Five books from Seattle-area authors to look out for this spring

I’m Fine But You Appear to Be Sinking, by Leyna Krow

Here’s the opening paragraph of Spokane writer Leyna Krow’s story “Disruption:”

Each morning, a man in Detroit, Michigan pushes a button and everything falls out of my kitchen shelves and onto my kitchen floor. It is unclear to me if this is the primary function of the button or if it’s simply an unintended consequence. Regardless, I find it to be an inconvenience.

Krow’s debut collection is full of stories like that in which the weird hate-fucks the banal, or vice versa. Krow’s protagonists all assume that the universe is rigged against them; the only question left is if the universe is bored or just an asshole. Out February 14th through Featherproof Books

Up South, by Robert Lashley

Bellingham poet Lashley had a pretty great 2016, professionally speaking. He shared a stage with Sherman Alexie and EJ Koh twice, he was nominated for a Stranger Genius Award, and he read all over Seattle all year long. He’s not stopping the momentum in 2017: his second collection of poetry, Up South, is being published this spring, and he’ll likely be promoting it all around the region. The selections from Up South that Lashley has read so far have been more classically oriented than the work in his debut The Homeboy Songs, but they’re no less clever…or angry. Expect some next-level craft. Out March 27th through Small Doggies Press

Ghosts of Seattle Past, edited by Jaimee Garbacik

Over the last few years, we’ve all lost parts of Seattle that we dearly love. Rather than just complain on Facebook about it the way the rest of us do, editor Jaimee Garbacik decided to collect the lost-Seattle stories of local writers (full disclosure: I contributed an essay) and community leaders and compile them into a book. Even if Seattle nostalgia exhausts you, Ghosts will at least help you understand that a city is not just its storefronts or its luxury apartments: every city is also made up of people, and the places that are not there anymore. Out April 11th through Chin Music Press

A Year Right Here: Adventures with Food and Family in the Great Nearby, by Jess Thomson

A Seattle-area cookbook author decides to spend a year eating like a (hyper)local in this hybrid memoir/cooking essay/work of reportage. Jess Thompson tracks down the Northwest’s best delicacies — including razor clams, mushrooms, and wine — with her five-year-old son, a picky eater who has cerebral palsy. As they track down local delicacies, they slowly come to a new understanding of each other, bonding the way most American families do: over food. Part road trip, part parenting book, part cookbook, A Year Right Here could very well be either the next great Seattle memoir or a too-sentimental schmaltz-bomb. Only one way to find out! Out April 13th through University of Washington Press

Water & Salt, by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Redmond poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a first-generation Arab-American with roots in Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. Her heritage figures strongly throughout her work — her manuscript Arab in Newsland won the 2016 Chapbook Prize from local publisher Two Sylvias Press — and she is not afraid to be political. In 2014, Tuffaha’s published a poem titled “Running Orders” to her Facebook page. The poem immediately went viral, and it’s easy to understand why: it begins like an action movie, with a mysterious phone call telling the reader to “Run,” and it ends with Tuffaha’s demand that the reader “Prove you’re human./Prove you stand on two legs.” Seems about right for the Trump era. Out April 27th through Red Hen Press