to Feb 19

2017 and the New Poetic Activism

 In the years following the success of Claudia Rankine's Citizen, what work is answering the call toward more dynamic, vulnerable, and demanding literary activism? During this Delve seminar, we work creating the new 'American lyric': Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams and Of Being Dispersed by Simone White. 

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to Mar 11

AWP Conference 2018: Tampa, FL

Writing at the Crossroads: Exploring the Interface Between Music and Literature. (John Edgar, Rob Spillman, Cyrus Cassells, Melissa Stephenson, Shayla Lawson)

Songs and stories, symphonies and poems, the echo of a nearly forgotten tune on the edge of a memory— music often animates, in subtle and direct ways, the written word.  Here, authors from across genres discuss dealing with the difficult connections at play between the page and ear, when music is a not-so-silent character in their work.

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Spare Room reading: Larsen, Lawson & Sutter
7:00 PM19:00

Spare Room reading: Larsen, Lawson & Sutter

Sara Larsen is a poet living in Oakland. Her new book Merry Hell has been recently released by Atelos. Her previous book is All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). Sara has performed her work widely, including at The Poetry Project, the Berkeley Art Museum, Grace Cathedral, and LitQuake. Over the course of two years, she and David Brazil published more than 60 issues of the seminal literary zine Try Magazine.

Shayla Lawson is (and / or, at times, has been) an amateur acrobat, an architect, a Dutch housewife, & dog mother to one irascible hound. She has written for Tin House, ESPN, Salon, The Offing, Guernica, and is the author of the forthcoming I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean.

Sara Sutter is a poet based in Portland, OR. She's the author of the chapbooks O to Be Dragon & Sirenomelia, and she's slowly and semi-diligently at work on two more manuscripts. Sara helps curate the series P.U.R.R. - Poets United to Read, Rouse, & Resist.

$5 suggested donation for the readers (no one turned away) 

poems online at www.flim.com/spareroom

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 15 m = ?  | Samiya Bashir X PICA T:BA
6:30 PM18:30

15 m = ? | Samiya Bashir X PICA T:BA

Tight. Moving. Aural. Physical. Breath. Beat. Lost. Loose. Breathless. Minutes? Months? Meters? Monsters? Monograms? Macaroons? 15 m = ? Four ways. Samiya Bashir dreamcasts Portland poets Shayla Lawson and Dao Strom, plus special guest Ronaldo V. Wilson and collaborating artist Roland Dahwen Wu, as together they guide poetry through space. Four ways. Solve for the poem. What? See for yourself.

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to Aug 20


The non-traditional texts of writers Claudia Rankine and Maggie Nelson have garnered critical and commercial success that has brought new audiences to the world of contemporary poetry. But are these works poetry? What defines the ways in which we define genre, exhibit our observations, champion our individual lyric?

In this class, students will erase the battle line drawn between the poetry and prose. We will commandeer creative license in order to deconstruct the notion of form. Using the texts of contemporary poets Nelson, Rankine, and others, participantswill find the spaces in which hybridity can open their own work to conquer uncharted narratives. The class will include an in-depth study of contemporary form through the examination of class texts, independent writing, and inquiry-based workshops.

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9:30 AM09:30


Pickathon welcomes spoken word! We are thrilled to present Spoken Live, a new program showcasing the work of intrepid writers, poets, and performance artists in Portland and beyond. The format is simple – six artists on the Woods Stage – but the work is extraordinary. Curated by Shayla Lawson, this remarkable roster includes Stephanie Adams Santos, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Anis Mojgani, Coleman Stevenson, and Julia Tillinghast.

Guest performance by The Oceanographers.

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to Apr 30

The Body in Peril

Writing our Way Out of Trauma through Poetic Form:

Writing is the landscape through which poets explore the human body.  The fluidity of a text often mirrors our relationship to memory—the recollection of the sensory discovering harmony with the fluidity of a poem’s language and syntax.  But what happens when a disruption in our fundamental experience of being alters the ways in which we experience the world?

In spaces of distress, poetry often makes courageous leaps in formal reinvention.  As opposed to dwelling heavily on the subject of physical disruption, this class will examine ways to champion artists who have discovered or reimagined poetic form to discuss human form with vulnerability and authenticity.  Class time will be devoted to in-class writing, sharing work and discussing readings.

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7:00 PM19:00

Not Our President: Women Writer's Against Trump

On November 8th this country voted a misogynist Cheeto with a hair-piece to be our president-elect. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that women come together and make our voices heard. When women join in solidarity and support one another, we create change. So please, come join us on Inauguration evening, the night before the Women’s March on Portland, as several of Portland’s finest women writers light up this dark, dark day and take a stand against Trump and the misogyny and oppression he represents. Of course, all forms of gender and genitalia are warmly welcome!

This event is free, but there will be a jar for donations. All donations will go to Planned Parenthood. 

Hosts: Chrys Tobey & Allison Tobey

Alicia Jo Rabins
Coleman Stevenson
Jenny Forrester
Kristin Berger
Lara Messersmith-Glavin
Margaret Malone
Sage Cohen
Shayla Lawson
Tammy Lynne Stoner
Wendy Chin-Tanner

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Missed it? Check out past events here.