Andy Friedman - Slideshow Poet
Brooklyn artist Andy Friedman has concoted a lo-fi genre of entertainment that combines storytelling with slides of his photographs and drawings. When I saw him a few years ago, there were some bright spots in his performance, and a whole lot of usage of the word "I." Jasmine Tree, 401 SW Harrison St, 223-7956, Thursday 8pm, $5 sugg.

Trainspotting Goes to College
Short Attention Span Literary Arts presents Helen Walsh and her "chick-gone-bad-lit" novel about UK sex and UK drugs and riding the UK coat tails of Irvine Welsh. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 238-1668, Thursday, 7:30

* The Ancestor's Tale
Professor and biologist Richard Dawkins has penned a vast and provocative look at evolution, but based his writings on Canterbury Tales, with chapter titles such as "Sea Squirts" and "epilogue to the Velvet Worm's Tale." Just another example of somebody stealing my ideas and getting famous for it. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, Thursday, 7:30

* 18th Annual Oregon Book Awards
It's just like the Oscars. Except that instead of books, it's movies. And instead of Hollywood-centric globalism, it's confined to Oregon. And instead of Chris Rock, Rick Bass is the host. But other than that, and the beautiful women being replaced with bookish MFAs, it's exactly like the Oscars. The Scottish Rite Center, 1512 SW Morrison, 227-2583, Thursday, 7:30, $18-25

Banishing Verona
Here's what the blurb about Margot Livesey's novel says: Zeke and Verna meet and fall in love, but are then pulled apart by familial complications. This novel is about their struggle to reconnect. What more can we say? Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, Thursday, 7:30

saturday 11/20

Chris Van Allsburg
It's got to be a happy Christmas around the Van Allsburg family tree this year. The Polar Express, which Chris Van Allsburg wrote and illustrated nearly 10 years ago, has of course been made into a freakily animated movie starring Tom Hanks. Bring the kids to hear about how the author came up with the The Polar Express, Jumanji, and his other classics of children's literature. And have fun explaining to the tykes why The Polar Express now has three circular gold stickers on it--one for the Caldecott, one for the National Book Award, and one for now existing as a major motion picture! First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave, 227-2583, Saturday 11am, $5-13

Support The Portland Mercury

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30