Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dark Coast Press Celebrates National Poetry Month with Book Release Party

Along with being April Fools' Day, tomorrow kicks off the beginning of National Poetry Month (NaPoMo) and there will be plenty of great readings and events to attend throughout April. Some, we've already mentioned--the reopening of Elliott Bay Books on April 15, Hugo House's Dead Poets Society readings, and the Edible Book Festival--and well, there will be plenty more where that came from.

Lucky for us, we happen to live in city that takes "all that poetry stuff" pretty darn seriously. The Seattle area is home to many small presses that specialize in poetry. There's Copper Canyon Press, Wave Books, Floating Bridge Press, and not to mention Seattle's newest small publisher Dark Coast Press.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Elliott Bay Book Company Says Goodbye to Pioneer Square

Tomorrow is Elliott Bay Book Company's last day in its well-known Pioneer Square location. The First and Main Globe building had been the historic book store's home since June 29, 1973. Even though Elliott Bay Books will remain in town at its new Capitol Hill location (1521 10th Ave.), opening in mid-April, we can't help but feel as if a good friend is moving away.

We're positive that the new store will be just as much of a home for us in the future as the Pioneer Square location is now, but that doesn't mean we have to be happy about it. Change is hard; and though we will miss the Shakespearian Globe-esque feel of the space, the smell of cedar and the wall-to-wall books, the creaking floor boards, and not to mention some of our most favorite Seattle literary moments, we're supportive and optimistic for Elliott Bay's future on the hill.

On the new location (as shown below), Elliott Bay Book Company says,

"Be assured--the new place will have its own distinct charms, many of them very similar to what people have known and enjoyed about our Pioneer Square home. Everyone that we know of who's had a sneak peek as construction has ensued has gone 'wow' in appreciation and anticipation."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Whip Smart's Melissa Febos at Elliott Bay Books

Melissa Febos will be at Elliott Bay Book Company on Saturday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m., to read from her new memoir, Whip Smart. This event is FREE.

On first appearance, one might assume that Melissa Febos' new memoir, Whip Smart, is only a story about sex. And granted, the memoir does involve sex--considering that it details Febos' four-year experience or, "secret life," as a dominatrix in a Manhattan sex dungeon--but if you ask the author herself, she'll be the first to tell you that Whip Smart is, "a story about love, identity, getting honest with oneself—all that normal and incredibly difficult human stuff." Check out the trailer below for a better idea (btw, we LOVE book trailers)...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sherman Alexie Wins 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

This week certainly started off with a bang for author Sherman Alexie, as it was announced on Tuesday that the author's fiction collection, War Dances, had just been selected as the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction--America's largest peer-juried prize for fiction.

Up against almost 350 other novels and short story collections by fellow American authors, Alexie will receive $15,000 along with the prestigious award and very well-earned bragging rights. The four other finalists--Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna; Lorrie Moore for A Gate at The Stairs; Lorraine M. López for Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories; and Colson Whitehead for Sag Harbor--will each receive $5,000.

PEN/Faulkner judge Al Young says of Alexie's honored book, "War Dances taps every vein and nerve, every tissue, every issue that quickens the current blood-pulse: parenthood, divorce, broken links, sex, gender and racial conflict, substance abuse, medical neglect, 9/11, Official Narrative vs. What Really Happened, settler religion vs. native spirituality; marketing, shopping, and war, war, war. All the heartbreaking ways we don't live now--this is the caring, eye-opening beauty of this rollicking, bittersweet gem of a book."

Dead Poets Society at The Hugo House

 Dead Poets Society will take place at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 15th, at the Hugo House. Tickets are $10 for the public and $6 for students, seniors, and Hugo House members.

Hugo House is once again hosting their popular Dead Poets Society readings in celebration of April as National Poetry Month, where local poets portray--in full costume--famous (or infamous) dead poets. This year's dead poets include Matt Gano as Richard Brautigan, Jourdan Keith as Audre Lorde, Peter Pereira as Frank O'Hara, and Nicole Hardy as Anne Sexton, with the lovely Kate Lebo hosting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Small Press Book Fest at Pilot Books

Small Press Book Fest is still underway at Pilot Books until the end of March, and if you haven't made it out yet for a reading, we'd highly recommend it!

