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Portland Monthly editor speaks at Cultural Forum

by: PHOTO COURTESY: RANDY GRAGG - Randy Gragg, taking a photo of himself at the Oregon Coast, appears at Ledding Library in Milwaukie this Thursday.Next up for the Ledding Library’s Cultural Forum on Thursday, March 7, is Randy Gragg, editor of Portland Monthly Magazine since spring 2009.

Laura Gamble, co-chairman for the cultural forum’s committee and a library board member, described Gragg as “a well-known Portland personality and such a good writer.”

“He has a critical eye and is so articulate; he is one of the most interesting personalities we have in this area. It is beneficial to society to have people like him who are capable of looking at things from a different perspective.”

Gragg worked for The Oregonian for nearly 20 years, writing about art, cultural politics, architecture and urban design and planning; he was also a columnist for the paper’s Sunday op-ed page.

Gragg said the overall theme of his presentation will encompass “some of the larger drivers of ‘Portland,’ in the sense of the city region; as in how it has been shaped by history and geography.”

He will then talk about the possibilities of Milwaukie as part of that region, he said, adding, that he wanted to be part of the cultural forum, because “it’s good for Portland Monthly and me to get out of downtown and see the world.”

Unique perspective

Gragg has been writing and investigating the Portland area since he was editing a magazine in Seattle in the late 1980s.

“Journalism has been a passport to learn about everything and anybody I’ve been interested in,” he said. “I remember one day in particular: spending a morning interviewing the settlers of homeless camp, Dignity Village; then changing from bomber jacket to sport coat in my car to go to lunch with an architect designing the city’s third tallest tower; then spending part of the afternoon touring the construction site of the Classical Chinese Garden with its visiting Chinese designer, who I would soon visit in Suzhou. It’s been a good job.”

He’s looking forward to participating in the forum, he said, adding, “Hopefully it will be fun and I’ll learn some things about Milwaukie from the audience. I’m quite curious about how folks are feeling about the changes in downtown around MAX.”

Fast Facts

The Ledding Library of Milwaukie presents the Ledding Cultural Forum, with Randy Gragg, editor in chief of Portland Monthly Magazine.

The event takes place, from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 7, at the library’s Pond House, 2215 S.E. Harrison, in Milwaukie.

The forum is free and is set up to celebrate the literary arts with public talks by local or regional writers.

Next up: Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse Comics, on April 4.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition and Oregon Cultural Trust. For more information about the forum, contact Robert Lanxon, reference librarian, at 503-786-7546, or visit ci.milwaukie.or.us./library/ledding-cultural-forum.



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