The Portland Diary Summit

For anyone who considers journaling and daily life documenting to be therapeutic, sacred, liberatory, 
a path to the unconscious or otherwise of interest. 

Report from the 2024 Summit

The Portland Diary Summit was a dream come true! It was a gorgeous day in Portland. About 200 people, among the five separate events, spent the day self-reflecting with other introspective types, rolled up their sleeves and got creative, and took in beautiful examples of diaristic and personal writing, film, and art! 

It was fascinating to see the threads running through the various ways of keeping journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, digital/film/photo documentation systems, and more.  In a society that allows hardly anyone to be who they really are, people carve out tiny spaces of freedom everyday when they pause to be in the moment with their thoughts and the world around them.

It was fascinating to consider how we pull from that raw material to make art, writing, and film that affirms that we’re alive. Art that affirms that our experience matters. Art that connects us to ourselves, other people, other beings, the planet, the universe and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who made it happen!
Julie Perini
March 4, 2024

Cynthia Nelson (left) led the best writing workshop at Rose City Book Pub. Julie Perini (right) looked on adoringly and managed the online participants.

At the Hollywood Theatre, curators Saint Piñero (right) and Sage Ó Tuama (middle) of Film Diary NYC told us about their film festival that “provides a platform for the most heartfelt but most overlooked cinema: diary films, home movies, and personal documentary.” They presented a beautiful program of films called “Imprecise Words.”

Kate Bingaman-Burt (right) held court with piles and piles of sketchbooks and other ephemera. She took over three tables and chatted all night with folks curious about her daily drawing practice, going strong since 2006! Local artists Alec Smith (left) and Kat Richards (middle) were agog.

At Dear Sandy cafe, we put up selections from Honna Veerkamp’s daily watercolor project and thumbnails from Julie Perini’s daily video project. Veerkamp’s work was exhibited courtesy of Erin Yanke.

Photos by: Erika Bolstad, Io Boerke, Michelle Illuminato, Laurie Nadeau, Cynthia Nelson, Amelia Morrison.

Thank you so much: Elise & everyone at Rose City Book Pub. Anthony Hudson, Matt & everyone at Hollywood Theatre. Kate at Dear Sandy. Volunteers: Io, Amelia, Erika, Max, John. The Regional Arts & Culture Council. Folks in town who offered support along the way like Intisar Abioto, Patricia Vazquez Gomez, Elizabeth Veneble, Justin Hocking. My Book Club (Laura, Laurie, Kristin, Cynthia) for being such an incubator of these ideas. Erin Yanke for lending Honna’s artwork. My friends near & far, my sweet husband & our canine companions, my ancestors & guides. The artists, writers, thinkers, makers, fighters, healers & feelers who came before us. All of the kind & curious audience members who showed up. And of course all of the artists involved in the Summit (Cynthia, Saint, Sage, Carl, Zoe, Chloe, Jalen, Lily, Jordan, Melina, Basma, Kate, Honna & the artists in Film Diary NYC’s program)!