First Friday Art Walk
On the first Friday evening of every month, the city’s artists, galleries, and arts venues open up their doors for Portland’s thriving First Friday Art Walk.
Upcoming First Friday Art Walk
Friday, June 5, 2020
Thursday, June 18th, 7PM
Arthur Magida discusses his book, CODE NAME MADELEINE, with author Elaine Weiss
Hosted via Zoom
Raised in a lush suburb of 1920s Paris, Noor Inayat Khan was an introspective musician and writer, dedicated to her family and to her father’s spiritual values of harmony, beauty, and tolerance. She did not seem destined for wartime heroism. Yet, faced with the evils of Nazi violence and the German occupation of France, Noor joined the British Special Operations Executive and trained in espionage, sabotage, and reconnaissance. She returned to Paris under an assumed identity immediately before the Germans mopped up the Allies’ largest communications network in France. For crucial months of the war, Noor was the only wireless operator there sending critical information to London, significantly aiding the success of the Allied landing on D-Day. Code-named Madeleine, she became a high-value target for the Gestapo. When she was eventually captured, Noor attempted two daring escapes before she was sent to Dachau and killed just months before the end of the war. Carefully distilled from dozens of interviews, newly discovered manuscripts, official documents, and personal letters, Code Name Madeleine is both a compelling, deeply researched history and a thrilling tribute to Noor Inayat Khan, whose courage and faith guided her through the most brutal regime in history.
We will have signed bookplates available for this title and for every book bought during the event we will be including a coded message from the author with special spy glasses!
Google Form RSVP: https://forms.gle/bsTZuxKDfyXqRRX18
Thursday, June 25th, 7PM
Emerson Whitney discusses their memoir, HEAVEN, with poet Arisa White
Hosted via Zoom
Emerson Whitney writes, “Really, I can’t explain myself without making a mess.” What follows is that mess—electrifying, gorgeous, defiant. At Heaven’s center, Whitney seeks to understand their relationship to their mother and grandmother, those first windows into womanhood and all its consequences. Whitney retraces a roving youth in deeply observant, psychedelic prose—all the while folding in the work of thinkers like Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and C. Riley Snorton—to engage transness and the breathing, morphing nature of selfhood. An expansive examination of what makes us up, Heaven wonders what role our childhood plays in who we are. Can we escape the discussion of causality? Is the story of our body just ours? With extraordinary emotional force, Whitney sways between theory and memory in order to explore these brazen questions and write this unforgettable book.
Google Form RSVP
Wednesday, June 17th, 5PM
Francesca Marciano discusses her book, ANIMAL SPIRIT, with Maine author Lily King
Hosted via Zoom
Centered in Rome but transporting us into worlds as varied and alluring as they are emotionally real, Francesca Marciano’s stories paint landscapes that are populated—vividly, hauntingly—by animals: from violent seagulls and starlings circling the evening sky in exhilarating formation to magical snakes and a tiny dog on the side of a deserted road. In unforgettable, cinematic frames, events unfold, especially in the lives of women. An affair ends painfully at a dinner table, an actress’s past comes crashing down on her during an audition, an unhappy wife seeks respite in a historic palazzo sublet. Two starkly different couples imagine parenthood during a Greek island holiday and a young girl returns from rehab, deciding to set out anew with a traveling circus. A man in crisis draws his ex-lover deep into the New Mexico desert. With spellbinding clarity, the six masterly stories in Animal Spirit inhabit the minds and hearts of Marciano’s characters. They chronicle deeply human moments of realization and recognition, indelible instants of irrevocable change—epiphanies sometimes sparked by our connection with animals and the primal power they show us.
Google Form to RSVP: https://forms.gle/keJM5SUGDyt3GdWu7
During this virtual residency, Nyugen will explore ways to reimagine the artist-in-residence program during COVID-19, beginning with The Wave, a series of 3 online conversations between artists, scholars, and other creative visionaries. It’s a necessary and important dialogue about the current and future impact of the COVID19 pandemic on Black and Brown communities both locally and globally, and prioritizes the need for generative conversations, together with immediate action, in service of and benefit to our communities. Presented in partnership with The Perez Art Museum/Miami.
