Gyasi is arriving in Seattle at a high point in her career - when Ta-Nehisi Coates refers to you as "an inspiration," you know you're doing something right - but it's easy to imagine that she'll ascend to even higher peaks in years to come. The Seattle Reads program is a great way for our city to stake a claim on Gyasi's future success, to ensure that she'll return to share her victories with us for years to come.
(Various locations and times, free.)
An amazing array of writers - Portland novelist Lidia Yuknavitch, poet Tarfia Faizullah, and the indefatigable Ijeoma Oluo - present new work, along with singer-songwriter Nick Droz, on the theme "There Goes the Neighborhood."
Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, http://hugohouse.org, 7 pm, $25.
How wonderful it is to be read to! If you aren't lucky enough to catch the live reading at the Neptune this weekend, you can always tune into the podcast LeVar Burton Reads!
Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.
Learn more about our Event of the Week
See https://www.facebook.com/SEABookstoreDay/ for more information..
Two local authors who have published new novels in the last few months, Anca Szilágyi (author of Daughters of the Air) and Ross McMeekin (author of The Hummingbirds), will read and discuss what it’s like to publish a new book.
Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N, 297-2665, http://phinneybooks.com, 7 pm, free.
Thursday, March 29th:
Word Works: Charles Johnson
Tonight Hugo House is welcoming Johnson to give a talk about the craft of writing as part of their Word Works series. He’ll be delivering a lecture based on his essay “Storytelling and the Alpha Narrative,” and then he’ll take audience questions on just about any writing-related topics they can imagine. It’s an opportunity to listen to one of our most consequential authors, and to drink in a tiny sip of his oceans of expertise.
Annex Theatre. 1100 E Pike St, http://hugohouse.org, 7 pm, $15
Exciting! Some 90 middle-schoolers join in M-O-R-T-A-L C-O-M-B-A-T to determine who is the best speller in the region. The winner will go on to face the best spellers in the country. Go get 'em, kids!
https://townhallseattle.org/event/king-snohomish-county-regional-spelling-bee-3/ Campion Ballroom at Seattle University, 914 E. Jefferson St, 12:15 pm, free.
A portrait in honor of Women's History Month: Historian and law professor Annette Gordon-Reed brought to life the story of Sally Hemings and her descendents in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Gordon-Reed made history herself as the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in History.
Gordon-Reed will join Hedgebrook for a literary star-studded brunch benefit featuring talks from playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Danai Gurira, and other Hedgebrook alumna.
*Herban Feast, 4136 1st Avenue, http://www.hedgebrook.org/equivox/, 11 am, $150.
This Sunday, Seattle Arts and Lectures is bringing Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jess to McCaw Hall. Jess is an artist who seems custom built for this moment in history. His poetry reflects the rich history of music of Black America - the blues, the gospel, the work songs, the jazz - and he’s rewriting the nation’s history to make more space for Black stories and songs.
*McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, http://lectures.org, 7:30 pm, $20.
This Friday at Washington Hall, author and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki will speak on the theme “Meditation for Writers,” and it is a talk that only she could give. She’ll help writers gain the focus that modern technology seeks to steal from them, and the perspective that only a true sense of timelessness can offer.
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, http://washingtonhall.org, 8 pm, $15.
In a slight departure from format and in celebration of the Literary Event of the Week at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute where The Bushwick Book Club will create new music based around Seattle sci-fi giant Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, here is an illustration imagining a young Octavia Butler.
February 1st would have been the 116th birthday of American poet, social activist, novelist and playwright Langston Hughes. Spend some time with his poems here.
Here in Seattle, we are also celebrating the new non-profit arts organization, Langston, created to continue the mission of the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and dedicated to cultivating and showcasing Black brilliance.
Author Carmen Maria Machado reads from her celebrated debut collection of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties. It’s a book that crosses lines from sci-fi to horror to thriller to odd Law & Order: Special Victims Unit parodies.
Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., 386-4636, http://spl.org, 7 pm, free.
Author Chloe Benjamin’s latest novel, The Immortalists, is about a mystical prophecy that foretells death. It’s a clever addition to the genre of fiction based around the primal thought experiment centered around what you would do if you knew the exact date and time of your death.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free.*
From this Friday to Thursday of next week, Sedaris is reading eight times at Broadway Performance Hall. He’s workshopping his next collection, Calypso, which comes out in summer of this year, and he’s counting on Seattle to help him make it perfect.
Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 934-3052, 7 pm, $50.