Tiffany Lee Brown is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from Oregon. An editor of Plazm magazine and author of A Compendium of Miniatures, T has written for The Oregonian, Utne, Tin House, Bookforum, Boing Boing, Oregon Humanities, Wired, Bust, and various other publications. Her art and performance pieces have been shown at Performance Works NW, Reed College Cooley Gallery's CaseWorks, and Portland Center Stage, among others.
Her work is rooted in lived experience: moving through life as a young woman called an "arts provocateur" and a childfree "Third Wave feminist writer" by critics, then as a partner and stepmother discovering the deep, pulsing joys of domesticity and relationship. Her current work finds T in a different role: middle-aged mom of a charming, creative son and caregiver to an injured husband. Wrestling with a Bipolar I mental health diagnosis and chronic illness including fibromyalgia, T explores the seam where body, trauma, mind, and meaning meet. Her work delves into themes of nature, spirit, consciousness, Oregon, and the American West.
T lives with her husband and son in the woods near Sisters, Ore., where she writes for the local newspaper, teaches in the colloquium-based Master of Arts in Humanities program at Prescott College, and works in branding and editorial content for businesses and nonprofits. She is presently at work on a memoir and on "Butterbean! The Musical," a collaboration with her seven-year-old son.
Education & Awards
Graduating summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Dramatic Arts, T received the Mark Goodson Award for Theatrical Achievement, the L Stebbins Scholarship, and a Summer Stock grant. Later she earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. At Prescott College, she is an adjunct faculty in the Master of Arts in Humanities, a low-residency, colloquium-based program.
T also took one year at the Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama & Theatre Studies at Trinity College in Dublin, a directing class at Harvard University, and a workshop with performance great Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Additionally, she joined Dangerous Writers workshops with Tom Spanbauer and Joanna Rose, and received a grant to attend a Tin House writers workshop with Whitney Otto.
Her projects have received grants from the City of Portland, Oregon Cultural Trust, Performance Works NW, and RACC, the Regional Art and Culture. Residencies at Soapstone, Caldera Arts, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods have supported T’s work with the gifts of time, nature, and space.
Author of A Compendium of Miniatures (Tiger Food Press, 2007), T has written for Tin House, Oregon Humanities, Bookforum, The Oregonian, UTNE, Bust, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, and other publications. She presently writes for The Nugget newspaper in Sisters, Ore. Her poem "One Thing" was recently nominated for a Best of the Net Award and her personal essay "The Arctic Front" appeared in The Manifest Station.
T's short fiction and poetry have appeared in journals and anthologies including Gargoyle, the Northwest Edge collections, The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order (Penguin, 1999), How to Mutate & Take Over the World: an Exploded Post-Novel (Random House, 1997), and Literary Cash: Writers Pay Tribute to the Late Johnny Cash (BenBella, 2007). She was one of six Northwest poets selected for publication in The Human Growth Experiment (Water Line Press, 2005), and has blogged for Syfy.com and BoingBoing. As an editor, she has worked for Plazm magazine, Anodyne, 2GQ, Signum Press, the Fringe Ware Review, and others.
Spanning performance, theatre, installation, curatorial mayhem, and social practice, T’s work has been shown at Performance Works NW, Portland Center Stage, Richard Foreman Mini Festival, Construct/ReConstruct, StudioCurrent (Seattle), Synthetic Zero (NYC), and the Burning Man festival (Black Rock City, Nevada), among others. As a pseudonymous co-founder of Oakland's underground dÜdU Art Collective, she showed installations for group shows under the direction of the legendary Syd Jesus.
In Portland, she directed numerous multidisciplinary and literary events including “Exquisite Language,” featuring the work of over 80 artists and writers at the Heathman Hotel Tea Room, the Solstice shala gala “Light + Shadows,” and Plazm magazine’s 20th Anniversary event at Disjecta. Her literary readings often employ performance elements; she’s read at venues including Wordstock and Powells City of Books, along with the West Side Y and Panic! series in New York, and the Northwest BookFest in Seattle. Her sprawling, seven-year interdisciplinary expedition, The Easter Island Project, traveled around the US and to the isle of Rapa Nui, Chile, culminating in a year-long, ever-evolving installation and video immersion at Reed College's Case Works series, curated by Cooley Gallery director Stephanie Snyder.
Music & Live Storytelling
As an improvisational musician and extemporaneous lyric-maker, T has performed at an assortment of classic Portland venues: Satyricon, EJ’s, Berbati’s Pan, The Star Theatre, PICA’s Dada Ball, Portland Rose Festival, Galleri 8, and Voodoo Doughnuts, to name a few. Elsewhere, she’s performed at Astoria’s Dark Arts festival, Seattle’s Rockergrrl festival, and Death Valley Ice Co. in Oakland. She has been fortunate to collaborate with musicians and bands including Soriah, Black Orchid, The Gone Orchestra, Brainwarmer, Land of the Blind, and the late, great composer-percussionist Robert Mike Mahaffay.
With musicians such as the Miss Murgatroid Trio and Courtney Von Drehle of Three Leg Torso, she collaborated on live film soundtracks at the University Film Series in Eugene, live on KBOO radio, and for the Enteractive Language Festival's experimental film showcases. With Eric Hausmann, she composed an 80-hour soundtrack to The Easter Island Project. Her voice appears on various records and radio broadcasts, including the CD anthology Women Take Back the Noise (Ubuibi Records, 2006).
T helps businesses and nonprofits build brands, hone messaging, and make editorial content based on sensible strategies. She was the founding Creative Director for the nonprofit project Joko in Senegal, Senior Writer for the interactive agency Organic in New York City, and editor of the musician Sting’s first official website. Her clients range from local nonprofits and startups like Fort George Brewery, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Sarah Bellum Bakery + Workshop to global brands including Nike, Samsung, and NBC/Universal.
T is proud to be a participant, volunteer, and co-creator of underground festivals, nonprofit organizations, unsanctioned art venues, and independent publications for nearly 30 years. She chaired the Board of Directors for the nonprofit 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts, sat on the selection committee for the city's Visual Chronicle of Portland, and curated unconventional shows such as the Public Works series of works-in-progress at the Someday Lounge and TSA, the Temporary Semi-Autonomous Gallery, which placed art directly between private home and public street.
After relocating to Sisters, Oregon, T became a correspondent for the local newspaper and volunteers for Friends of the Labyrinth and for Sisters Elementary School. Active in the Burning Man and Drowning Rat festivals, T has been volunteer Executive Director of the 501c3 nonprofit New Oregon Arts & Letters since 2009.
tiffany (at) plazm.com