PEN America & Lit Crawl Portland Present: Sample Me


When entering a drug store’s beauty aisle, you’re confronted with skincare labels and color palettes that don’t blend into reality: dry, oily, combination; apricot, chestnut, espresso; and more. PEN America featured at Lit Crawl Portland: Phase 1 at Aesop West End with Sample Me, a reading on the worst thing writers have ever done to or put on their skin. Featuring Brandon Jordan BrownJanet W. Hardy, and Julayne Lee.

“When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.” —Virginia Woolf

Brandon Jordan Brown is an Alabama-born poet living in Portland, Oregon. He is a 2014 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, winner of the 2016 Orison Anthology Poetry Prize, and his poetry-film “XOXO” was a recent selection at Cadence: A Video Poetry Festival. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Journal; RHINO Poetry; Yemassee; Birmingham Poetry Review; Forklift, Ohio; and elsewhere.

Janet W. Hardy is a provocative American sex educator and one of the leading authors and publishers on alternative sexualities including BDSM, polyamory, and alternative gender/orientation expression. Author of 12 books, including her notorious and groundbreaking guide to polyamory and open relationships, The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities (coauthored with Dossie Easton), and upcoming memoir, Impervious: Confessions of a (semi-)Retired Deviant, Hardy has been one of the most infectious and compelling voices of consensual non-monogamy and the pursuit of (ethical) pleasure for more than 20 years.

Julayne Lee is an overseas adopted Korean American poet, essayist, artivist, art curator, and producer. Her debut collection of poems, Not My White Savior (Rare Bird, 2018), was on BookTrib’s list, “A Year of Memories: 15 New Memoirs We Can’t Wait to Read This Year,” and Bitch Media’s “Bitchreads: 15 Books Feminists Should Read in March.” Not My White Savior was included in the 2018 Poets House Showcase in New York, their 26th annual exhibition of the nation’s poetry books. A Las Dos Brujas and VONA alum, Julayne’s poems and writing have been published or are forthcoming in several journals, including Cultural Weekly, Korean Quarterly, The Nervous Breakdown, Portside, Uri Shinmun, Zoom Info Korea, and The Alliance for the Study of Adoption & Culture 2018 Special Issue. Cofounder of Adoptee Solidarity Korea—Los Angeles (ASK-LA), she also volunteered with the Adoptee Rights Campaign (ARC) to ensure citizenship for all adoptees. She’s read and spoken on adoption at universities and symposiums throughout the United States and Korea, and now splits her time between the San Francisco bay area and Los Angeles. When she’s not writing or at a literary event, Julayne enjoys stand up paddleboarding (SUP), travel, films, Korean dramas, and cupcakes. @julayneelle