Hey, better sit down: We have some big important stuff to talk about!
‘George’ Comes To Oregon Battle of the Books — 1:20
Some schoolkids are laying in the titles they need to read for next fall’s Oregon Battle of the Books, or OBOB. It’s a statewide competition. Kids read a list of about dozen books.They write Jeopardy-style questions about what they read, and try to stump each other. One of this year’s selections is unlike any other before. The novel “George” by Alex Gino is the first OBOB selection to feature a transgender protagonist.
“Books are both windows and mirrors for kids.” — librarian Korie Buerkle
Arthur and Katherine Bradford: Shared History And Creative Vision — 7:20
Painter Katherine Bradford has a new solo show called “Magenta Nights” on view at Adams and Ollman Gallery in Portland. Her son, Arthur, is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Portland, and author of the short story collection “Turtleface and Beyond.” As Katherine’s star has risen in the New York art world, they’ve been talking more about each other’s work, and their shared creative history. We sat down with them in 2016.
“I look at her paintings and there’s something powerful and weird and primal. When you talk about a connection between our work, I do think it’s that weirdness.” — Arthur Bradford
Typhoon Goes Dark with ‘Offerings’ — 17:26
The band Typhoon is kicking its tour into overdrive for summer. This 10-piece outfit, fronted by Salem native Kyle Morton, plays with such finesse and ferocity, never shying away from scary or difficult subjects. But their new release, “Offerings,” finds Morton going to stranger and darker places than ever. This band has never lacked for ambition, but the high-concept music in “Offerings” raises the bar. Like some Radiohead records, it can be a challenging listen but it’s something you can go back to again and again, finding something different each time. Typhoon joined us for a special opbmusic session in January, just as the album was released.
“I think we’re at a point where we need to be able to remember certain things and when you can’t remember certain lessons of history, you make way for a more dangerous way of thinking. I try to do that in the record a little bit.” — Kyle Morton
Fighting Displacement with a ‘Left Hook’ — 32:26
Seventy years ago, the Columbia River jumped its banks at Oregon’s second largest city, Vanport, destroying tens of thousands of homes for working class people, many of whom were African-Americans. The Vanport Mosaic Festival begins on Wednesday — it’s a place for Portland to consider those losses through art and storytelling. Festival founder Damaris Webb is directing the premier of premier Rich Rubin’s play “Left Hook” at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center — itself once a home to boxers in training.”
“The relocation of an entire neighborhood almost becomes a conceptual idea — there’s so many individuals affected … When you spend two hours with a family and understand how a series of events directly impacted them, it gives you a bit more traction into the comprehension how that could be for an entire community.” — Damaris Webb, director
War Memories, Liberty Ships and Vanport’s Climate Refugees with Henk Pander — 36:40
The eminent Oregon painter Henk Pander was barely a preschooler in the Netherlands when WWII began, but he remembers the ships that sailed from America bringing food and hope. He started thinking about the North Portland shipyards and the Vanport flood around 2015 and imagined some of those scenes for an exhibition that’s another part of the Vanport Mosaic Festival.
“Being an immigrant, you start sort of paying attention to the world you’re living in and the world you left behind. So in that sense, I became interested in the sort of things imprinted in the American landscape that sort of echoed my experiences when I was a child.” — Henk Pander
Oregon’s new poet laureate, Kim Stafford
Oregon poet Kim Stafford has been chosen as Oregon’s next poet laureate. Stafford will take the baton from Central Oregon’s Elizabeth Woody, who has gracefully held the post since 2016.
Edtior’s note: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that the Vanport Mosaic Festival is the presenting sponsor of the play “Left Hook.” OPB regrets this error.