Upcoming Events

Past Events

November 8, 2011 7:30 PM

Jewish Voices:  Annual Reading by Jewish Writers and Poets

Oregon Jewish Museum

Portland, OR

November 7 — December 12, 2011, 6:30pm–8:30pm

Breaking the Yoke: The Anti-Slavery Literature that Changed America

Literary Arts

Portland, OR

Can literature really change society–start a war–set four million people free? Examine the political and emotional impact of great writing in this seminar on Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. As we read the most popular novel and the most powerful slave narrative of nineteenth-century America, participants will explore the social and cultural contexts that shaped, and were shaped by, these great works of literature.
December 8, 2011, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Artist Talk and Happy Hour

Portland Art Museum

Portland, OR

Discussion of the recasting of American history in contemporary art and literature, from The Secrets of Mary Bowser to the mixed-media sculpture of award-winning Native American artist Marie Watt.
January 30-February 1, 2012

Our Cup Runneth Over

Jewish Women's Theater

Los Angeles

Tickets are on-sale for this four-part series
I have a lot to give thanks for . . . including director Ellyn Gersh Lerner's invitation to write a theater script. I've just turned a 15-page comic prose memoir with 10 characters into a one-act play with four characters. Drama! Comedy! Learning how to format a script! The theme of the series is gratitude, and my twist is kind of gratitude with attitude. Hope you can catch this show about what happens to a group of college friends when the first of them has a baby. On Thanksgiving Day.
February 7, March 7, April 3, and April 24, 2012

Making History

Canby Public Library

Canby, Oregon

Don't you the love the library? I do. And I'm delighted to be leading this four-part series about history and the materials historians use to learn about the past.
Picturing History Examining portraits as historical evidence.
Mapping History Reading maps as historical evidence.
Posting History Examining correspondence of key historical figures as historical evidence.
The Story of History Explore how historians construct narratives out of historical evidence and how the choices a historian makes in selecting sources can shape what comes to be accepted fact about America's past.
February 21-March 13, 2012, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Everybody Reads: The Literary Lineage of Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

Literary Arts

Portland, OR

What can a coming-of-age story set in contemporary Portland tell us about hundreds of years of American and European art and literature—from the engravings of William Blake to novels of the Harlem Renaissance? As part of Multnomah County’s 2012 Everybody Reads program, this seminar offers readers an opportunity to share a deeper exploration of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. The novel explores a young woman’s struggle to understand how her biracial lineage shapes who she is and what she does. Together, we’ll examine the literary and artistic lineage that shapes this powerful novel.
March 11, 2012

Poetry Out Loud

Oregon Arts Commission

Portland, Oregon

I am oiling up my trochees and polishing off my anapests in preparation for serving as a judge for Poetry Out Loud.
This wonderful program gives teens a chance to fall in love with poetry through performance.
April 21, 2012, 3:45 p.m.

Oregon Poetry Association

Clackamas Community College

I'll be reading with other winners of a statewide poetry competition.
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 2:00 p.m.

Telling Secrets:  Mary Bowser, Black Civil War Spy

Central Library

Multnomah County Library
801 SW 10th Avenue

Do you ever wonder how authors weave facts into fiction? As part of Multnomah County Library's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'll be discussing the inspirational true story behind The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
May 18, 2012, 7:30 pm

Kick-Off Reading

Powells City of Books

Portland, Oregon

I'll be reading and signing copies of The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
May 22, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

Third Place Books

Lake Forest Park, Washington

Reading and book signing for The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
May 24, 7 pm


Birmingham, Alabama

757 Brookwood Village

May 31, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

St. Helens Book Shop

St. Helens, Oregon

Reading and signing for The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
June 9-10

Publishers Row


June 19, 2012, 6:30-8:00 pm

Telling Secrets:  Mary Bowser, a Black Civil War Spy

Canby Public Library

Canby, Oregon

Do you ever wonder how authors weave facts into fiction? Join me for a discussion of the inspirational true story behind The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
June 24, 2012

American Library Association

American Library Association

Anaheim, California

July 13, 2012, 7:30 pm

Wy’East Book Shoppe

Welches, Oregon

July 17, 2012, 7:00 pm

Broadway Books

Portland, Oregon

July 26, 2012, 7:00 pm

Books, Inc.


1760 4th St.

