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Notable Portland: 2/23–3/1

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Thursday 2/23: Celebrate the launch of Mercy Strongheart’s debut novel, A Boy Named Trout, with a live reading complete with snacks and beverages. 20% of book sales will go to the p:ear gallery. p:ear, 6:30 p.m., free.

Enjoy a free writing sampler on women writing for (a) change.

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Notable San Francisco: 2/22–2/28

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Wednesday 2/22: John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van) reads from his new novel, Universal Harvester. Free, 7:30 p.m., Booksmith.

Roof Books presents David Buuck (Co-Founder and Editor of Tripwire), Jean Day (The Triumph of Life), and Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution Laura Moriarty (Who That Divines).

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This Week in Essays

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For Guernica, Carmen Maria Machado writes about cultural myths around large women and fighting to take up space with her body and her mind.

Woe be to those who buy the Peggy couch. Anna Hezel pens a hilarious “buyer beware” at The Awl.

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Notable Los Angeles: 2/20–2/26

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Monday 2/20: Brian David Johnson discusses and signs MWD: Hell Is Coming Home. 7 p.m. at Book Soup.

Tuesday 2/21: Literary Uprising, featuring Ashaki M. Jackson, and Carol V. Davis. 6 p.m. in Room A1000 at Antioch University.

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Notable Twin Cities: 2/19–2/25

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Sunday 2/19: Co-founder of Milkweed Editions and poet Emilie Buchwald will feature at Literary Witnesses, held in the Plymouth Congregational Church. Buchwald will read from her newest collection of poetry, The Moment’s Only Moment. 12 p.m., free.

Tuesday 2/21: Carol Connolly’s series Reading by Writers continues with a tribute to Charles Bukowski.

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Notable NYC: 2/18–2/24

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Saturday 2/18: Ryan Dobran and Wendy Letterman join the Segue Series. Zinc Bar, 4:30 p.m., $5.

Kristen Gallagher and Ed Steck celebrate new books from Skeleton Man Press. The Glove, 6 p.m., free.

Sunday 2/19: Elizabeth Hall and Melissa Buzzeo read poetry.

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Notable Chicago: 2/17–2/23

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Friday 2/17: Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin’s parents, will discuss Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Tickets are $15–20 and are available here.

Saturday 2/18: Head to Township for Wit Rabbit Weekend #11!

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, Joyland has a new story from poet and fiction writer Joanna C. Valente about gender, sexual intercourse, and sexual violence. Their story, “You’re Gonna Scream When You Die,” opens with a scene that immediately backs up the dire tone of the title.

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That’s What She Said

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Have you submitted a piece to “Funny Women” and it wasn’t quite the right fit for the column? Have you always wanted to write for “Funny Women” or Daily Shouts or McSweeney’s Internet Tendency? Our very own Funny Women Editor Elissa Bassist is teaching another two-day workshop at Catapult, so if you missed out in the fall, now is your chance to learn from the best!

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Notable San Francisco: 2/15–2/21

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Wednesday 2/15: Simone White (House Envy of All the World) reads for the Holloway Series at UC Berkeley. Free, 6:30 p.m., UC Berkeley Hearst Annex.

Min Jin Lee (Pachinko) reads her novel about generations of a Korean family.

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This Week in Essays

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Through her work with Doctors Without Borders, Caitlin L. Chandler offers us a glimpse of what life is like on the Syrian border for Guernica.

For Real Life magazine, Christopher Schaberg examines the symbolism of airports as “fraught borderlands” perfect for a protest.

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This Week in Indie Bookstores

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Stocking backlist titles helps some bookstores differentiate themselves.

Harvard Book Store has set up a section commemorating the Bowling Green Massacre.

A Florida bookstore has become a source of food for those in need, serving as a Little Free Pantry.

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Notable Los Angeles: 2/13–2/19

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Monday 2/13: Stephen Kinzer discusses and signs The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire. 7 p.m. at Vroman’s Bookstore.

How to Write Romance: A Special Valentine’s Day Panel. Featuring panelists Laurelin Paige, CD Reiss, and Vanessa Fewings.

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Notable NYC: 2/11–2/17

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Saturday 2/11: Immigrant Rally: Here to Stay. Washington Square Park, 2 p.m., free.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi and Jennifer Scappettone join the Segue Series. Zinc Bar, 4:30 p.m., $5.

Sunday 2/12: Nicole Fix, Joanna C. Valente, Fraylie Nord, and Yardenne Greenspan join the Sundays at Erv’s reading series.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, C Pam Zhang has a flash fiction story at The Offing that is maybe about vampires but probably about girls, Chinese girls in particular. “Are They Vampires, or Are They Just Chinese?” is written in five brief paragraphs of atmospheric prose that is beautiful and barbed at the same time, like cotton candy wrapped around a railroad spike, or like girls.

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Notable Chicago: 2/10–2/16

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Friday 2/10: The Odes for You tour, featuring Shira Erlichman and Angel Nafis, comes to Women & Children First! 7:30 p.m., free.

Saturday 2/11: Sho Sugita reads from his translation of Spiral Staircase, the first definitive volume of Hirato Renkichi’s poems to appear in English.

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Notable Portland: 2/9–2/15

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Thursday 2/9: Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams and The Gin Closet, reads from her latest work for the Reed College Visiting Writers Series. Eliot Chapel, 6:30 p.m., free.

In fraught times, AK Press comes forward with a launch reading for its latest release, Against the Fascist Creep.

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