Poetry and Karaoke with Michelle Peñaloza and All Pinxy Allstars
If you haven't witnessed poets singing karaoke, then you haven't lived. Join poetry collective All Pinxy Allstars as they help celebrate the release of poet Michelle Peñaloza's new book, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire. In addition to Peñaloza, this event will feature readings and karaoke performances by Portland-area poets Christopher Rose, Armin Tolentino, Janice Lobo Sapigao and Jake Vermaas. This event—hosted by the Whitenoise Project reading series, which aims to center voices from underrepresented communities—will probably be joyous, challenging and bright. De-Canon Library at Milepost 5, 8155 NE Oregon St., facebook.com/whytnoiseproject. 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 18. Free.
Portland Book Festival
Located at the Portland Art Museum and a handful of other venues around the South Park Blocks, the Portland Book Festival is the city's largest annual celebration of literature. Formerly known as Wordstock, the festival brings the world's brightest authors to the city for readings, lectures and panel discussions. The festival's 2019 author roster will be announced next month. Last year, the names included novelist Tommy Orange, memoirist Terese Marie Mailhot and a couple of celebrities, Tom Hanks and Abbi Jacobson. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., literary-arts.org. Saturday, Nov. 9.
Margaret Atwood in Conversation With Omar El Akkad
Canadian author Margaret Atwood has been scaring the shit out of readers for decades. To celebrate the publication of The Testaments, Atwood's widely anticipated sequel to the world-shaking bestseller The Handmaid's Tale, she'll join Portland novelist Omar El Akkad for an evening of literary discussion. Atwood's novels and short stories build worlds that reflect the horrors of what happens when the dark side of human nature goes unchecked. El Akkad's debut novel, American War, often considered a cousin of Atwood's work, takes place in an America that has been ravaged by climate change and another civil war, and won the Oregon Book Award for fiction in 2018. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., portland5.com. 7:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 25. $15-$85.
Lindy West is one of the Pacific Northwest's greatest treasures. West hails from Seattle, where she first gained recognition for her blistering, hilarious and paradigm-shifting essays for The Stranger, Jezebel and GQ. Her essays often deal with urgent topics like fat shaming and racism, and are as uncompromising as they are entertaining. West's 2016 book, Shrill, was a runaway bestseller, and was recently adapted into a Hulu-produced series starring Aidy Bryant and shot in Portland. West read from her new book, The Witches Are Coming. Powell's Books, 1005 W Burnside St., powells.com. 7:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 21. Free.