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News Release
Main room
Main room
PCC opens first community college writing residency in U.S. (Photo) - 10/12/21

TIGARD, Ore. – A first-of-its-kind program opened this fall at Portland Community College.

The Carolyn Moore Writing Residency is the first and only writing residency to be hosted by a community college in the United States. Located in Tigard near PCC’s Sylvania Campus, this residency program offers emerging writers time to focus on developing a written work while also providing students the opportunity to meet and interact with talented writers from across the country.

Established and emerging writers of all genres will be offered variable-length stays (typically 3-8 weeks) at the house to complete their projects. The writers will have the opportunity to visit a class or two per stay, as well as give a reading to the PCC community. In addition, there are plans to integrate the recently launched PCC Writer/Artist-in-Residency Program for college faculty with the Carolyn Moore Writers House programming.

Since PCC is in a “sustained reopening” phase, all class visits will be virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This residency is completely unique,” said Justin Rigamonti, who serves as the house’s coordinator and is a writing instructor at the Cascade Campus. “Usually programs like these only exist at elite universities.

“This will be a game-changer for our vibrant creative writing program, which is full of highly-skilled and innovative writers who often lack resources and connections to the larger literary community,” he continued. “This will change that.”

In 2020, the 2,500-square-foot residency was gifted by the estate of award-winning poet and educator Carolyn Moore to the PCC Foundation and the college’s Humanities and Arts Council. The house features two wings and each has a bedroom, a living space and a kitchen. There is also a large octagonal great room, all wood, in which small groups of students will gather to speak with visiting writers post-pandemic. 

This fall, programming begins with the first cohort of writing residents — National Book Award winner Justin Phillip Reed and poet Taylor Johnson, winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary, as well as a Lambda Literary Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. In January, current Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will have a short stay at the house.

The Carolyn Moore Writing Residency is streaming a live reading of the two writing residents from the rustic Great Room at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 28. For more information on this event, visit the council’s webpage.

“This is an incredible development at PCC and not just in terms of the size of the gift, but also in terms of the opportunity it presents for students,” said Andrew Cohen, chair of the council and English instructor at PCC. “Opportunities that community college students typically don’t have access to.”


About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 60,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

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