4:30 PM16:30

Meet Las Musas (AWP Offsite Event)

  • De-Canon Library / ArtHaus Gallery at MilePost 5 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Las Musas are a collective of twenty-two Latinx middle grade and young adult authors who've come together to support and amplify each other’s debut or sophomore novels. Bring the familia and join us as we celebrate our mission and read our work! 


Ann Dávila Cardinal 

Ann is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico. Ann’s first novel, Sister Chicas was released from New American Library in 2006. Her next novel, a horror YA work titled Five Midnights, will be released by Tor Teen in June 2019. Her stories have appeared in several anthologies, including A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (2005) and Women Writing the Weird (2012) and she contributed to the Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, And Society in the United States edited by Ilan Stavans. Her essays have appeared in American ScholarVermont WomanAARP, and Latina Magazines. Ann lives in Vermont.

Michelle Ruiz Keil 

Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx novelist and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. She teaches writing with a focus on fairytale, divination, and archetype and curates All Kinds of Fur: A Fairytale Reading Series and Salon in Portland, Oregon. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Lit Camp. Her published short fiction can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue and in the forthcoming anthology Color Outside The Lines. All of Us with Wings is her first novel. 

Yamile Saied Méndez  
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) is a fútbol obsessed Argentine-American. She’s the mother of 5 kids and 2 adorable dogs. Yamile’s an inaugural Walter Dean Meyers Grant recipient, a graduate of Voices of our Nation (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children program. She’s also the author of the Lee and Low’s New Visions Honor Award On These Magic Shores, the Utah Arts Council Honor THE REEL WISH, and the forthcoming picture book Where Are You From? (HarperCollins, 2019) and the middle grade novels BLIZZARD BESTIES (Scholastic, 12/26/18) and On These Magic Shores (Tu Books/Lee and Low 2020).  

Anna Meriano

Anna Meriano grew up in Houston with an older brother and a younger brother and a large but close-knit network of aunts, uncles, and cousins spreading across the state of Texas. She graduated from Rice University with a degree in English, and earned her MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in writing for children from the New School in New York. There she was lucky to meet CAKE Literary founders Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, who started her on the Love Sugar Magic journey.

She lives in Houston with her dog Cisco. She has taught creative writing and high school English and currently works as a tutor for students of all ages across Houston. In her free time she loves knitting, playing full-contact quidditch, and singing along to songs in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

Aida Salazar 

Aida Salazaris a writer, arts advocate and home-schooling mother whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the forthcoming novels in verse, THE MOON WITHIN (2/26/19) and LAND OF THE CRANES (Spring 2020) and the forthcoming bio picture book JOVITA WORE PANTS (Fall 2020). All published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic. Her story, BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, was adapted into a ballet production by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA.

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6:00 PM18:00

Coastlines & Crossroads: PDX-LA Poetry (AWP Offsite Event)

What happens as we move back, forth, across, up, down, backwards, and sometimes sideways along the West Coast? Longtime friends and cultural organizers Candace Kita (Portland) and Traci Kato-Kiriyama (Los Angeles) host this unique offsite AWP reading on the states of movement between Portland, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.


  • Alyssa Ogi

  • Ami Patel

  • Taz Ahmed

  • Traci Kato-Kiriyama

Join us for a reading bridging PDX and LA, snacks suited for PNW and SoCal tastes, generative writing opportunities, and maybe even a little insight on planetary movement (also known as astrological insights from Candace). This event is co-sponsored by APANO, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.

RSVP Here —

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11:00 AM11:00

Neil Aitken // The Journey into the Interior (Workshop)

Where do great images come from? How do our histories, dreams, and anxieties intersect with our writing? What lies at the heart of our own writing? 

Poet, editor, and De-Canon co-director, Neil Aitken leads this 3-hour generative writing workshop that helps participants explore and excavate the complex mythic landscapes we hold within us.  Through a set of exercises and prompts,  writers will discover and draw upon the images, ideas, and experiences that makes us who were are.

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8:30 PM20:30

F. Douglas Brown & Neil Aitken // The Intersection of History & Poetry

F. Douglas Brown and Neil Aitken will read from their latest books and discuss the ways in which history has informed their respective projects. Brown's latest book, Icon, explores his own relationship to his namesake, 19th century abolitionist, orator, and writer Frederick Douglass.  Aitken's book, Babbage's Dream, draws heavily on the life of 19th century mathematician Charles Babbage.  A short Q&A will follow the reading.

F. Douglas Brown's website:

Neil Aitken's website:

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7:00 PM19:00

Michelle Ruiz Keil // How to Get Your Book Published (Workshop)

Published author Michelle Ruiz Keil is offering a FREE workshop on the path to book publication.  She will talk about the steps to finding an agent and what happens after that and is interested in doing a query writing component where all participants would be welcome to send their queries in for feedback following the workshop.If you're currently shopping your fiction or non-fiction manuscript, this is the workshop for you!

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11:45 AM11:45

De-Canon & APANO AMP // Healing Words: Writing the Mosaic Self

De-Canon and the Arts & Media Project group of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) is offering this one-time creative writing workshop on how to write about memory, history, and trauma as they impact us as individuals and as families. Come join us for a generative writing workshop where you will write and respond to exercises, prompts, and materials inspired by the work of other writers of color. Whether you're new to writing or have been writing for years, we welcome you to our workshop. Space is limited, so sign up in advance.