Monday, June 29th, 7PM
Jamie Pacton discusses THE LIFE AND (MEDIEVAL) TIMES OF KIT SWEETLY with Ash Poston.
Hosted via Zoom
Working as a Wench—i.e. waitress—at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a Knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college. Company policy allows only guys to be Knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place, clobbers the Green Knight, and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But this Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other Wenches and cast members join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval—if they don’t get fired first.
Monday, June 22nd, 7PM Jessica Barry discusses her new book, DON’T TURN AROUND, with author Megan Collins Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance via Zoom 322 miles of road. 6 hours. 2 strangers. 1 killer. Too many secrets. Midnight. Cait Monaghan and Rebecca McRae are on a desolate road that slices through the New Mexican desert. They've never met before tonight. Both have secrets to protect. Both of their lives are in danger. When a truck pulls up fast behind them, they assume it's punk teenagers or run-of-the-mill road rage, but it soon becomes clear that whoever is driving the truck is hunting them for sport—and they are out to draw blood. As the miles unspool and the dangers mount, the pasts they've worked so hard to keep buried have come back to haunt them. Someone wants one of them dead. But which one? And given the lives the two women have been leading, that someone could be almost anyone. If Cait and Rebecca are going to survive, they'll have to learn to trust one another—and themselves. But trust is a costly business, and they’ve both paid the price before. Google Form RSVP: https://forms.gle/xiE8umof6MdoEe2z7
Thursday, May 28th, 7PM Susan Choi discusses TRUST EXERCISE with author Hamilton Cain In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true—though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place—revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence. As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults. You can RSVP here
Nicholas Basbanes launches his book CROSS OF SNOW
Co-hosted by Mechanics’ Hall as part of the First Friday Reading Series via Zoom
A major literary biography of America’s best-loved nineteenth-century poet, the first in more than fifty years, and a much-needed reassessment for the twenty-first century of a writer whose stature and celebrity were unparalleled in his time, whose work helped to explain America’s new world not only to Americans but to Europe and beyond. From the author of On Paper (“Buoyant”–The New Yorker; “Essential”–Publishers Weekly), Patience and Fortitude (“A wonderful hymn”–Simon Winchester), and A Gentle Madness (“A jewel”–David McCullough). In Cross of Snow, the result of more than twelve years of research, including access to never-before-examined letters, diaries, journals, notes, Nicholas Basbanes reveals the life, the times, the work–the soul–of the man who shaped the literature of a new nation with his countless poems, sonnets, stories, essays, translations, and whose renown was so wide-reaching that his deep friendships included Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julia Ward Howe, and Oscar Wilde. Basbanes writes of the shaping of Longfellow’s character, his huge body of work that included translations of numerous foreign works, among them, the first rendering into a complete edition by an American of Dante’s Divine Comedy. We see Longfellow’s two marriages, both happy and contented, each cut short by tragedy. His first to Mary Storer Potter that ended in the aftermath of a miscarriage, leaving Longfellow devastated. His second marriage to the brilliant Boston socialite–Fanny Appleton, after a three-year pursuit by Longfellow (his “fiery crucible,” he called it), and his emergence as a literary force and a man of letters. A portrait of a bold artist, experimenter of poetic form and an innovative translator–the human being that he was, the times in which he lived, the people whose lives he touched, his monumental work and its place in his America and ours.
Google Form to RSVP: https://forms.gle/tXpyxoXUgVxxeoNH8
Sunday, June 28th, 7PM Print Virtual Book Club: Mona Awad’s BUNNY Hosted by Print's Alex Fenney with Mona Awad via Zoom Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and seem to move and speak as one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door–ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies’ sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision. The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination. Google Form RSVP
Wednesday, May 27th, 7PM Co-hosted by Equality Maine via Zoom A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom…aliens run from the government…a president’s daughter comes into her own…a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer…a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops…skateboards and VW vans…Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page! This essential and beautifully written modern-day collection features an intersectional and inclusive slate of authors and stories. Google Form to RSVP: https://forms.gle/P3P6M28usurhgK3B7