After five years of readings, WordsWest, West Seattle's premier reading series, is coming to a close on Wednesday the 19th. Why, at a time when West Seattle is growing faster than ever, are the curators hanging up the series?
“It’s a lot of work,” series co-founder Katy E. Ellis told me recently. Ellis started the series with local poets Susan Rich and Harold Taw, and the three have been curating ever since. “There are so many details and things that we do to make it a nice series that it’s hard to keep up," Ellis said. "Five years seemed like a good round number, and we wanted to end on a high.”
It really is quite a high note: Readers at the last WordsWest include Elizabeth Austen, Quenton Baker, Rick Barot, Claudia Castro Luna, Christine Deavel, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Rachel Kessler, J.W. Marshall, Greg November, Renee Simms, and Ann Teplick. “It’s hard to give it up,” Ellis said, “but I also look forward to that freedom. I feel like I might hermit for a little bit.”
Is this garden party the end of WordsWest forever? Ellis refuses to shutter the whole thing permanently. “We want to leave a door open to have one or two events a year.” Just because the monthly series is over, she says, “it doesn’t mean WordsWest is totally dead.” With the Paper Boat bookstore opening just a few blocks away, after all, West Seattle is about to get a lot more literary, and WordsWest should have a part in celebrating the West Seattle literary scene that the series helped to reinvigorate.
C&P Coffee Co., 5612 California Ave SW, http://wordswestliterary.weebly.com, 7 pm, free.