Doug Nufer is a Seattle original. He's been in Seattle since seemingly forever, publishing challenging Oulipian novels and poems, and reading in every bar, coffee shop, or bookstore that will have him.
For many years, Nufer hosted and curated a reading series called The Bar Room Writers Offensive at Barça on Capitol Hill. Sometimes he'd host wearing a forest ranger's outfit. Other times, he'd wear a suit. He'd introduce writers who excited him and charm the audience with inter-reading patter. Watching Nufer read at Barça, you got the sense that he is happiest with literature when it's alive and interacting in the world.
This coming Wednesday, Nufer is launching a new reading series at Vermillion, right next door to Barça. This series is called The Every Other because it takes place on the last Wednesday of every other month, and it features readings and music.
The first Every Other guest to share the stage with Nufer is Amber Nelson, the poet who wrote the amazing collection The Sexiest Man Alive, which is a series of monologues written from the perspective of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. You might know Nelson as the publisher of the dearly beloved and absolutely missed alice blue books, but her poetry is good enough that it cures the sting of alice blue's disappearance.
Nufer and Nelson will share the evening with two musicians: drummer Bob Rees and saxophonist Wally Shoup. Shoup is an internationally known local musician who plays jazz all over town and has frequently collaborated with Nufer, including improvised live accompaniment for some of his most memorable poetry readings. He and Rees have played together for many decades.
This is an old-school Seattle literary event: some music, some booze, some experimental readings and art for the joy of art — and all for five bucks. If you're on the Keep Seattle Weird bandwagon in the face of encroaching gentrification and development, you should know that it doesn't get any weirder — or better — than this.
Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, 1508 11th Ave., 709-9797, http://vermillionseattle.com, 8 pm, $5.