Your Week in Readings: The best literary events from February 8th - 14th

MONDAY Kick your week off right, with the very first “Ask the Oracle” event at the Sorrento Hotel. This is a new fortune-telling themed reading series from the Hugo House, and it’s got a great gimmick: audience members anonymously ask questions about their futures. The authors find answers to those questions in their books. Hugo House supplied a sample Q&A in the promotional materials:

Question: Should I move to a new city soon?

Answer (found by opening Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town to a random page ): “The 1944 Italy I remembered brown and gray and lifeless. Every city, every small town reeked.”

The readers/fortune tellers at this one are novelist Rebecca Makkai, screenwriter and novelist Ramon Isao, and local treasure/short story author Stacey Levine. Levine practically does divination in her readings on a regular basis anyway, so she’s an especially good choice to kick off the new format.

TUESDAY Hugo House hosts an event titled “Passing the Laurel.” It’s a reading that passes the symbolic baton from former Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen to current Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, with former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken hosting. That’s a lot of damn laureates.

WEDNESDAY At The Book Larder in Fremont, Jesse and Kit Schumann of fancy Seattle bakery Sea Wolf Bakers teach how to make their rye bread, which is reportedly life-changingly good. According to the Larder, class size “is limited to 10 students and [the $65 entry fee] includes a light snack, bread samples, and bread and sourdough starter to take home.”

THURSDAY Tonight, author Yann Martel reads at the central branch of the Seattle Public Library downtown. I am not a fan of Martel’s Man Booker Prizewinning novel The Life of Pi; I think it’s a book that tries way too hard to prove its cleverness to its readers. But it is beloved by many people, and if you are one of those people, you should consider coming to this reading from The High Mountains of Portugal, which is a novel told in three novellas.

FRIDAY It’s time for the Hugo Literary Series at the Hugo House. As with all the Literary Series events this year, three authors and a musician write new work in response to a cliché. Tonight’s cliché is “What goes around comes around.” Your readers are poet D. A. Powell, excellent novelist/Believer magazine co-founder Heidi Julavits, and fantastic poet Sierra Nelson. Your musician tonight — and this is very exciting — is OCnotes. Here’s a video of Notes at work:

SATURDAY Here’s a neat-sounding event for women only: Read and Bleed at Twilight Gallery in West Seattle. It’s a period-themed reading event for women. The poster promises that this event is for ““Different vagendas, one cliterati.” In the organizers’ own words, here’s what’s going on:

Who: WOMEN ONLY (Women-Identified ok)

Breastfeeding moms are welcome too.

What: A Space Devoted To Self-Care (Read and be Read To)

When: The Day Before Valentine's

Where: Twilight Gallery in West Seattle

Bring your favorite book, pillow, and blankie

Dress-code: Super Casual, as in PJs, sweats, yoga pants, fuzzy socks ... the kind of attire you wear when bleeding.


SUNDAY Spend your Valentine’s Day with UW professor of wildlife science John Marzluff, who reads at the Everett Public Library. His book Suburdia is about why suburbia has become home to diverse animal species, and how humans are supposed to share space with wildlife in the years ahead.