So far, the festival has already featured great writers such as Matthew Zapruder (Wave Books, The Pajamaist), Stacey Levine (The Girl with Brown Fur), Matt Briggs (The End is the Beginning), and so so so many more. AND, the best part about the festival is that all of the readings and writing workshops are free. So now's your chance to show your support for small presses, attend some fantastic readings and workshops, and get all of those favorite books signed.

Tonight's events feature a reading and writing workshop with local writer Matthew Simmons, author of last year's super popular Indie novella (only 67 pages!), A Jello Horse, where an unnamed young man sets out to attend a funeral with a group of friends in middle America.

Cookin' The Books at The Seattle Edible Book Festival

Once again it's that time of year to cook the books and put your humor and creative cooking skills to the test at the 5th annual Seattle Edible Book Festival. So if you've got a favorite book or literary pun up your sleeve that you're just dying to pay homage to in jello or sculpt in marzipan--fellow book nerd, we love you. And this is your time to bring it.

If you're yet to have heard about the Edible Book Festival, the premise is simple: create and bring a piece of edible art that is related to books. It can be a pun on a title, refer to a famous scene or character, look like a book, or just have something to do with books in general. The only requirement is that it must be edible.

Overall, the festival is a great opportunity to get together and celebrate books, food, and some good ol' fashioned nerdy fun. And you don't just have to be a book lover to play along--this event is perfect for chefs, artists, kids, foodies, and even your average punsters.

Last year we had the chance to volunteer at the festival and we were amazed by the creativity and wit that went in to all of the pieces. For a general idea, past years have included entries such as: S'more and Peace, Alice in Wonderbread, The Bun Also Rises, Curd Vonnegut, Her Pie Was Watching God, and so, so, so much more. We even saw one entry titled For Whom the Taco Bell Tolls, which only included some Taco Bell food. Seriously. As long as it's edible and pertains, you're in.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Norway Serial Killer on the Loose in The Devil's Star

Jo Nesbo will be reading from his latest crime noir novel, The Devil's Star, on Monday, March 22, at 7:00 p.m. in Ballard's Lief Erikson Lodge. This event is FREE.

By complete chance, we happened to read The Devil's Star in the same weekend that we watched the Red Riding film trilogy. We didn't necessarily plan on having a weekend filled with European serial killers and police corruption, but damn--it was a good, chilling weekend.

Though Jo Nesbo's novel and the unrelated film series have much in common, The Devil's Star takes place in Oslo, Norway and features Nesbo's most popular returning character, Detective Harry Hole. Hole, in fact, has appeared in a string of Nesbo's past detective novels, making The Devil's Star commonly known as "the latest installment in the Harry Hole series."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PBR and Prose at The Hugo House

The Hugo House is hosting their third installment of the popular Cheap Wine and Poetry spin-off event, Cheap Beer and Prose, tonight at 7 p.m. Sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, there will be plenty of cheap beer to go around for only a buck--and really, where else in town can you get a $1 PBR along with a night of great readings from some of Seattle's favorite authors?

Tonight's reading will feature stories, essays, or chapters from local authors Stacey Levine, Jonathan Evison, Bret Fetzer, and Janna Cawrse Esarey, with Charla Grenz hosting. And following the four author's readings, there will be an open mic for anyone that would like to share their own prose up on stage.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Amazing Adventures of Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon will be in town Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. as a part of the Seattle Arts & Lectures 2009-2010 Literary/Arts Series. Tickets range from $10-70.

We've been waiting to see Michael Chabon since last September when we first received the SAL letter in the mail announcing this year's guests. Had you asked us last fall if we knew when Chabon would be speaking we probably would have come across like one of those "overloaded" Bing characters, giving you a verbal mishmash of miscellaneous Chabon information along with the fact that he would be here in March.

Chabon has always been on our short list of favorite authors and as his career continues, we can't help but grow more fond of him--not only as a writer, but also as a person. His repeatedly proven versatility in genre fiction including that of pulp, fantasy, science fiction, and so much more has truly earned him a rightful place in modern literature history. John Podhoretz, of the The Weekly Standard even takes it one step further, refering to Chabon as "The best writer of English prose in this country, and the most interesting novelist of his generation."