not until now

projects and writings of Tracy Burkholder

List of Reading Series in Portland, OR

bookshelfBelow is a list of reading series going on in Portland, OR. It is not complete as these things are constantly in flux and a couple of readings have asked to not be included here. The descriptions are mostly taken from the websites and pages of the series.

Writing can be such a tough and lonely business. Let’s show up when we can and support each other by listening to each other’s hard-fought words.

  • 2 Cent Thursdays

Musicians,Poets,Comedians,Singers…and just plain ol’ good people. Leave your 98 cents at the door, drop your two cents on stage! 1st and 3rd Thursdays! At Post 134.

  • À Reading
A reading series at Valentine’s, 232 SW Ankeny, Portland, OR., every last Sunday evening of every month.Hosted by Robert Duncan Gray
  • Another Read Through

Llocal authors read every Thursday from 7-8 in our loft. Last Thursday of the month is 3 local poets, otherwise it’s a single author. Second Saturday of the month is a group of local authors, sometimes on a particular theme (although not always). A Strong Female Characters discussion panel runs quarterly with 3 local female authors where we talk about issues relevant to female writers, readers, and characters.

  • Bad Blood 
An ongoing series from 2010. Featuring poets, often in sets of threes, visiting and local. Created by Zachary Shomberg.
  • Burnt Tongue
Quarterly reading series (usually at Crush Bar on SE Morrison) created by Domi Shoemaker. Burnt Tongue’s goal is to allow space for former and current Dangerous Writers with all levels of public reading experience to come together and share their work with the likes of you!Not EVERYONE has to have been a student of Tom’s, and we frequently have guest readers. We ask for a $5 donation at the door, which goes into a little scholarship designed to help writers keep writing.
  • Cats in a Dumpster

Regular reading hosted by Sally K. Lehman, Jessica Standifird at Post 134.

  • The Comma
Hosted and curated by writer Kirsten Rian, the readings combine voices from different literary genres, and writers have the freedom to read from new projects, established pieces, or ongoing works in progress, which they then discuss with each other and the audience. At Broadway Books
  • Conversations with Writers
a Hillsboro, Oregon group that invites writers to read and tell us about their work and their writing methods. We meet on the last Monday of every month except May (one week earlier because of Memorial Day) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Death Club

Death Club is a reading series based in Portland, OR, that recognizes the inevitability of death but celebrates life. We’re interested in everything from the humor inherent in the human body to the darker sides of mortality & loss.

  • The Discomfort Zone
A quarterly reading series welcoming storytellers of all kinds. Each instance of the Zone will tackle a different theme, topics that often arouse discomfort when discussed in so-called polite company. Important things are hard to talk about and those uncomfortable edges can be a potent place of growth, so it’s good to run up against them. We invite readers to share their stories with us and just maybe, in our collective discomfort, we can find comfort in community.Hosted by Daniel Elder at Post 134
  • The Dude’s Poetry Society

Hosted by Amanda Helstrom-White, Curtis Whitecarroll, or Doug Spangle. Sign up starts at 6, show starts at 6:15. Every week will be 12 open mic slots and a feature reader. Mondays at The Big Legrowlski  (812 NW Couch St, Portland, Oregon 97209)

  • Fierce on the Page
A reading sereis that elebrates the fierce writing community of Portland, OR at Another Read Through.
  • Fo Po poetry
Featured and open-mic poetry at Backstory Books.
  • Free Range Poetry Reading Series
Regular poetry reading series in the Multnomah County Library – Northwest Branch Portland Oregon
  • Fridays on the Boulevard

Share the words. Listen and respond to fellow writers. Build community. First Fridays of the month (except summer). 7-9pm. At the Attic Institute, 4232 SE Hawthorne. Bring your own genre.

  • Get Nervous
A reading and performance series centered on the nagging, swirling, frazzled feeling you get when you have to do a thing. In short: anxiety.
  • Grief Rites
Grief Rites is a community movement. Taking back our right to grieve. Our right to mourn. Our right to live. Our right to love. Our right to remember. Monthly storytellers showcase provides an opportunity for community to come together and share their stories of life, loss and love.Founded/hosted by Melissa Dodson
  • The Hour That Stretches
Half an hour per performer. No censorship, genre or experience restrictions. No fourth wall. No rules. 21+ W/ID. Five dollar suggested donation; nobody turned away.
  • If Not For Kidnap
(currently on hiatus). A poetry reading series started in 2009. The series showcases local and international talents, with anywhere from two to around four readers per reading. INFK does take applications for visiting and local writers to read at their events, but asks for months advance notice.
  • Incite: Queer Writers Read

A curated reading series for Queer writers hosted by Kate Carroll de Gutes and Kate Gray. INCITE: Because of queer stories. Because of these times. Because. Every other month on the first Tuesday, 4-5 Queer writers will read work on a theme. At each reading, we’ll distribute cards with pre-populated questions to foster audience discussion. We’ll use 15 minutes or so at the end to moderate a talk-about. Our hope is to create conversation, connection, and greater understanding both within the Queer community and with other communities.

