Statement Regarding Why There Are Words Portland (WTAW PDX)

Since 2010, with the founding of the Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series in Sausalito, we’ve been building literary community, in the SF Bay Area, and across the country. Today, at eight branches across diverse regions of the US, WTAW hosts year-round reading events that bring writers and readers together, both local and traveling from afar, lovers of literature who gather in real life to celebrate the necessity and the power of words. Words that bring us together, that help us make unexpected new connections, that open our minds and hearts, and that inspire us to do more with our own words. To help grow this mission, three years ago, we launched WTAW Press, and incorporated as a nonprofit organization, which now oversees the national reading series as well as other programs for writers.

WTAW is a dynamic organization that relies on the generous efforts of our branch coordinators, interns, and volunteers to promote our activities. However, this past year, we became aware that at our branch in Portland, actions were taken in administration, scheduling, and use of organizational information that were inconsistent with proper stewardship of nonprofit management. These actions were conducted without our authorization, in a manner for which the organization is not responsible — and in a manner not at all consistent with the values of this organization. When WTAW learned of the matter, we made every attempt to intervene, through both administrative and legal means, and it is our aim to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. And while the responsible parties are no longer connected to WTAW, we understand their actions have impacted the literary community and created unnecessary confusion. We want the writers and audiences we serve to know they will always come first, and that WTAW is committed to each of the eight communities in which we hold our programming.

As writers ourselves, and literary citizens, we encourage and wholeheartedly support the growth of the literary community in all our branch locations. And as always, WTAW is committed to providing support to writers at all stages of their careers, to help them reach their audiences and build community with their fellow writers. We look forward to continuing to support and advocate for writers in Portland and across the country.