The next deadline for submission
of a grant application is June 15, 2019.






Barbara LaMorticella Will Receive the first
Soapstone Bread and Roses Award

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019

Click here for full details.

Click here to read Bob Hick's wonderful piece in ArtsWatch, March 4, 2019.


Study Groups Winter and Spring 2019

Reading Denise Levertov, led by Mimi Maduro
Four Saturday mornings, 10 to 1
March 9, 16, 23, and 30
ArtSpace Room, TaborSpace, 55th & SE Belmont

Reading Lucille Clifton, led by Lois Leveen
Four Saturday mornings, 10 to 1
April 13, 20, 27 and May 4
ArtSpace Room, TaborSpace, 55th & SE Belmont

The fee is $75; scholarships are available. The group is limited to 16. To register, send an email to, and a check made out to Soapstone, 622 SE 29th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214.

Click here to sign up for our monthly newsletter announcing upcoming study groups.


Reading Denise Levertov, led by Mimi Maduro

As a poet of both imagination and conscience, Denise Levertov continually examined and re-examined purpose, witness, and presence in the here and now.  Hers is a poetry of engagement where the precision of words matters. We will immerse ourselves in Levertov’s work across time and—over six decades beginning in England, the land of her birth in 1923 until her death in Seattle in 1997. We will explore her poetry through the lens of her celebration of mystery and political activism.  Through Levertov’s essays we will learn about her inspirations and perspectives on craft. We will listen to each other read poems of hers that move and resonate within us.  

Discovering Denise Levertov’s poetry and vision as an English Literature major in college was a pivotal moment of awakening in my life. This spark spawned a lifelong enchantment reading, studying and collecting Levertov’s poetry, essays, and letters. It’s a body of vibrant work I return to again and again.
The text will be The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov.  Published by New Directions. 2013. Edited by Paul A. Lacey and Anne Dewey.  Some additional essays, letters and articles will be provided as PDFs.  

Mimi Maduro is a member of the 29th Street Writers in Portland, and the Calliope Poets in the Columbia Gorge. She teaches classes in facilitation and in management fundamentals at Columbia Gorge Community College. These days she is focused on organizing and editing a manuscript of her poems spanning the past twenty-five years.   


Reading Lulcille Clifton’s Poetry, led by Lois Leveen

Every poet lives within the realm of language, stitching words together to make meaning.  But few have done it with the concise clarity of Lucille Clifton.  During a prolific writing career that spanned decades in which the women’s movement and the Civil Rights movement allowed the personal to be both political and poetic, Clifton wrote short, sharp, powerful poems.  Hundreds of them.   

In this group, we will delve into close reading of poems, exploring how Clifton crafted such emotionally potent work.  And we will luxuriate in reading as many Clifton poems as we possibly can, to examine what themes and styles persisted and what evolved over the course of Clifton’s work.

Text:  The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, Rochester, BOA Editions, 2012 ISBN 978-1-934414-90-3

Lois Leveenis the author of the novels Juliet’s Nurse and The Secrets of Mary Bowser. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals and anthologies, and has been inscribed on a hospital wall.  A former faculty member at UCLA and Reed College, Lois holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and UCLA, and was a 2017 Kienle Scholar in Medical Humanities at Penn State University College of Medicine.  Lois has written about intersections of literature, history, and culture for The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.


To be notified about these programs and those of many other literary organizations, sign up for our bi-weekly community email announcements that come out every other week with information about readings, workshops and opportunities for readers and writers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. If you only want to hear about the study groups, sign up here.

For a complete list of study groups, events and grants awarded, please click here to see or download a PDF.


Soapstone provides grants to support ad hoc events and short-term study groups that introduce or offer the opportunity to delve into the work of women writers. All events and study groups are open to the public. Events are free of charge; there is a small fee for study groups, with scholarships available. The application process is simple and the time between applying and notification short.

Click here for general information about the grants.
Click here for information about applying for an event grant.
Click here for information about applying for a study group grant.