  • Last Stand at the Wildwood Saloon

An open-mic poetry reading on the first Monday of every month at Tony’s Tavern; 1955 W. Burnside.

  • Legion Reader Series

Hosted by Sean Davis and Amelia McDanel at Post 134.
  • Lit Crawl
A collaboration between Literary Arts Presents Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival and San Francisco’s Litquake Foundation. Readings from a variety of readers/publishers in a number of different bars in the same neighborhood.
  • Loggernaut Reading Series
Regular readings (usually at Ristretto on N. Williams) under the direction of Erin ErgenbrightandJesse LichtensteinandPauls ToutonghiandVandoren Wheeler
  • Milepost 5
Occasional readings at the artist community in the Montavilla/ East Portland Neighborhood.
  • Mountain Writers Series
A monthly reading of poetry and prose by established and upcoming writers. The series began in 1973 at a community college in Gresham, OR and has continued on to host many notable writers. Mountain Writers Series also holds workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir, with students sharing their work at special annual readings. Hosted by Oregon Poet Laureate Peter Sears, the series has a suggested $5 admission.
  • The Studio Series: Poetry Reading and Open Mic is held monthly on second Sundays. For additional information, please contact
  • Milwaukie Poetry Series, Second Wednesday of the month at 7 PM (Ledding Library Pond House, 2215 SE Harrison, Milwaukie)
  • One Page Wednesday

One Page Wednesday is a new series hosted by Natalie Serber at Literary Arts (925 SW Washington St. Portland). ^;30-9pm. It’s an opportunity to share or listen to one page of work in progress from talented Portland writers. Come with a single page of work and sign up to read, or come to listen and prepare to be inspired! Please, no reading from electronic devices.

  • Other People’s Poems
A monthly gathering to recite poems of other people. At Mother Foucault’s Bookshop. Hosted by A.M. O’Malley
  • The People’s Poets (open mic)

The Peoples Poets is hosted every 3rd Saturday. We call ourselves “The People’s Poets” because our goal is to amplify voices of color while providing a safe place for displaced communities in Portland. While we welcome and encourage everyone to attend and support, we exclusively reserve the open mic as a platform for writers of color. 2$ suggested donation. Light refreshments provided. You may contact Woodlawn MIC, or host Brianna Grisby for questions or to sign up in advanced. You may also sign up on Saturday from 6:00-6:30. Hope to see you all there for a night of good music, snacks, and amazing poetry from local writers!  1425 NE Dekum St.

  • Plonk
A SE Portland reading series at Corkscrew Wine Bar. Drink good wine. Hear good stories. Readings are the first Wednesday of every month.
  • Poetry Confluence
A monthly poetry reading series in Portland, Oregon curated by Kevin Gwozdz, Lily Weil, and Spencer Pond with the intention of bringing together poets and writers of various backgrounds to harness an inclusive and diverse reading events. We seek to keep Poetry Confluence as accessible as possible by taking place in various venues such as; houses, garages, parks, and cafes so that the possibility of age restriction is eliminated. Each reading attempts to bring in a variety of writers; published, unpublished, scared, confident, edited, unedited, and everything in between.
  • Poetry Press Week
a new-format reading series that takes its form from biannual fashion shows: press, publishers, and the general public are invited to attend ten minute productions that feature the newest work of emerging and established poets.
  • Portland Poetry Slam
Started in 2009, Portland’s weekly poetry slam, reoccurring every Sunday night, features slam and spoken word poetry for all ages. The event is an ongoing open mic often featuring regular local slammers. Suggested donation of $5.
  • Pure Surface
A performance series where text, dance, and film are presented together in the spirit of collaboration. At Valentines.
  • Queen of the Night Reading Series
Readings that showcase the work of women writers no longer living, who were under-appreciated, marginalized, and unconventional in their writing.
  • SFWA reading series
Free quarterly events (at Lucky Lab on Hawthorne) providing the Northwest Science Fiction and Fantasy community a chance to gather, network and enjoy readings from local and visiting authors in Portland and Seattle. Each event features three authors who read from their latest work, interpreting and explaining their concepts and vision. In addition, space is provided for networking and conversation. Booksellers will be on hand with fresh copies of the authors’ books for you to buy and get autographed. Send your questions to Mark Niemann-Ross.
  • Shut up and Eat Readings

Azure Gate Consulting and Shut Up and Eat restaurant (3848 SE Gladstone St. Portland, OR) host monthly open mic poetry readings. This is a safe space to share your words and to enjoy others sharing theirs.  Our intent is to reinvigorate the poetic scene in SE as a collective group of artists and aficionados.  We hope you will join us for these evenings of creativity, culture, and community.We meet on the second Wednesday of every month starting October 12, 2016.  If we draw a regular audience we will see about increasing the frequency.

