Mason at AWP: March 27-30

Mason at AWP: March 27-30

Mason’s Creative Writing Program will be hosting two events at this year’s AWP Conference in Portland Oregon: a reception on Thursday, March 28, honoring Robert Bausch, an alumni and professor, and a breakfast get-together on Friday, March 29, for alumni, faculty, and students.

Additionally, Stillhouse Press is hosting a reading by recent authors, and several Mason faculty and alums will take part in panels and off-site readings; to add your program/reading to the list, contact Art Taylor at

Except for the breakfast (see below), all events are free and open to all AWP attendees.

And be sure to stop by Mason’s tables in the bookfair to chat with representatives of Mason’s creative writing community and editors from Phoebe, Poetry Daily, So To Speak, and Stillhouse Press.


Reading: Tupelo Quarterly & Fordham University Press: A Reading & Party
Featuring professor Peter Streckfus
Wednesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.
Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont Street, Portland, OR
A celebration of Tupelo Quarterly’s contributors and Fordham University Press’s most recent authors, featuring original poetry and prose by Victoria Chang, Kara Candito, Mary Biddinger, Rebecca Hazelton, Karyna McGlynn, Jennifer S. Cheng, and others.

Panel: “A Woman's Rites of Passage”
Featuring Emily Heiden, MFA ’15, Rajpreet Heir, MFA ’16, and Jessi Szalay, MFA ’15, and professor Kyoko Mori.
Thursday, March 28, 9 a.m.
E141-142, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Periods, bras, babies. Marriage, motherhood, menopause. These are experiences many women go through, yet even in 2018 we belittle such topics as “women’s writing”—not as impressive or idea-centered as a man’s. Women writers in workshops still often feel hesitant to turn in work about these topics for fear they will be seen as less serious. This panel seeks to change that conversation and celebrates the craft of these moments and their value.

Panel: “Creating Discrimination & Harassment Policies in the Era of #MeToo”
Featuring professor and Mason Creative Writing director Gregg Wilhelm
Thursday, March 28, 9-10:15 a.m.
Portland Ballroom 252, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
It’s vitally important that all literary places are free of harassment of any kind, and strong policies need to be enacted that not only attempt to prevent harassing or discriminatory behavior, but to ensure accountability for one’s actions as well as protection and advocacy for those who are wronged. Join the leaders of several literary centers to discuss their own policies, how they were created and implemented, and ways we can all do better in creating safe literary places.    

Stillhouse Press Reading & Reception
Thursday, March 28, 4-6 p.m.
Rose City Book Pub, 1329 NE Fremont, Portland, OR
January 2019 marked FIVE incredibly productive and successful years of craft publishing for Stillhouse Press. This event will feature an all-female line-up of Stillhouse authors reading from their work, as well as light refreshments and plenty of cheers. Readers include Anita Felicelli, Love Songs For A Lost Continent, and Anne Panning, Dragonfly Note: On Distance And Loss.

A Reading of Free Verse Edition Poets
Featuring Tracy Zeman, MFA ’05, and professors Jennifer Atkinson and Eric Pankey.
Thursday, March 28, 5:30-7 p.m.
The Lab @ The Jupiter Hotel, 800 E. Burnside Street, Portland, OR
Free Verse Editions is proud to sponsor a reading by an exciting array of talent: Jennifer Atkinson, Matthew Cooperman, Elizabeth Jacobson, Ger Killeen, L.S. Klatt, Peter Kline, Chris Kondrich, Eric Pankey, Brittany Perham, Ethel Rackin, Siobhan Scary, Cole Swensen, Jon Thompson, and Tracy Zeman.

Tar River Poetry's 40th Anniversary/Iris Press Reading Featuring Mason alum Lana K.W. Austin
Thursday, March 28, 6:15 p.m.
Celebrate Tar River Poetry's 40th anniversary and Iris Press's continued publishing success at a reading featuring featuring Luke Whisnant, Tina Barr, Michael Spence, Susan O'Dell Underwood, Amy Wright, Karen Head, Dan Veach, and Lana K. W. Austin.

In Memory of Robert Bausch: A Reception & Celebration
Thursday, March 28, 6:30-8 p.m.
Broadway Room, Doubletree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah Street, Portland, OR
George Mason University joins friends and former students of Robert Bausch, a three-time Mason alum, in paying tribute to his life and his work. The event will feature three speakers and refreshments. Bausch, an award-winning novelist and much-loved teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, died in early October 2018. His writing career spanned more than three decades, from his debut novel On the Way Home (1982) to his most recent work, In the Fall They Come Back (2017); his awards include the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature for his body of work and the Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers for his sustained achievement as a writer.

Breakfast with Mason’s Creative Writing Program
Friday, March 29, 7:30 a.m.
My Father’s Place, 523 SE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR
Join fellow alumni, faculty, and students for an informal meet-and-greet breakfast at My Father’s Place, praised by Eater Portland as “Portland’s Quirkiest Home Away from Home…. housing artists, straight-laced professionals, laypersons, vagrants, and other miscreants since 1978.” NOTE: If you plan to join, please respond by Monday, March 25, to Art Taylor at 

Panel: “New Poetic Visions of the West
Featuring Alyse Knorr, MFA ’12, and Kate Partridge, MFA ’13
Friday, March 29, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
E143-144, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Western landscapes have featured prominently in the American nature writing canon for the last 200 years. But what role can perspective play in re-envisioning poetry about the West? Using techniques from queer theory, ecopoetry, and cinema studies, these poets present historic and contemporary visions of the West that defy convention and upset tradition. Panelists will discuss how they explore themes of immigration, identity, language, and intimacy in their poems set in the West.

Reading: No Fair/Fair
Featuring professor Heather Green
Friday, March 29, 5:30 p.m.
Bakery Building, 2222 NE Oregon Street, Portland OR
No Fair/Fair is a 2 day + 1 night literary festival celebrating small independent presses that will take place alongside the 2019 AWP Conference in Portland, OR. The book fair will be held at the Bakery Building and will feature 25 small presses. The reading on Friday night will feature over 60 readers, and will be hosted at two venues simultaneously, the Bakery Building and Outlet PDX.

Panel “Mining the Everyday: Using Real Life Experiences as Creative Research.”
Featuring Emily Heiden, MFA ’15, and Rajpreet Heir, MFA ’16
Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m.
A107-109, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Calling your mother. Watching a Hoarders marathon. Taking notes during a Jewish conversion class. Revisiting a childhood home. Research takes unexpected forms and comes to us in our everyday interactions. In this panel, you’ll get new ideas on what research is, how to conduct it, and how to use it to broaden the scope of an essay, memoir, or story. Panelists also discuss how to strike that just-right balance of research and narrative, one that captivates rather than overwhelms the reader.

Sleepless in Portland: A Reading
Featuring Robbie Maakestad, MFA ’17
Friday, March 29, 7-9 p.m.
Rontoms, 600 E. Burnside Street, Portland, OR
Two lit mags and two presses—Boulevard, Cloudbank Books, Willow Springs Books, and Willow Springs Magazine—will bring a wide range of talented authors to read their work. The reading will feature Robert Long Foreman, Heikki Huotari, Amorak Huey, Holly Karapetkova, Laura Kasischke, Robbie Maakestad, Dennis Nurkse, Laura Reed, Dennis Schmitz, Dariel Suarez, and more.