July 27, 2012

Napa Valley Writers Conference

Napa Valley Writers Conference

July 28, 2012, 2:00 pm

Telling Secrets:  Mary Bowser, Black Civil War Spy

African American Museum & Library at Oakland

659 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

Do you ever wonder how authors weave facts into fiction? As part of AAMLO's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'll be discussing the inspirational true story behind The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
July 29, 2012, 2:00 pm

Telling Secrets:  Mary Bowser, Black Civil War Spy

Museum of the African Diaspora

685 Mission Street (at Third)
San Francisco, California

Explore what the story of Mary Bowser reveals about black history.
August 3-5, 2012

Willamette Writers Conference

Willamette Writers Conference

September 13, 2012

Lewis and Clark College

Departments of English, Gender Studies, and Ethnic Studies

September 28-30, 2012

Historical Novel Society

University of Westminster

October 13


Wordstock is the Pacific Northwest’s premier venue for writers, books, and storytellers

Panel, There's Nothing Like Your First, 11:00 AM on the Faceout Studios Stage
Reading, 2:00 PM on the Work for Art Stage
Panel, Lives of Others, 4:00 PM on the McMenamins
Thursday, October 18, 2012, 7 pm

Seaside Library

Seaside, Oregon

October 25, 2012, 3:30-5:00

Writing So Good You Can Taste It

Lower Columbia College

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 7 pm

Northwest Voices

Longview Public Library

Library talk open to the public, 7:00
November 1, 2012

Jewish Book Month Speaker

Three Creeks Community Library

800-C NE Tenney Road
Vancouver, WA

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lost and Found Stories: African Americans in Northern Virginia

George Mason University

Keynote speaker at the annual symposium on black history in Northern Virginia. This event is open to the public as well as the campus community.
November 9, 2012

From Academia to the End-Cap at Target:  Putting Your Ph.D. to Work by Bringing Humanities Research

George Washington University

November 17, 2012


Featured guest on LiveWire! radio program.

Attend the live taping of LiveWire! http://www.livewireradio.org/attend_a_live_show
Friday, November 30, 2012

Historical Fiction in the Pacific Northwest

Salem Public Library

December 18, 4-7 pm

Oregon Humanities

The Cleaners/Ace Hotel

1022 SW Stark Street

Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:30 pm

What Difference Does Difference Make?  Race, Social Justice, and Jewish American Literature

Temple Beth Israel

Skokie, Illinois

This talk is part of Temple Beth Israel's yearlong exploration of the theme "Making a difference, one day at a time, one act at a time."
January 18, 2013

Pritzker Military Library

Pritzker Military Library

Chicago, IL

Lunchtime talk on Mary Bowser and Civil War espionage
January 23, 2013

Loyola University

Departments of English and Women's Studies

Chicago, IL

January 28, 4 pm

Telling Secrets: Mary Bowser, Race, Gender, and American History

DePaul University

Rosati Room 300, Richardson Library 2350, North Kenmore Ave., Chicago IL

February 12, 7 pm

University of Detroit-Mercy

Black History Month event

February 18, 2013

Giving Voice to Black History

Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana

February 21 1pm-3pm

Bonneville Power Administration

Learning from Mary Bowser: Workplace Diversity Talk

February 23, 2013, 3:00 pm

Orca Books

Olympia, Washington

February 26, 2013

Luncheon Lecture

Oregon Area Jewish Committee

$15/person includes lunch and drinks
$5/person includes drinks only
The Law Offices of Miller Nash, LLP
111 SW Fifth Ave, 34th Floor, Portland, OR 97204
Parking Validation Provided
February 26, 4 pm
March 12, 4 pm
April 2, 6:30 pm
April 16, 6:30 pm

Civil War 150:  A Community Comes Together to Understand a Nation Torn Apart

Canby Public Library

I'll be leading a series of community discussions about the Civil War and its legacy.
March 7

First Novel Panel

Pacific University

March 20, 7 pm

Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

International English Honor Society

I'm honored to be the kick-off speaker welcoming 900 faculty and student members of the international English honor society to their annual convention.
March 21, 2013

University of Portland

Departments of English and History

March 28, 2013, 6:30 pm

Women Hold Up Half the Sky

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

50 East Freedom Way
Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati celebrates Women's History Month with a tribute to Mary Bowser.
As the country marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) invites members of the public to a fascinating Women's History Month program about Mary Bowser, a Union spy who posed as a slave in the Confederate White House during the Civil War. Lois Leveen, author of THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER (HarperCollins/William Morrow) will share this little known history as part of NURFC's "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" exhibition, which tells stories of women from around the globe who have changed their lives through education, economics, and self-determination.
April 3, 7 pm

Whose Civil War?  Black History, Women’s History, and the Becker Collection Drawings

