Julia Alvarez visits Benson High School

About fifty students from Ilsa Bruer’s classes at Benson High School gathered to hear renowned Latina author  Julia Alvarez  talk about her work and life as a writer. These students were reading her novel In the Time of the Butterflies and had lots of questions about Alvarez’s inspiration, process, and the real-life Mirabal sisters. Alvarez explained that…

30th Anniversary season of Portland Arts & Lectures announced

Since 1984, Portland Arts & Lectures has brought the world’s most celebrated writers, artists, and thinkers to Oregon. In addition to live events that are broadcast statewide on OPB radio, the program connects readers and writers of all ages with classroom visits and workshops. The 2014/2015 Portland Arts & Lectures Season: James McBride (The Good…

Vern Rutsala 1934-2014

Literary Arts is saddened to hear of Vern Rutsala’s passing. Rutsala was a nationally recognized poet, the 2014 recipient of the CES Wood Award for an “enduring and substantial career”, and a friend to our organization. Rutsala won the Stafford/Hall Award for poetry in 1992 for his Selected Poems, and was a finalist in 1987,…

WITS Reading for Meek Pro-Tech HS at Miss Zumstein’s

Thanks to Miss Zumstein’s Bakery & Coffee Shop, there were delicious baked goods and teas to accompany the powerful student work shared at the WITS Reading for Meek Pro-Tech High School. Students in Amy Taramasso and Tom Kane’s class worked with WITS writer Laura Moulton on poems and prose, which they shared with an audience…

Tobias Wolff to be presented with OSU’s Stone Award

Wolff will be presented with the Stone Award at the Portland Art Museum on May 21, and will visit the OSU campus in Corvallis on May 22 to give a public reading. Click here for more information. Acclaimed author Tobias Wolff is the second winner of Oregon State University’s Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.…

Delve Seminar Summaries: Crime and Punishment Week 6

[by Phillip Coates] As opposed to reviewing what we have read thus far, this week started from the end and we worked our way backwards. One of the first questions we had was, what was the purpose of the epilogue? Throughout the later-added ending the tone alters, the writing style shifts, and the message most…

Delve Seminar Summaries: Crime and Punishment Week 5

[by Phillip Coates] The discussion this week began with a review of sorts, of how far we have come with these characters, and how far we still have yet to go. We retraced the footsteps of the murder and subsequent fallout by discussing the discoveries we have experienced as opposed to what we expected to…

Delve Seminar Summaries: Crime and Punishment Week 4

[Phillip Coates] This week’s discussion took an unexpected turn towards the magical coincidence(s) of life. We discussed how often this book relies on seemingly simple coincidence to propel these characters forward in action and thought. A simple walk around Petersburg inevitably leads to irrevocable incidents. This topic led us to a lengthy debate between the…

Extraordinary Response to Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The response to this year’s Everybody Reads program was nothing short of extraordinary. Not only was Justice Sotomayor’s March 11 lecture at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall full to capacity, but there were over 900 students from Portland-area high schools in the audience who heard Sotomayor’s inspirational message. Across the Park Blocks, another 1,000 people…

WITS Residency with Lincoln HS at Portland Art Museum

Rather than heading down the hall or the up the stairs to get to their class taught by a WITS writer, Lincoln High School students hit the streets, and walk to the Portland Art Museum. At the request of Lincoln High School teachers Tracey Wyatt (who teaches English) and Cindy Irby (who teaches Art, Art…