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Roses and Thorns: An Evening w/Curbstone and The Rumpus

November 2, 2023 @ 6:30 pm9:00 pm

Join Curbstone Books and The Rumpus for an inspiring evening of readings featuring authors Omar El Akkad, Jennifer Fliss, Elisa Gonzalez, Perry Janes, Sebastián Páramo, and Jane Wong. Hosted by Marisa Siegel and Marissa Korbel. This event is free and open to the public, and is an official Portland Book Festival 2023 Cover to Cover event. 

A special thank you to Lisa Lee Herrick for the event artwork.


Participant bios (in lineup order):

Omar El Akkad is an author and journalist. His fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Guernica, GQ and many other newspapers and magazines. His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages. It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, the Oregon Book Award for fiction, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and has been nominated for more than ten other awards. His second novel, What Strange Paradise, was released in July 2021 and won the Giller Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, the Oregon Book Award for fiction.

Jennifer Fliss (she/her) is a Seattle-based writer whose work has appeared in F(r)iction, The Rumpus, No Tokens, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, including two of the Best Short Fiction anthologies. She is the author of the story collections The Predatory Animal Ball and As If She Had a Say.

Elisa M. Gonzalez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her work appears in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Paris Review and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale University and the New York University M.F.A. program, she has received fellowships from the Norman Mailer Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Rolex Foundation, and the U.S. Fulbright Program. She is the recipient of a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Her debut poetry collection, Grand Tour (FSG), was published in September 2023. Her debut novel, The Awakenings, and her first nonfiction book, Strangers on Earth, are also forthcoming from FSG.

Perry Janes is a writer from metro Detroit. He received his BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was a five-time Hopwood Award winner, and his MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. A Pushcart Prize recipient, his work appears in POETRY, Zyzzyva, Electric Literature, Poem-a-Day, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a screenwriter.

Sebastián H. Páramo has published poems in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of The Boiler and serves as poetry editor for Deep Vellum. He lives in Texas.

Jane Wong is the author of the memoir Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City (Tin House, 2023). She also wrote two poetry collections: How to Not Be Afraid of Everything (Alice James, 2021) and Overpour (Action Books, 2016). A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from the U.S. Fulbright Program, Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, Artist Trust, Hedgebrook, UCross, Loghaven, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and others. An interdisciplinary artist as well, she has exhibited her poetry installations and performances at the Frye Art Museum, Richmond Art Gallery, and the Asian Art Museum. She grew up in a take-out restaurant on the Jersey shore and is an Associate Professor at Western Washington University.

About Northwestern University Press and Curbstone Books:

Curbstone Books is an innovative and award-winning line of books in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry that promote human rights, social justice, and intercultural understanding. Founded in 1975 by Judith Doyle and Alexander “Sandy” Taylor, the original Curbstone Press operated for thirty years and garnered numerous national and regional accolades. In 2008, Curbstone Press joined Northwestern University Press and became the Curbstone Books imprint, where it is a home for work which explores contemporary politics and issues of equity in craft-forward, literary works across all genres.


November 2, 2023
6:30 pm–9:00 pm


Rose City Book Pub
1329 NE Fremont St
Portland, 97212 United States
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