Arts News

Tom Hanks and Abbi Jacobson Are Coming to Portland

The stars will hit town in November for the Portland Book Festival (formerly Wordstock), alongside such authors as Rachel Kushner, Jonathan Lethem, and Lauren Groff.

By Rebecca Jacobson September 7, 2018

America's dad visits Portland on November 10.

The Portland Book Festival—the literary blowout once known as Wordstock—has announced its lineup, and its got some star power. The biggest names? Tom Hanks (ICYMI, the actor released a short story collection, Uncommon Type, last fall; NPR said it “[offered] heartfelt charm along with nostalgia for sweeter, simpler times") and Broad City's Abbi Jacobson, whose essay collection I Might Regret This drops in late October.

Other notable names on the roster include Rachel Kushner, Gregory Pardlo, Tommy Orange, Jonathan Lethem, Eileen Myers, and Lauren Groff. They're joined by a long slate of locals: poet Anis Mojgani, known for electric live performances; Patrick deWitt, recently out with French Exit, a pitch-perfect Parisian comedy of manners; Nancy Rommelmann, whose To the Bridge asks hard questions about a mother turned killer; and Leni Zumas, who racked up acclaim from critics across the globe for her dystopian novel Red Clocks.

The fest goes down Saturday, November 10. This is the fourth installment since nonprofit Literary Arts took things over, transforming the event from a weekend-long affair at the Convention Center into a one-day extravaganza in downtown Portland: more than 100 authors, nine stages, pop-up readings at the Portland Art Museum, writing workshops, and a big book fair. For all the details, head to the festival website.

(And as for that name change? Per a Literary Arts blog post: The name “Portland Book Festival” is more inclusive, and keeps the focus on the event itself with a simpler name. You don’t have to explain what it is, and it doesn’t need a subtitle; you know immediately what and where the event is." You do you, PBF.)

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