25th Anniversary Reading | Feb 17 | David Biespiel and Matthew Dickman


25th Anniversary Reading

You're invited to celebrate the Attic's 25th anniversary with founder David Biespiel and Senior Fellow Matthew Dickman reading at Mother Foucault's Bookshop in SE Portland. 
David Biespiel is a contributor to American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, and Slate, and the author of thirteen books, most recently the novel, A Self-Portrait in the Year of the High Commission on Love, the book of poems, Republic Café, and the memoir, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas. Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan, and Stegner fellowships, two Oregon Book Awards, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, he has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Balakian award. In addition to teaching at the Attic, he has taught at Stanford University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Wake Forest University, and he is Poet-in-Residence at Oregon State University where he teaches in the graduate Creative Writing Program.
Matthew Dickman is the author of Husbandry, Wonderland, Mayakovsky's Revolver, Brother, 50 American Plays, and All-American Poem, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize and a Kate Tufts Award. His other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Sarton Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The London Review of Books, and Poetry London, among other places. In addition to being a Senior Fellow at the Attic Institute, he is currently a visiting assistant professor at the University of Oregon.
Attic Institute 25th Anniversary Reading
Mother Foucault's Bookshop, 523 SE Morrison, Portland
Feb 17 2024, 7pm

The Attic's 25th Anniversary in 2024

In 2024, the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters celebrates our 25th year as a welcoming, vibrant writing studio where people from across Portland and from around the globe come to get inspired, find literary community, and grow as writers.

Our mission at the Attic is to help people turn that glimmer of an image or overheard bit of conversation in a coffee shop or the difficult (or joyous) memory into new writing. 

Attic founder David Biespiel's acclaimed novel


"Beautiful." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Thoughtful." Kirkus Reviews

"Poetic." Lone Star Review

In his thirteenth book, acclaimed poet, critic, memoirist, and founder of the Attic David Biespiel turns to the novel to tell a story about Texas that has few, if any, parallels in Texas literature — a novel about the tensions between ambition and faith, duty and desire, art and life, and about those whose lives must live with the consequences of choosing one over the other.

“As smart, as funny and...searingly honest” — Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist and author of The Angel of Rome

"Carves out a place of freedom founded on poetry and debauchery."— Vanessa Veselka, National Book Award long-listed author of The Great Offshore Ground 

“This is a classic American tale.” — Whitney Otto, New York Times bestselling author of How to Make an American Quilt

Order the book: Powells | Broadway Books | Amazon

A More Personal Look at the Attic's Atheneum

Listen to current Atheneum Fellows answer questions about their time in the Atheneum program:

What has been the most productive part of the program so far?

"I've appreciated how much more structured my writing process has become and the monthly deadlines to turn in work. It has kept me on track to finish a solid draft of my memoir by the time the program concludes in June." - Kristin Moran

"It’s the community we’ve all formed that helps motivate me to sit in the chair and write. I carry their words with me every day." - Mae Cohen

"First, the meetings with my accomplished, experienced, thoughtful mentors have helped me enormously. They’ve encouraged me and given me resources and advice that has helped me to organize my project and look at my writing more critically.

The other part is the community the fellows have created together via sprinting. This is a weekday write-a-long that we do by text. It generally lasts about an hour. How it works is someone will text the group that they’re writing now, and people join in if they can. Sometimes we chat a bit before and after but it’s not the lengthy social event of a Zoom call. It’s a nice way to stay connected, share issues, and not feel so alone in the process." - Signe Kopps

"My monthly mentorship meetings with Whitney have always built me up and helped to get my compass pointing the right way again. I've also enjoyed our big group meetings, the salons, and the craft exercises that the mentors have had us work on. But what might be the most productive part of the program for my extroverted self has been the connections I've made with the other writers. We are all on a group text together and every morning, someone texts just to say they are writing, that way we can join in to write "together" if we are able to. My group, the nonfiction writers, has also started to meet every month electively, just to get more eyes on our projects. It's been so great to know the other writers and be vulnerable with them." - Gemma Hobbs

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A Statement of Our Values

The Attic Institute of Arts and Letters opposes the legitimation of bigotry, hate, and misinformation. As a studio for writers, we do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We embrace and celebrate our shared pursuit of literature and languages as essential to crossing the boundaries of difference. To that end, we seek to maintain a creative environment in which every employee, faculty member, and student feels safe, respected, and comfortable — even while acknowledging that poems, stories, and essays delve into uncomfortable subjects. We accept the workshop as a place to question ourselves and to empathize with complex identities. We understand that to know the world is to write the world. Therefore, we reaffirm our commitment to literary pursuits and shared understanding by affirming diversity and open inquiry.