Know Before You Go
COVID-19 Event Update: The 2020 Portland Book Festival will take place online. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the event website.
When 8,500 people descended on the Portland Art Museum for the revived Portland Book Festival (formerly “Wordstock”) in 2015, the message to its new organizer, Literary Arts, was clear: Portlanders love to get their read on, and this festival — missing in action for more than two years — had not been forgotten.
Founded in 2005 by local writer Larry Colton and renamed in 2018, the annual festival always featured an impressive lineup of local and national authors and a book fair. But its original incarnation, held at the expansive Oregon Convention Center through–2013, wasn’t quite the “metaphorical public square” that Literary Arts Executive Director Andrew Proctor, the festival’s new leader, had in mind.
“When you think of Portland’s profile, it’s a cool town with great food and wine and people who love to read and are serious about the arts,” says Proctor. “The idea that you can have a festival of books and ideas that’s incredibly fun to be at, all distilled into downtown with a huge book fair and an entire museum, for [the ticket price of] $15 — this is something that could only happen in Portland.”
In short, Portland Book Festival’s new iteration celebrates contemporary literature in a way that feels, well, contemporary.
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