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2019-20 Readings and Lectures Series

Fall 2019

For ADA accommodations or any questions, please contact the English Department at 503.943.7228.


Marilynne Robinson, novelist, essayist.  Wed. Sept 11, 7:15 Chiles Center (hosted by the Garaventa Center)

Marilynn Robinson

Renowned author and Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson will present the 2019 Zahm Lecture, "Wisdom and Knowledge," which will touch upon the roles of wonder, grace and imagination. Robinson was the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for "her grace and intelligence in writing." She is the author of Housekeeping (1980); Gilead (2004), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Home (2008), winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Lila (2014), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Her many collections of essays include What Are We Doing Here?, The Givenness of Things, and When I Was a Child I Read Books. Robinson taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for twenty-five years.  For further information, contact the Garaventa Center: 503.943-7702 or


Tracy Daugherty, nonfiction/fiction writer, biographer.  Wed Oct. 2, 7:30pm UP Bookstore

Tracy Daugherty

Tracy Daugherty is the author of four novels, six short story collections, a book of personal essays, a collection of essays on literature and writing, as well as biographies of Donald Barthelme, Joseph Heller, Joan Didion, Billy Lee Brammer, and Mary Evershed (astronomer and Dante scholar). His stories and essays have appeared in many journals, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, British Vogue, The Paris Review online, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares Solos, Boulevard, The Georgia Review, and The Gettysburg Review. His work explores the intersections of public and private lives, art, architecture, music, and science, as well as urban life and American deserts, real and imagined. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters and PEN, he is a five-time winner of the Oregon Book Award. At Oregon State University, he helped found the Masters of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, and is now Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing, Emeritus.  In 2018, Literary Arts awarded him and his wife, Marjorie Sandor, the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary life. 


Trevino L. Brings Plenty, poet, musician. Tues Oct 29, 7:30pm UP Bookstore

Trevino L. Brings Plenty

Trevino L. Brings Plenty is a poet and musician, as well as a longtime resident of the Portland area.  He has two poetry collections Wakpá Wanáǧi, Ghost River (2015) and Real Indian Junk Jewelry (2005). His work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Red Ink Magazine, World Literature Today, Plume, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Waxwing, Poetry, and New Poets of Native Nations.  In college at PSU, Trevino worked with Primus St. John and Henry Carlile in poetry, and studied with Tomas Svoboda for music composition and Jerry Hahn for jazz guitar.  He received his MFA in Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is of Minneconjou Lakota heritage, but as he explains, “I’m not skilled with the Lakota Language. My grandparents didn’t pass it on. So I come to use Lakota words as I gather momentum learning my language and cultural practices.”  He describes himself as “an experiential learner, an aural and visual learner.” Recently, his music was included in a 2015 indigenous video game Invaders, and he is singer/songwriter/guitarist for the ensemble Ballads of Larry Drake. His influences include classical music, Beat writers, Jordan, and the urban Indian experience.  As he says, “Really, writing is escapism. I feel I can control the story while my life spins all over the place. I write in a voice I both want and don't want to be.” 


Luis Alberto Urrea, fiction/nonfiction writer (Schoenfeldt Series). Thurs Nov 7th, 7pm BC Auditorium

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 17 books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.”  His latest book, The House of Broken Angels, is a novel of an American family, which happens to be from Mexico. Urrea won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction award and his collection of short stories, The Water Museum, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN-Faulkner Award. Into the Beautiful North, his 2009 a novel, is a Big Read selection by the National Endowment of the Arts. The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. The Hummingbird’s Daughter, his 2005 historical novel, tells the story of Urrea’s great-aunt Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as the Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc. More than 100 cities and colleges have chosen Urrea’s books for community read programs. Urrea attended UC San Diego, and did his graduate studies at the U. Colorado-Boulder. After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the U. of Illinois-Chicago.