It seems like forever ago that the original location of the Hugo House closed its doors with a raucous party in which people wrote all over the walls of the neighborhood writing center. (It was actually just two years, but two years in Trump-adjusted terms is the equivalent of six lifetimes.) People wept, got sloppy drunk, and swore up and down that Seattle would never be the same.
This Saturday, Hugo House is reopening its doors, on the ground floor of a big fancy new building. And sure, those folks who argued that the House would never be the same are technically correct. The old Hugo House, the one that was a funeral home, literally doesn't exist.
But the new Hugo House space contains pieces of the old House — and I mean that as literally as I possibly can; old House artifacts have been reshaped into the new space. And there are plenty of flourishes for writers to love in the new House. (We'll be sharing our walkthrough of the new space a little later on this week, where we'll talk about all that in detail.)
But you don't care about the why and the how of it. You care about the celebration. Starting at 5 pm and running until late, the House will be hosting a sprawling, free-form literary party to introduce the new halls and classrooms and event spaces to Seattle.
Alongside special guests like Maria Semple and host Nancy Guppy, the House will be home to a freewheeling collection of local talent. The Vis-à-Vis Society and the Bushwick Book Club will be unhand to interpret the moment in art. Readers Anastacia-Renee, Quenton Baker, Kristen Millares Young, and Amber Flame will be giving special "pop-up" performances. And there will be an open mic, giving everyone the opportunity to baptize the new Hugo House stage with their own literary artistry.
After the party, DJ Gabriel Teodros will be spinning records for a literary dance party. I expect that people will get drunk, and there will be plenty of surprises and reunions and, yes, messy drama. But please do me a favor and don't write on the walls or break anything, okay? This place has to last a while.
Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Avenue, 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org., 7 pm, free.