Why Portland?

Portland is a vibrant, beautiful, literary city.

A former logging and port town, Portland today is a culture, and food, and bike and book-focused city, a gem of the Pacific Northwest, which is perhaps why so many writers have called, or currently call, Portland “home”—like Cheryl Strayed (Wild), Ursula Le Guin (The Farthest Shore), Beverly Cleary (Ramona Quimby, Age 8), Katherine Dunn (Geek Love), Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), and on and on.

At Lewis & Clark, a private college with a public conscience, two National Book Award winning poets, William Stafford and Mary Szybist, have taught or currently teach here. Even more, Kim Stafford, the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark, was named Oregon’s Poet Laureate by Governor In the field In the field  Kate Brown in 2018.

Lewis & Clark is only ten minutes from the excitement of the urban core of progressive Portland. Participants in the Fir Acres Writing Workshop visit some of Portland’s best attractions for inspiration and for fun, too—like Powell’s City of Books, Blue Star Donut, or Salt and Straw ice cream.

The college is located on a beautiful 137-acre campus in suburban Portland, just minutes from downtown, and nestled beside Tryon Creek Natural Area, a wondrous 650-acre state park.  

The Lewis & Clark campus is sited on a former estate, the home of M. Lloyd Frank, a department store owner, and his wife, Edna Levy Frank. The estate was designed by Herman Brookman, an architect and landscape designer. The Franks named their home “Fir Acres” due to the tall firs around the property. Today, fir trees still stand around the original estate buildings and gardens that have been incorporated into the campus.