Jack Straw Writers tell "Family Secrets" at Literary Arts on October 2

I'm very excited to invite you to "Family Secrets," the only Portland reading for this year's Jack Straw Writers on October 2 at Literary Arts. I'll be reading from my new memoir How I Lost My Inheritance and I'm joined by three writers from Seattle's Jack Straw Writers Program: Claudia Castro Luna, Loreen Lilynn Lee, and Michelle Peñaloza. Curator Felicia Gonzalez hosts.

With this reading's "Family Secrets" theme, I can promise some raucous, hilarious and outrageous moments.

It would mean so much if you could join me that night and extend a warm welcome to these Seattle writers. Event details:

When: October 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Where: Literary Arts, 925 SW Washington Street, Portland, OR 97205

You're welcome to RSVP on the event's Facebook page.

If you’re a writer, the deadline to apply to the 2015 Jack Straw Writers Program is October 31. I loved the program in which we published an anthology, received vocal and performance training and hosted readings throughout the Pacific Northwest. My year as a Jack Straw Writer has been a highlight of my literary life.

The Jack Straw Writers Program based in Washington, was created in 1997 to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio, to develop their presentation skills for both live and recorded readings, to encourage the creation of new literary work, and to provide new venues for the writers and their work.

On October 2, you’ll meet these writers:

Claudia Castro Luna was born in El Salvador and came to the United States in 1981. She studied French and German, earned an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and taught Spanish to high school students in Oakland, CA. After years of putting writing on the backburner, she finally decided to get serious and earned an MFA in poetry from MillsCollege in 2012. Her poems have appeared in Milvia Street, The Womanist, andRiverbabble. She has been a featured reader for the Berkeley Poetry Festival and for KALW, an NPR affiliate in San Francisco.

Loreen Lilyn Lee grew up in three cultures: Chinese, American, and Hawaiian. Her memoir The Lava Never Sleeps: A Honolulu Memoir tells the stories “I’m not supposed to tell.” She weaves together family secrets; childhood trauma; cultural confusion; and Hawaiian history, geology, and mythology in a journey to discover her authentic self. A Seattle resident since 1986, she graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 as a working adult and began writing her personal stories.

Michelle Peñaloza grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and earned her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Hobart, TriQuarterly, The Weekly Rumpus, and Hyphen Magazine. She is the recipient of the Miriam McFall Starlin Poetry Award, fellowships from Kundiman, the Richard Hugo House, and Literary Arts, as well as scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, VONA/Voices Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

2014 Writers Program Curator Felicia Gonzalez was born in Cuba. She believes that language and the act of speaking are not only physical, but also have a geographic presence. An alumna of Hedgebrook Writers Retreat and the Jack Straw Writers Program, her writing has received numerous awards including a 2007 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship.

Please let me know if you can join us in October 2. I so look forward to seeing you!