Reed College

Vollum Lecture Hall
Portland, Oregon

April 4, 11, 18, and 25

Do You See What I’m Saying? Carrie Mae Weems and Her Literary Sisters

Portland Art Museum

I'm delighted to be leading this program in conjunction with a major retrospective of Carrie Mae Weems. Born and raised in the heart of Portland’s African American community, Carrie Mae Weems is one of the most significant artists working today. In this four session series, participants will explore themes of race, family, and history in Weems’ art, and in work by contemporary black women writers.
April 6, 2013

The Future of Richmond’s Past

The Museum of the Confederacy

I'll be joining President of the University of Richmond Ed Ayers and Elizabeth Varon, author of *Southern Lady, Yankee Spy* the definitive biography of Bet Van Lew, for a discussion at the former White House of the Confederacy (aka the Gray House).
April 8, 11:30 am

Telling Secrets: Mary Bowser, Race, Gender, and American History

Randolph-Macon College

April 8, 5:00 pm

Telling Secrets: Mary Bowser, Race, Gender, and American History at VSU

Virginia State University

April 12, 2013

June Key Delta Community Center

Fundraiser for a wonderful Portland group.

April 20, 2013

Kalama Word Catcher

Featured author

Kalama, Washington

I'm delighted to participate in this benefit for the Kalama Public Library
May 15, 6:30 pm

Learning from History: a conversation with Lois Leveen, educator and author

Allen Temple CME Church (co-sponsored by City Club of Portland, the Urban League, and First Unitarian Church of Portland)

4236 NE 8th Ave, Portland, OR

The Secrets of Mary Bowser is based on the true story of a woman born into slavery, freed and educated in the North, who returned to the South and became a Union spy in the Confederate White House. Named one of the top 10 books of 2012 by The Oregonian, the novel is introducing readers across the country to little known aspects of American history, and to a real-life African American heroine. In this conversation, author and education expert Lois Leveen will discuss how the history behind the novel offers important lessons for the twenty-first century, particularly how Mary Bowser's journey from slavery to freedom can serve as a model as we work to achieve educational equity for all young people in Portland.

There is no need to read the book before the program, although copies are available at area bookstores and will be on sale at the event. The event is appropriate for middle school and high school students as well as for adults. Advanced RSVPs are appreciated but not required --Call City Club's Reservation Line 503-228-7231, Ext. 110
May 23, 6 pm

Meet the Author

Newberry Library


June 5

Nook Farm Author Talk and Book Club

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

77 Forest Street, Hartford, CT

July 12-14, 2013

American History Weekend

Josephine Community Library

September 9, 2013 through October 22, 2013

Pageturners at Multnomah County Library

Guest speaker at 10 Multnomah County Branch Libraries

Monday, September 09, 6:30 pm at St. Johns Meeting Room

Wednesday, September 11, 6:30 pm at Belmont Meeting Room

Tuesday, September 17, 6:30 pm at North Portland Meeting Room

Thursday, September 19, 6:30 pm at Hollywood Meeting Room

Tuesday, October 08, 2013, 6:45 pm at Capitol Hill Meeting Room

Thursday, October 10, 2:00 pm at Gresham Library

Monday, October 14, 6:30 pm at Troutdale Meeting Room

Tuesday, October 15, 6:30 pm at Kenton Meeting Room

Wednesday, October 16, 1:00 pm at Midland Library

Tuesday, October 22, 6:30 pm at Fairview-Columbia Meeting Room

October 3

Linfield College

Visiting Writers Program

October 9, 7:30 pm

Portland State University Civil War Roundtable

Cramer Hall Rm 494

December 5, 2013

Visiting Writers

Hamilton College

January 17, 2014

MLK Day Keynote Talk

Roosevelt High School

February 5, 2014

Visible and Invisible Meanings of Blackness: Mary Bowser as Slave, Spy, and Subject of History

Universidad de Costa Rica

February 25, 2014

Author Talk and Book Signing

University of Oregon

April 3, 2014

What Happens Between the Covers: Writing Premodern Desire

Framing Premodern Desires: Between Sexuality, Sin and Crime

Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

I've been invited to do a kickoff talk for this amazing conference. I'll be speaking about sexual and maternal desire in my forthcoming novel JULIET'S NURSE. Should be hot as a Finnish sauna!
April 21-27

Putting the “Where” into “Wherefore Art Thou”

Shakespeare 450

The Société Française Shakespeare
Paris, France

May 10, 2014

“An I should live a thousand years”:  JULIET’S NURSE and Medieval Women’s Lives

International Congress on Medieval Studies

Western Michigan University

A presentation detailing some of the medieval and Renaissance history behind my new novel, JULIET'S NURSE.
May 9, 2014

Faking It

The 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Western Michigan University

I'm thrilled to be joining a roundtable of medievalists (HRH Medieval King Arthur did come up with the whole roundtable idea, didn't he?) to discuss how novel writing allows me "fake" (i.e. sneak in without anyone notice) some lessons introducing 21st-century readers to medieval life.
June 21, 2014

Oregon Historical Society

Join me for this discussion of Abraham Lincoln, Mary Bowser, and historical fiction, presented in conjunction with OHS' Lincoln exhibit.

