Literary Arts to Host a New OPB Show and Wordstock

The local nonprofit will broadcast its audio archives on OPB beginning Oct 15 and take over the city’s annual literary festival.

By Catalina Gaitán October 10, 2014

For its 30th anniversary season, Literary Arts isn’t content with just a star-studded event, a collection of essays from some of the best-selling authors who’ve graced its stage (The Worlds Split Open), and the launch of a campaign to create a $2 million endowment for a writers’ fund. Now the local nonprofit has announced it is partnering with OPB to broadcast its archived lectures in a new weekly radio program, Literary Arts: The Archive Project.  

The show, hosted by Literary Arts executive director Andrew Proctor, begins Wednesday, October 15, at 9 pm with a broadcast of the 30th anniversary event, which included Elizabeth Gilbert, Calvin Trillin, and Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. After that, the weekly show will feature talks from authors including Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, David Foster Wallace, Sherman Alexie, and Wallace Stegner. The entire catalogue of recordings will also be available at

“We’re excited about this collaboration with Literary Arts and believe it’s a strong step toward lifting and preserving the talents of those serving the literary world today,” stated Lynn Clendenin, OPB’s vice president of programming, in the press release.

This announcement comes on the heels of the news that Literary Arts will take over Wordstock, Portland’s annual book festival, for the next three years. The fest had been floundering financially and organizationally as a weekend event at the Convention Center. Lit Arts will transform it into a one-day event, which will be held November 7, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum, and will draw on its wealth of literary connections to round out the program.

“We are looking forward to playing host to some of the region’s and the world’s most exciting writers and welcoming a diverse range of readers of all ages,” stated Brian Ferriso, Executive Director of the Portland Art Museum.

Powell’s Books signed on as a community partner for Wordstock, which debuted in 2005 and has become one of the largest gatherings for literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest.

Literary Arts, which organizes literary lectures and community events year-round, will also co-host The Moth Mainstage (a recorded storytelling event syndicated by NPR) on December 15 and will re-launch Poetry Downtown, a three-part poetry series at the Winningstad Theatre, early next year, as well as Poetry in Motion, which brings poems to busses and bus shelters around the city.

In other words, booklovers rejoice!

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