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7:00 PM19:00

Jessica Mehta // From Myth to Modern: Re-imagining Indigenous Mythologies Today (Workshop) [CANCELED]


In this multi-genre workshop, participants will bring their re-imagined Native American myth to workshop. It must be wholly unique, and in any genre you choose. However, please limit your work to three poems or 3,000 words. From poetry to flash fiction, memoir to short story, find inspiration in traditional myths and discover just how easily these slippery tales fit into our lives today.

Led by multi-award-winning poet and novelist Jessica Mehta, participants will be expected to pre-read myths from either Animal Speak by Ted Andrews or this website: Participants should also have at least a first draft of their work to share. (Number of copies to bring will be emailed to students prior to the workshop).

Come prepared with:

  • A myth selected that resonates with you. Please have the original story readily accessible.

  • Copies of your work inspired by the myth.

  • A colored pen for marking others’ work.

  • Your preferred method of note-taking.

  • An open mind, kindness, compassion, and a willingness to engage.

  • Your cash registration fee of $10.

SIGN UP NOW by emailing Jessica at

Please note that the workshop may be canceled if fewer than five participants sign up in advance.

Do you self-identify as Native American or indigenous? Scholarships are available. Please email Jessica at


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11:00 AM11:00

Neil Aitken // Spatial Poetics: Writing Place & Displacement

What is place?  Where and how do we begin to write our way through the spaces we find ourselves in or feel separated from?

Led by award-winning author and De-Canon co-director, Neil Aitken, this generative workshop helps you engage place in your writing through form, geography, and history.

Registration fee: $15, scholarships available.

SIGN UP NOW by contacting Neil at



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5:30 PM17:30

De-Canon // (Dis)placement Poetry at PAM

De-Canon Poetry Reading at the Portland Art Museum in conjunction with the Fazal Sheikh Common Ground Photography Exhibit. This event features local poets who will read work that responds to (dis)placement and migration.

Our readers:

Stephanie Adams-Santos
Neil Aitken
Samiya Bashir
Alyssa Ogi
Dao Strom

Part of $5 Fridays at the Museum. Doors at 5:30; reading will start at 6pm in the Fazal Sheikh galleries.

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6:00 PM18:00

De-Canon // Exhibit Opening at Artists' Milepost

Come join us for the launch of our 2018 residency in the cafe space of Artists' Milepost! There'll be books, photography, food, drink, and lots of interactive activities for all ages. We look forward to sharing this moment with the community of readers, writers, artists, and lovers of the spoken and written word. See you there!

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3:00 PM15:00

CLOSING EVENT :: READING GROUP {Hosted by Physical Education}

A reading group discussion, hosted by Physical Education (with keyon gaskin, Takahiro Yamamoto, Lu Yim, Allie Hankins)

This open discussion forum will respond to reference materials chosen by Physical Education and De-Canon, in contemplation of the question : What lies {beyond/under/within} language for you?

Read these materials in any way you wish and come join us on the 26th to talk, share thoughts, or just listen. All are welcome to engage in this conversation.

This will be the closing event for De-Canon's pop-up library installation at UNA. Come browse our books for one last afternoon...!

Reading materials available here :

& at

Print copies of materials available at UNA Gallery during events on 8/16 and 8/19 and during regular gallery hours (Sat-Sun 12-5pm).


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6:00 PM18:00

De-Canon: A Visibility Project --- OPENING @ FIRST THURSDAY ARTWALK



:: AUGUST 3RD - 26TH, 2018 ::

[see below for details on events throughout August]

De-Canon: A Visibility Project is a pop-up library and web resource project that showcases literary art by writers/artists of color. Our goal is to put forth an alternative literary “canon” - or multiple canons - that are inclusive, diverse, and multi-storied in their approach to representation. 

Our library collection includes works by writers and artists working in and across the domains of poetry, prose, hybrid literary forms, image-text, visual art, performance, and more. Through this, we wish to push against notions of how literature - which conveys to us perception, language, and cultural (as well as self) definitions - may be transmitted, gathered, contained, released, hidden, revealed, coded, decoded, shared and preserved, in both temporal and fixed ways, especially for communities of color. 

                  { beyond

What lies  { under  language for you?

                  { within

Throughout the month of August, we will investigate this question with a curation of literary artworks and events - including: poetry reading, music+poetry performance, visual-literary installations, asemic art, and discussion-format events - each event to be hosted in the same space as our library of 150+ books by writers and artists of color, thus enabling many opportunities for interaction between audience, writers/artists, books, and literary artworks. 

De-Canon: A Visibility Project’s August installation and programming will be hosted at UNA Gallery, a collective art space run by contemporary artists with outsider identities. UNA prioritizes the work of marginalized artist communities, holding space for POC, queer and femme voices. 

De-Canon is grateful for support from the Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Calligram Foundation; and for book donations from Tin House, Wave Books, Octopus Books, Forest Avenue Press, YesYes Books, and many authors. De-Canon also thanks its community of “de-canonizers” who contributed lists to our curation process.


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