September 9, 2 pm


Blog Talk Radio

Want a sneak-peek, or rather, sneak-listen, about JULIET'S NURSE?
Tune in for this live interview, or listen online anytime after 2pm.
Thanks to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association for inviting me!
September 23

JULIET’S NURSE book release / reading

Powell's City of Books

1005 W Burnside
Portland OR

Happy birthday to my new book! Please come celebrate and hear me read at Powell's Books, Inc. on Burnside. We sold out the store for the kickoff reading of THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER, let's see whether you love William Shakespeare as much as you love the Civil War.
September 24

Third Place Books

Third Place Books

17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA

September 25

Eagle Harbor Books

Eagle Harbor Books

157 Winslow Way E
Bainbridge Island, WA

Reading and book signing.
September 26, 12 pm

Celebration of Authors

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

Tacoma, Washington

September 26-28

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

Tacoma, WA

I love indie bookstores, and that's why I cherish the chance to meet NW booksellers in person.
October 22, 7 pm

IFOA - Woodstock

IFOA at Knox Presbyterian Church

October 24, 7 pm

IFOA - Creemore

Creemore, Canada

October 24, 2 pm

Juliet’s Nurse:  Riffing on Romeo and Juliet to Share Research on Medieval and Renaissance Women’s

University of Toronto

October 26, 11 am

International Festival of Authors

Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

October 28, 7 pm

Broadway Books

Broadway Books

1714 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR

October 30, 7 pm

Winged: New Writing on Bees

Literary Arts

925 SW Washington St
Portland OR

Saturday, November 8, 6 pm

Paulina Springs Books

252 W Hood Ave
Sisters OR 97759

November 9, 2014, 2 pm

Second Sunday Author Series

Deschutes Public Library

601 N.W. Wall Street
Bend, OR

Wed. November 19, 6 pm

Juliet’s Nurse: Writing Premodern Desire

Boise State University
Interactive Learning Center, room 313

Thursday, November 20

Bishop Kelly High School

Boise, ID

Thursday, November 20

Borah High School

Boise, ID

November 20, 6 pm

Rediscovered Books

180 N. 8th St, Boise, Idaho

November 26-30

Writer’s Voice

Broadcasting throughout the US and Canada

December 7, 12-4 pm

Celebration of Oregon Authors

Oregon Historical Society

1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland OR

Buy local! Read local!
Support the Oregon Historical Society, a wonderful archive and museum serving our state.
Support local authors.
And stock up on great reads and great gifts.
January 17, 2015

Salem Book Club Day

Salem Public Library

January 20, 9 am

AM Northwest, KATU-TV

Helen's Book Club Pick

Juliet's Nurse is this month's on-air book club selection. Tune in Tuesday morning to watch Lois interviewed and hear what the audience says about the novel.
January 31, 2015

Write to Publish

Portland State University
Smith Memorial Union

I'm delighted to be speaking about writing and publishing at this fundraiser for Ooligan Press
February 11, noon

Shakespeare Enamorata

Clackamas Community College

This guest talk is hosted by Professor Taylor Donnelly and the Clackamas Community College's winter Shakespeare course, and it's open to all members of the CCC community.
February 12, 7 pm

Community Wide Read

Oregon City

Atkinson Church

I'm delighted that Oregon City has chosen JULIET'S NURSE for its 2015 Community-Wide Read.

The wonderful library director Maureen Cole and I have cooked up a series of great programs, including my author talk this evening. See their website for all the events.
February 13, 7 pm MT

Dialogue with Marcia Franklin

Idaho Public Television

February 19, 7 pm

Art & Architecture of Italy

"Community Reads" event

Atkinson Church, Oregon City

February 22, 2 pm

Portland Actors Conservatory—Audience Talk Back

Portland Actors Conservatory

1436 SW Montgomery St
Portland OR

Come see the Portland Actors Conservatory production of Romeo and Juliet, then join the audience discussion with the director, cast, and me about how we've each interpreted the characters and events in Shakespeare's most famous play.
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