  • Slamlandia
Portland, OR’s other poetry slam. Every first Thursday of every month at Hot Lips Pizza. Every third Thursday at the same location for “No-mic Open mic” Doors at 6:00 pm.
  • Soft Show
A monthly reading night. Mostly short stories, sometimes essays and poems, even the occasional comic may dart in and shock us all. It doesn’t always happen every month but we try. Founded by Jacob Aiello and Sunny Bleckinger. (possibly defunct)
  • Songbook PDX
A reading series comprised of reactions to writers and their own interpretations of songs whether horrid or ethereal. We hear the reader read the piece then we hear the piece of music played at the venue. It’s the literary mixtape you always wanted. At Post 134.
  • Spare Room
A group of people who organize readings and other events that focus on what, for lack of a better term, we will call experimental poetry.
  • Stonehenge Studio Series
Leah Stenson organizes and hosts a monthly poetry reading & open mic at Stonehenge Studios in Portland’s historic Lair Hill neighborhood the second Sunday of every month. Featured readers at 7pm; open mic at 8pm.
  • Submission
A reading series curated by blind online submission and based in Portland, Oregon. We are open to fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Our hope is to create a space for poetry and prose to coexist where all writers have a chance to go from the audience to the microphone without concerning themselves with networking or politics, simply by sending us their strongest work. Prose editor: Chris Leslie-Hynan. Poetry editor: Ally Harris. Artwork: Nathan Reidt, Amanda Dawn Potter
  • The Switch
A monthly-ish event at different locales in Portland OR, where poets, visual artists, & musicians showcase their work in celebration of our vibrant artistic community. Jeremy Okai Davis curates the art, while poets Paul G. Maziar & Allison Cobb curate the readings, and the music selection is a group effort. Hopworks Brewery has been kind enough to donate kegs of beer to the events, and the curators also provide wine and snacks.
  • Tell It Slant
A monthly reading series for emerging writers of all genres. Mixed media performances welcome.
  • Tender Table

Tender Table is a platform for women of color and gender non-conforming POC to share stories about food, nourishment, inheritance, tradition, survival. Storytelling popup events will be held around Portland, OR. Go to the Upcoming Events page to find out more: or follow them on Tumblr for mini interviews:

  • Unchaste: Women Reading their Minds
Monthly readings at Literary Arts (and other venues).
Hosted by Jenny Forrester
A reading/discussion series centering marginalized voices in Portland, OR
Every last Wednesday of every month at the High and Low Gallery.
Doors at 6:30 pm
  • Whitenoise Project

A reading/discussion series centering marginalized voices in Portland, OR
Every last Wednesday of every month at the High and Low Gallery.
Doors at 6:30 pm.  Email:

Literary Arts Arts & Lectures Series
Lewis & Clark English Department Events
Powell’s author readings
PSU Creative Writing Program Events
Invisible Spectrum; stories by POC
Portland Storytellers Guild
Portland Story Theater
Yarn:Stories at the Clinton St. Theater:

5 comments on “List of Reading Series in Portland, OR

  1. Shawn
    September 25, 2016

    Thrilled to see an updated list of series and readings here in Portland. I used to check Swamplit but it’s now defunct. THANK YOU for putting this together!!!!!

    • T.A.
      September 26, 2016

      My pleasure, Shawn. I did it for myself and then realized others might be interested. Swamplit was a great resource! Wish I had the time/ability to keep up a calendar of these events. Maybe some day…

  2. Elisa Saphier
    October 14, 2016

    Can I add that we (Another Read Through bookshop on N Mississippi) have local authors read every Thursday from 7-8 in our loft? Last Thurs of the month is 3 local poets, otherwise it’s a single author. Second Saturday of the month is a group of local authors, sometimes on a particular theme (although not always). We also have a Strong Female Characters discussion panel that is quarterly with 3 local female authors where we talk about issues relevant to female writers, readers, and characters. Thanks so much!

  3. Steve
    May 8, 2017

    Thanks for putting this together. I’ve also been on the hunt for an updated list since Swamp Lit closed. It actually took a bit of digging to find this so it would be good if we could get this list a bit more visibility for google. I’m sure there are other people looking. I’ll share as much as I can.

    • T.A.
      May 8, 2017

      Thanks for sharing, Steve!

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