfiction), Rosanna Nafziger (nonfiction), Ami Patel (poetry), Ösel Jessica Plante-Curl (poetry), Makiia Lucier (young readers), and Jenny H. Lee (drama).

Sponsor

Oregon Cultural Trust

Week 4: May 22-31

In-Store Event: The Last Stargazers by Emily Levesque
Presented by Roundabout Books
6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23
Roundabout Books
900 N.W. Mt. Washington Drive, No. 110, Bend
$5 or free with book purchase

Emily Levesque, professor at the University of Washington and winner of the American Astronomical Society’s Annie Jump Cannon Award, will read from her new release, The Last Stargazers. The book considers the misunderstood group of scientists that works closely with stars and telescopes, and dissects the romance and curiosity in humans’ relationships with space. The event will be followed by a talk with Paul Poncy from Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory, wine and snacks, with a telescope available for viewing on the front porch.

Musician and women’s rights activist Kathleen Hanna will read from her memoir, “Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk,” on May 23 at Revolution Hall.

Kathleen Hanna in Conversation with Fabi Reyna
Presented by Powell’s Books
7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23
Revolution Hall
1300 S.E. Stark St. No., 203, Portland
$40.99, includes book

Kathleen Hanna, musician, women’s rights activist, and band member in Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, will read from her memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk. In her book, Hanna discusses her difficult childhood, college years, and what it was like to play her first shows. She will break down what it meant to be in a punk “girl band” and consider how her friendships with musicians including Kurt Cobain, Ian MacKaye, Kim Gordon, and Joan Jett inspired her and helped her continue down a path of self-discovery and activism. Hanna will be joined in conversation by Fabi Reyna, artist, musician, and founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine. Tickets for the event include a book copy and $1 from each ticket purchase will be donated to Peace Sisters, a nonprofit that helps educate African girls in Togo.

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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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