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Upcoming Shows

THU, SEP 13 at Alberta Rose Theatre

with Gary Shteyngart + Hari Kondabolu + Lenore
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

Gary Shteyngart is not afraid to get satirical when the situation calls for it. An American writer born in Leningrad, Shteyngart’s prose is filled with blistering humor and sharp societal observations powered by master storytelling. His work is acclaimed and awarded, best-selling and blurbed, read and translated into twenty-six languages. Shteyngart’s fifth book, Lake Success, described as “a stylish and big-hearted novel” by Publisher’s Weekly, takes on a character who abandons his life in the one percent to learn about the “real America.” We can’t wait to take his take to heart.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu is probably the smartest person you’ll laugh at this year. Why? Because he earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and worked as an immigrant rights organizer in Seattle. Thanks to that, his comedy is a complex blend of social commentary, honest personal experience, and trenchant political wit. His new Netflix standup special Warn Your Relatives came out this year, he was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” and his critically-acclaimed documentary The Problem with Apu has been making waves since 2017. Sit down and get ready to be taken to school by the brainiest comedian around.

The Portland-based folk group Lenore rose up from the rock bottom of its two creators. Following a period of personal problems, Rebecca Marie Miller and Joy Pearson found solace in songwriting and the immediate connection they felt with each other after a chance meeting. Two years after that fateful night, Lenore has performed at a plethora of legendary Pacific Northwest venues, opened for acts like Blizten Trapper, Laura Gibson, and Gomez, and brought on full-time musical collaborators to help develop their signature sound. Their self-titled debut album showcases their dreamy, melancholic blend of harmony-driven folk – and appropriately, given how they met, an ever-present sense of hope.

 

THU, SEP 27 at Alberta Rose Theatre

with Jose Antonio Vargas + Courtenay Hameister
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

Jose Antonio Vargas is making waves as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and human rights activist. Born in the Philippines, Vargas moved to the US at the age of 12 and revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine in 2011. That experience and essay is the foundation of his new book, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. In addition, Vargas somehow has time to be the founder and CEO of Define America, the nation’s leading non-profit media organization that fights anti-immigrant hate through storytelling. Get on board, because we want to ride the waves of change that Vargas is pushing to create.

When faced with fear, author Courtenay Hameister chooses to turn and fight – by wrestling her experiences with anxiety and imposter syndrome into poignant and hilarious essays that help light the way for others. The beloved former host and head writer for Live Wire, Courtenay writes a column for The Portland Mercury called What’s She Mad About Now, and is the co-writer for the web series The Benefits of Gusbandry. Her first book, Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things was released in July. Her essays fly in the face of fear and we are here for it.

THU, OCT 04 at Alberta Rose Theatre

with Tommy Pico + Eli Saslow + The Helio Sequence
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

 

Journalist and author Eli Saslow’s new book, Rising Out of Hatred, has emerged in perfect tandem with the current political and cultural moment. A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, Saslow roots out and reports on important human stories – and Rising Out of Hatred certainly qualifies. The book tells the riveting tale of Derek Black, the one-time heir to America’s white nationalist movement and how he came to question the ideology he helped to spread. With skill and humanity, Saslow has crafted an unforgettable story covering both sides of America – for better and for worse.

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is doing something epic – literally. This year he released Junk, the third in a series of book-length poems (following IRL and Nature Poem), a body of work that the Whiting Award called “contemporary epics” of “rare brilliance.” Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, Pico now co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, is a contributing editor at Literary Hub, and co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude in Brooklyn. With hyper-modern language and devastating wit, Pico’s writing examines cultural erasure, queer identity, and social conscience – and, oh yeah, “Junk” does it all in couplets. Now that’s epic.

The Helio Sequence is an American indie rock duo rolling into their third decade of making music together. In that time they’ve recorded six albums, toured extensively, and, no big deal, totally revamped their creative process. Their 2015 self-titled album is the result of using their new full-service recording and production studio, Helio Sound, to record as much as possible in one month. That experiment in letting creativity push past constraint led to twenty-six potential tracks, whittled down to ten with the votes of friends, family, and fans. The ones that made the cut created the breathless, magnetic album that Paste called “career-defining.” Almost twenty years in, The Helio Sequence shows no signs of unraveling.

