News | June 13, 2024

Fundraising Underway to Turn Ursula K. Le Guin’s Home Into Writers Residency

Marian Wood Kolisch/Oregon State University (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ursula Le Guin

Ursula K Le Guin’s family have donated her Portland, Oregon home to local community nonprofit Literary Arts who will transform it into a writers residency.

Le Guin, who died in 2018, wrote most of her books, including The Books of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness, in her second-floor writing studio at her home. The Le Guin family has donated it to Literary Arts to create the Ursula K. Le Guin Writers Residency. 

"Our conversations with Ursula and her family began in 2017," said Andrew Proctor, executive director of Literary Arts. "She had a clear vision for her home to become a creative space for writers and a beacon for the broader literary community. With the launch of the public phase of our Campaign for Literary Arts this month, we are closer than ever to making this dream a reality. This campaign will allow us to raise funds to launch the Ursula K. Le Guin Writers Residency and plan for its future. The Le Guin family had many partners to choose from and we are honored that they are entrusting Literary Arts with this cherished cultural treasure.”

Ursula and her husband, Charles bought the 1899 three-story house and garden in the early 1960s, her corner room evolving from a nursery for her children to the place where she wrote. 

“We have always felt a strong connection to Literary Arts and its mission to support diverse voices and build an empathetic, empowered and inclusive community of writers,” said Theo Downes-Le Guin, literary executor and Ursula’s son. “Although Ursula’s reputation is international, she focused much of her energy on the local community of writers, libraries and literary organizations. So it’s fitting that this residency, ambitious in the breadth of writers it will reach, will be rooted in the house and city she loved and lived in for more than a half century.”

The new Ursula K. Le Guin Writers Residency will welcome writers from around the world, with a focus on those residing in the western United States. There are also plans for future renovations to the home for improved accessibility.