WordsWest 20 - Quenton Baker & Lori A. May / Favorite Poem by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
On October 19, 2016, WordsWest hosted poet Quenton Baker and multi-genre author Lori A. May, who riffed on the theme of "Literary Citizenship." Sam Lunsford of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America shared her favorite poem: "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear. Links to YouTube video and audio podcast are below.
WordsWest 19 - Tod Marshall & Friends celebrate the WordsWest Community Library / Favorite Poem by Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold
On September 21, 2016, WordsWest kicked off Year 3 with a bang! Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall cut the ribbon on the WordsWest Community Reading Library, which contains books from the authors who've read at WordsWest over the years, and then shared poetry. To commemorate the event, WordsWest alumni also shared short selections: Kathleen Flenniken, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Claudia Castro Luna, and Lena Khalaf Tuffaha. And to top it all off, Seattle District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold shared her Favorite Poem: "This Be the Verse" by Philip Larkin.
WordsWest Literary Series 18 - Christopher Robinson & Michael Schmeltzer / Favorite Poem by Adia Bobo of Rain City Forge
On June 15, 2016, WordsWest Literary Series hosted best-selling novelist Christopher Robinson and award-winning poet Michael Schmeltzer, who riffed on the topic of intoxication. As a special treat, Gavin Kovite, co-author with Christopher of The Encyclopaedists, joined the reading. Adia Mei Jun Bobo of Rain City Forge selected the Favorite Poem: "Fabric" by Don Blanding. A YouTube excerpt and a podcast of the entire evening are below.
WordsWest Literary Series 17 - Kelly Jones and Dana Simpson / Favorite Poem and Book Sales by Jenny Cole, Co-owner of Page 2 Books
On May 18, 2016, WordsWest hosted its annual Kids' Night with novelist Kelly Jones and cartoonist Dana Simpson. To a packed house, Kelly read from her raucous bestseller Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer and Dana delighted with selections from her first collection Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Jenny Cole, co-owner of Burien's Page 2 Books, provided a summer reading table and presented a Favorite Poem: "Eletelephony" by Laura Elizabeth Richards.
YouTube excerpts and podcast audio of the full evening are below.
WordsWest Literary Series 16 - Jenifer Browne Lawrence and Lana McMullen / Favorite Poem by Victoria Melton, Pathfinder K-8 Music Teacher
On April 20, 2016, WordsWest Literary Series hosted poet Jenifer Browne Lawrence and alt-Americana singer/songwriter Lana McMullen for "Poetry in Music and Music in Poetry." Victoria Melton, music teacher extraordinaire at Pathfinder K-8, presented her Favorite Poem: "Praise Song for the Day" by Elizabeth Alexander.
The YouTube excerpts are:
00:00 Jenifer Browne Lawrence - "“Begotten Waltz: Fire”; “In the House on Gastineau Channel”; and “Speaking of Injured Birds”
05:17 Lana McMullen - "Maryanne"
Podcast audio of the entire evening is below.
WordsWest Literary Series 15 - "At Home in Poetry" with Claudia Castro Luna and Oliver de la Paz / Favorite Poem by Annie Von Essen of Vessel Consulting
On March 16, 2016, WordsWest hosted Seattle Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna and award-winning poet Oliver de la Paz for an evening that explored the many meanings of home, immigration, dislocation, and memory. Annie Von Essen of Vessel Consulting presented her Favorite Poem: "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver. The evening was curated by poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, and was partially funded by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Poets & Writers, Inc. Below is a short YouTube video excerpt of the evening and a podcast of the whole presentation, including a Q & A and Favorite Poem.
WordsWest Literary Series 14 - "Love Lost and Found (and Lost Again)" with Kathleen Flenniken and Stephanie Kallos / Sponsorship by Hedgebrook, a women's writing retreat / Favorite Poem by Hedgebrook Alumna Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
On February 17, 2016, WordsWest Literary Series presented "Love Lost and Found (and Lost Again)" with former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken and bestselling/award-winning novelist Stephanie Kallos. Kathleen shared poems that explored, alongside other questions, the daily fluctuations of love found in married life. Stephanie shared the early courtship moments of a relationship that later drifted away from the protagonist of her novel Language Arts (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015). Hedgebrook, a writing retreat for women, sponsored the evening. Hedgebrook alumna Lena Khalaf Tuffaha shared her favorite poem, "Precious" by Suheir Hammad. Below is a short YouTube video excerpt of the evening and a podcast of the whole presentation, including a Q & A.
WordsWest Literary Series 13 - "Resolutions Gone Awry" with Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall / Sponsorship and Favorite Poem by Isthmus
On January 20, 2016, WordsWest Literary Series presented "Resolutions Gone Awry" with award-winning poets Christine Deavel and J.W. (John) Marshall (who also happen to be the married, co-proprietors of Open Books: A Poem Emporium). Here are excerpts from the evening. Sponsoring the evening was Isthmus, a West Seattle-based literary journal. The Favorite Poem was "Around Us" by Marvin Bell, presented by Ann Przyzycki, Editor-in-Chief of Isthmus.
Below are (1) a YouTube video excerpt of the evening---Christine and John opening with reading Emily Dickinson then reading new poems based on the event's theme; and (2) podcast audio tracks of the entire evening. Enjoy!
On November 18, 2015, WordsWest Literary Series presented "Seeking What Nourishes" with memoirist and novelist Allison Green and awarding winning poet Hannah Faith Notess. Presenting a Favorite Poem was Jean Manwaring of West Seattle Food Bank, and all proceeds from the donated desserts benefited West Seattle Food Bank.
Below are a YouTube video excerpt of the evening and the podcast audio of the entire night.
WordsWest Literary Series 11 - Writing Meant to Be Heard (Literally) with Ruby de Luna and Stephanie Timm
On October 21, 2015, WordsWest Literary Series hosted a unique, literary presentation. Radio journalist Ruby de Luna of Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW and award-winning playwright Stephanie Timm shared work and explored the craft of writing pieces that are meant to be spoken. Ruby illustrated the diverse voices and aural textures involved in telling stories about Africans and African Americans with cancer, reasons why men don't see doctors, and how her father's newfound interest in cooking drove her mother away. Stephanie illustrated the immense power of dialogue by presenting Secondhand Dress, a 10-minute play about an encounter at a bus stop between a woman wearing a dress purchased from a thrift store and the man whose deceased girlfriend once owned it. She then invited audience members to create their own two-person dialogues in a captivating writing exercise. Carolyn Elliott of Elliott Salon shared her favorite poem: "The Fake Friends" by Dorothy Parker.
Below are the links to the YouTube video and podcast audio of the evening. Enjoy!
WordsWest Literary Series
Here's where you'll find information about our past events. For a complete list of past featured writers, favorite poems, and sponsors, consult our "About" page.