So Long, Wordstock… Portland Book Festival Draws Remarkable Crowds with Bestselling Writers
Russ Foust, November 16, 2018
One of Reed’s own professors participated in the celebration of writing last weekend. Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Samiya Bashir was a featured presenter at an event that was part of Lit Crawl Portland, one of the main activities on the Friday evening before the festival. Dr. Bashir, along with other poets and artists, engaged in a monologue centered on the theme of “Unchartable: An Evening of Environmental Unknowns,” an exploration of “unknowable psychological landscapes, confounding emotional habitats” and “the shapeless environs of both speculation and perception.” Dr. Bashir, who has also presented at the festival in the past, attested to its charm as “a very local, very plucky, Portland book festival.” As a mainstay of the city’s literary scene, Dr. Bashir affirms that “Portland is a really literary town. There are a lot of small presses doing work here. A lot of lit journals, a lot of magazines, a lot of writers. You can’t swing a bag without hitting a writer in this town.” She is also slated to appear as a speaker at the 2019 AWP Conference in March, where she’ll be joined by nationally-recognized authors speaking on the many current facets and application of literature.
Dr. Bashir’s perspective on the Portland Book Festival, despite its expansion and changes, echoes the sentiment that many feel makes Portland unique. “We get to be different,” she says. I think being different actually might be a little more interesting than being the same.”