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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