Seattle City of Literature: Reflections from a Community of Writers
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This bookish history of Seattle includes essays, history and personal stories from such literary luminaries as Frances McCue, Tom Robbins, Garth Stein, Rebecca Brown, Jonathan Evison, Tree Swenson, Jim Lynch, and Sonora Jha among many others. Timed with Seattle’s bid to become the second US city to receive the UNESCO designation as a City of Literature, this deeply textured anthology pays homage to the literary riches of Seattle. Strongly grounded in place, funny, moving, and illuminating, it lends itself both to a close reading and to casual browsing, as it tells the story of books, reading, writing, and publishing in one of the nation's most literary cities.
Review and Poetry Northwest bestowed legitimacy, but also Bellowing Ark, the Raven Chronicles, the Monarch Review. Viva the little magazines. One afternoon I found myself eating lunch with two MacArthur geniuses, Richard Kenney and Linda Bierds. Just the three of us, talking about poetry with a spectacular blue view of this beautiful city. I don’t belong here, I remember thinking, but Rick and Linda were overlooking it, and I played along. PETER MOUNTFORD ON DAVID SHIELDS When we showed up
anything would do. But then one day, my wife walked into my office while I was writing. She carefully sized up the layout, ticking items off in her head. “I think we’ll put the crib there,” she said. We had two sons, eight and ten; now we were having a third. And I was being evicted. I found a little apartment just down the street from us, also overlooking the boulevard. That was a good place to write too. But it was short-lived solution. The owners converted it to a condo, and I was evicted
of anything, I looked like a cop, though I was just a minimum-wage security guard armed with just a long flashlight. Eventually, these rounds didn’t seem worth the risks. For several shifts before I quit, I fabricated reports when I didn’t feel the courage to patrol those dark stairways and rooftops. Mostly, I hunched in that heated booth and wrote longhand through the night, as if on deadline, though I never shared any of those pages. I’d known for years that writing excited me, but it still
THE STORE I’m particularly proud of our growing selection of self-published and small-press comix and zines. Our classic comic-strips section is another highlight. That said, we have a wonderfully diverse, yet cohesive collection of comix, graphics novels, and badass books. ROCK STARS AND FORMER MAYORS We see a lot of celebrities—particularly musicians—in our store. I’m inclined to protect their privacy. I can say that former mayor Mike McGinn was, and remains, a frequent visitor. He’s a fan
readers, it wouldn’t have done him a bit of good. (Unlike my picture on the back of the hardcover edition of Jitterbug Perfume: holy moly!) For Another Roadside Attraction, I was offered one and only one author event: a reading/signing at a smallish bookstore at Fourth and Pine, an area then favored by Seattle’s streetwalkers and their potential johns. Only a handful of people showed up for the event, but one of them was Darrell Bob Houston, who, embarrassed for me, went outside and invited some