The Unchaste Readers are women aged 14 to 71 who have read at Unchaste Readers Series between April 2012 and now. Unchaste is about creating a community, promoting writing that takes risks, that shows the raw, vulnerable, ecstatic, complicated lives of women, gender non-binary and gender-noncomforming - nearly anyone/everyone except CIS men.
They have been all kinds of sexual-preference-spectrum/woman-gender-spectrum/race/ethnicity/social-economic-politic status-in-the-hierarchy-patriarchy/experience/survivor/not-as-much-survivor/writing-reading-speaking-singing-playing-music forms. It’s been such a pleasure to meet so many talented, interesting, interested women. I hear rumors and rumblings around me – women wanting/whispering/gossiping/screeching/digressing/disagreeing/name-calling/story-identity-stealing/myth-mistifying/labeling me. So what? So. Be wanting. Be whispering. Be gossiping (which is sharing of information). Be screeching. Digress. Disagree. Name-call and label. Make a mythology. Tell stories. Just point it in the direction of loving and caring for all women.
On Talking Earth, KBOO – Leah Rainer, Brenda Taulbee, and Camille Perry
Literary Arts interviewed Unchaste Curator, Jenny Forrester. Starting with this question: What was your inspiration for the creation of Unchaste Readers?
Answer: I’ve always wanted to be involved in a community of women artists, but I’d envisioned living on the land in yurts and having composting toilets. Running a reading series is a lot easier and just as fun. I’m also dead serious.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Judy Osello wrote this about us!
Unchaste Readers creates and recreates itself bimonthly (sometimes more often) on the 3rd Tuesday in Portland, Oregon, location varies.
Women read their minds for a set time. They speak of finding and losing all of the things that women find and lose. They hold our hands as they tell hard stories that they’ve survived or ar still surviving. They make us laugh at them and at ourselves in the kindest, most creative ways. They read us poetry and prose and share their music. They speak to us using words and hands. They let us write on their skirts and they carry our burdens away. They give us Dragon Wheels and take us on journeys with maps to places that only they know about.
Doors open at 6:45. Shows to begin at 7:00 p.m., sharp-ish
I am unchaste because I don’t know how to be anything else.
I take up space in this world as a passionate friend and sister and daughter.
I am a woman who was raised by and with other unchaste women. Unchaste doesn’t call names or judge you for your history. Unchaste wants you raw and up front and proud. Unchaste scratches her chest open for her words like blood and loves like fire.
I am all of these things. I am incredibly heartbreaking and mildly narcissistic and would never want to be anything else. – Nina Rockwell, Unchaste Readers Series Reader
The schedule for 2017:
January 18, 2017, Literary Arts, Portland, OR
February 15, 2017, Literary Arts, Portland, OR
March 15, 2017, Literary Arts, Portland, OR
April 19, 2017: Multigenerational Voices of Black Women
May/June: Taking time off for the book tour (see Jenny Forrester's tour with her debut memoir Narrow River, Wide Sky - western states at Hawthorne Books: http://hawthornebooks.com/calendar)
July 19, 2017
August 16, 2017
September 20, 2017: Unchaste Trans Women and Femmes
October 18, 2017
November 15, 2017
December 20, 2017
Please note that all Unchaste Readings will contain difficult content that people should be aware could be triggering. Please make sure you know that ahead of time as readers will not always announce the content or its structure. Audience members are invited to self care by taking a break from a reading, asking for support, or by leaving altogether without judgment. Content is not censored except for the seven minute time limit.
Third Wednesdays of the following months and located at Literary Arts, Portland, except where otherwise noted:
January 20, 7:00 p.m. show begins
February 17, Multigenerational Voices of Black Women Reading, 7:00 p.m. show begins
March 16, 7:00 p.m. show begins
AWP Los Angeles offsite reading – TBA
May 18, 7:00 p.m. show begins
June 15: Unchaste Pride Reading
July 20, 7:00 p.m. show begins
September 21, 7:00 p.m. show begins
October 19, 7:00 p.m. show begins
November 23: Unchaste Women of Color Reading, 7:00 p.m. show begins
The schedule for 2015:
January 20 – The Knock Back Bar
March 17 – The American Legion on Alberta
April 2 – The American Legion on Alberta
May 19 – The American Legion on Alberta
Tuesday, June 16 – The Local Lounge
Tuesday, July 21 – The American Legion
Wednesday, August 12 – In Other Words Bookstore
Tuesday, September 15 – The American Legion
Wednesday, October 14 – Literary Arts, 7:00 p.m. show begins
Wednesday, November 18 – Literary Arts, 7:00 p.m. show begins
The schedule for 2014:
January 21st – Blue Monk
March 18th – Blue Monk
May 20th – Jack London Bar
June 12th – LitHop PDX, Alberta Street location TBA
July 15th – Jack London Bar
August 9th – Unchaste University, St. Johns Booksellers, 3 to 5 p.m.
August 19th – Crush Bar, open mic, 7:30
September 16th – The Knock Back Bar, 2315 NE Alberta St.
November 18th – The Knock Back Bar, 2315 NE Alberta St.
Come join us.
Our first event was a smashing success on April 17, 2012 at the Blue Monk on Belmont Street in Portland, OR. I update the website regularly with upcoming event information and interviews of Unchaste Women.
Dena Rash Guzman helped co-found Unchaste and left in May of 2013 to pursue other projects, including publishing two books: Life Cycle and Joseph. All the best to her. We, Unchaste, owe Dena a debt of gratitude for her past contributions.
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