It happens every year, but it's not one of those events that gets huge splashy ads on the sides of buses or full-page sponsorship from the Oregonian, even though it's one of the best literary events to hit our already-literary city. I'm talking about the Tin House Writers Workshop, which—in addition to helping writers punch up their manuscripts into literature of the first order—hosts an incredible series of readings, seminars, and panels that are open to the general public. Here are some of this week's "don't miss" events:
T.C. Boyle reads on Sunday, July 8 at 8 pm in the Cerf Amphitheatre: The last time I saw Boyle, he was slaying a nearly sold-out audience at the Schnitz, where it was $20 a pop for nosebleeds. Here's a chance to see him in a small setting in the company of authors for $5. How could you not?
If you can get back to the Cerf by 5 pm on Monday July 9, the latest authors in Tin House's "New Voices" books series—Mary Otis, Michelle Matheson, and the very witty Josh Goldfaden—are going to be reading from their recently published books (they're also reading together at Powell's on Burnside on Friday, July 6 at 7:30 pm). Both readings are free.
Anybody who's ever taken a writing class, no matter what level, remembers the old admonition, "Show, don't tell." On Tuesday, July 10 at 3 pm in Vollum Hall, the wonderful Los Angeles writer Aimee Bender disassembles that adage to see just how helpful it really is. Later that night, the literary gods smile on you as Stephen Elliott (Happy Baby), Charles D'Ambrosio (The Dead Fish Museum), and Yiyun Li (A Thousand Years of Good Prayers) all take the stage for a reading. (Cerf Amphitheatre, 8 pm, $5)
And finally on Wednesday, July 11, it's another three-for-one with an "it's so crazy it just might work" lineup: Steve Almond (Candyfreak) and Whitney Otto (How to Make an American Quilt) will read with Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina) in the most disjointed lineup to hit the Cerf all week. (8 pm, $5)
That's just the beginning of it, folks: The workshop continues through July 15, so check back here next week for the rest of the events to come.