SAT, OCT 20 at Alberta Street Pub - SOLD OUT

with Phoebe Robinson + Thomas Page McBee + more!
Venue: Alberta Street Pub
Doors: 11:30am
Show: 12:00pm

 

Phoebe Robinson is one dope queen who’s here to make everything OK. A stand-up comedian, writer, and actress, she’s the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast 2 Dope Queens, which was turned into four one-hour, critically-acclaimed HBO specials. She made her film debut in the Netflix movie Ibiza and has written for and acted in various TV shows. Following her New York Times best-selling debut You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain, Robinson is back with her second book of essays, Everything’s Trash, But It’s OK. If Queen Phoebe says it, then we believe it!

Thomas Page McBee is a groundbreaker, name taker, and dialogue maker. Already a Lambda award-winning memoirist, McBee has now transformed his own personal journal training to become the first trans man to ever box in Madison Square Garden into powerful commentary on gender stereotypes in Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man a Man. In the book, McBee examines the weight of male violence, the complexity of gender issues, and the limitations of conventional masculinity – all while also laying out a hopeful, different way forward. McBee is breaking ground on a new path for how to speak about gender and identity, and we’re right behind him.

SAT, NOV 10 at Alberta Rose Theatre

Portland Book Festival Show! Guests TBA!
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

 Portland Book Festival guests to be announced on September 7th!

SUN, NOV 11 at Alberta Street Pub

Portland Book Festival Show! Guests TBA!
Venue: Alberta Street Pub
Doors: 11:30am
Show: 12:00pm

 

Portland Book Festival guests to be announced on September 7th! 

THU, NOV 15 at Alberta Rose Theatre

John Hodgman + RJ Young
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

 

John Hodgman is carving a comedic path through the dramatic wilds of middle-age. The New York Times bestselling author’s first memoir, Vacationland, uses his trademark whip smart humor to cover topics like the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, why humans should not eat clams, and accepting the fact that someday he will die. Hodgman performs comedy across the country, hosts the popular Judge Hodgman podcast, where he settles serious disputes between real people, and contributes a weekly column under the same name for The New York Times Magazine. With Hodgman as our guide, we’re all aboard for a fascinating and profound trip through the metaphorical forest of mid-life.

RJ Young is coming in with a bang. His new memoir, Let It Bang, details his journey as a young black man learning to shoot in America - a fascinating take on race, guns, and self-protection in our current society. Already an award-winning journalist, Young uses his own “unexpected obsession” with getting good at shooting to expose deeper issues like the cycle of white fear, white violence, and black fear, as well as the rise in gun ownership among black Americans – especially women. Young is shooting at some of the hardest-to-hit cultural targets in our country, and his aim is true.

 

SAT, DEC 01 at Alberta Street Pub – SOLD OUT

with Dan Savage + more!
Venue: Alberta Street Pub
Doors: 11:30am
Show: 12:00pm

Dan Savage is not going to sugar-coat things for you. In addition to writing The Stranger’s internationally syndicated sex and relationship advice column, Savage Love, Savage is also an advocate and activist, author of four books, podcast host, and the co-founder of “It Gets Better,” a movement geared toward preventing suicide among LGBT teens and youth. Renowned for his tough love and brutal honesty on brutally tough topics, Savage is here to lend a helping hand - without pulling any punches.

THU, DEC 20 at Alberta Rose Theatre

with Caitlin Kunkel
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

 

Caitlin Kunkel wants to live in a fantasy world – a place where there’s equal pay, a gender-balanced Congress, and all sparkling water is delivered by Tom Hardy. In her book, New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay she and her co-authors mix social satire and erotica tropes to get readers to burn…for equality. In addition to being the writer for Live Wire, Kunkel is the creator of the online satire writing program at The Second City, and the co-founder of the comedy and satire site written by women, The Belladonna. She’s also a famed pizza scientist – in this fantasy world of hers.