Literary Event of the Week: Sexiest Man Alive reading at Vermillion

You might know Amber Nelson from her amazing (and sadly now defunct) press Alice Blue. Or perhaps you just see her in the audience at all the best readings in Seattle. Nelson is what we call a Stellar Literary Citizen: she shows up, she contributes, and she promotes the work she likes.

This Saturday, Nelson will debut her second collection of poetry. It's titled The Sexiest Man Alive, and it's inspired by People magazine's annual feature. (This year, People selected Idris Elba as the Sexiest Man Alive, which is a rare case of the magazine getting things exactly right.) It's a book about gender and fantasy and what it means to be sexy, but not in a tawdry way.

This party looks to be a big damn deal, with a DJ and a dance party and a performance from some of Seattle's best drag kings, who will be appearing as some of People's previous Sexiest Men Alive. Performers include starrswagg, who performs hip hop at drag king shows around town.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, this week is the last full week of readings we'll see in Seattle until after the holidays. That means this party is one of the last big literary blowouts we'll see in 2018. And it's a pretty great book to bow out on: Nelson's poetry is smart and humane and thoughtful and very, very good. We could use more work like this in the coming year.

Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, 1508 11th Ave., 709-9797,, 7 pm, $5.