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Postcard from Alan Lau

By | Books

Right before the holidays, this lively postcard showed up from Seattle poet, painter and journalist, Alan Lau. Oh, the delight for real mail and not another letter from a developer trying to tear our house down.

We don’t have specifics to share yet, but are excited to say that next year, you’ll be able to purchase a new collection of Mr. Lau’s work from us, featuring plenty of art in full color. It’s our biggest book in 2020 and perhaps our most lavish production to date, which is fitting for one of Seattle’s best-known literary figures.

If you haven’t already, but sure to sign up (scroll to the bottom of the page to do so) for our mailing list to stay up-to-date on the production schedule for this book!

“Obtuse Diary” at Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center

By | Readings

A fantastic evening of translation thanks to Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center and Caffè Musica. Translator Deborah Woodard and actor Riccardo Pieri reunited for an expanded evening of reading and experimentation of Amelia Rosselli’s Diario Ottuso | Obtuse Diary. This is a new translation of Rosselli’s experiments with prose and was done with Roberta Antognini and Dario De Pasquale.

We captured about half the reading and despite the quality at the beginning, think that anyone who is doing translation and then needing to present it in public would find this interesting. As Deborah would probably say, it helps to have a playful and inventive actor with you! Thanks Riccardo! Be sure to click through the to the notes in YouTube if you’re interested in what segments of the text they are working with.

Woodland : The Eating in This World

By | Books, Film

Here’s another listen to one of the poems in the forthcoming, Woodland, a project of mine with a score by Aaron Otheim.

It’s been interesting to try to figure out how to make book trailers/small poetry films quickly as it’s something I would love to be able to do for all our books moving forward. It seems like an obvious process as we have so much audio of the poets reading the work.

This is done in iMovie and we did some funny workaround to get it into square for Instagram that involved using Keynote.

Poets on Playwriting

By | Readings

A fantastic evening of drama at Hugo House with two literary luminaries (oh, we can brag!). Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall, formerly of Open Books, took the audience on a trip through moments of some of their favorite plays and bits dialogue that inspired and taught them as they wrote their own play, Vicinity/Memoryall.

We are going to be so excited to see this play in July of 2019 at the 18th & Union Space. Please email them directly at VelMar Works to get on their mailing list or sign up for ours as we can’t wait to share more about the play’s progress.




Kate Lebo & Friends read “Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers

By | Readings, Thoughts

With much gratitude to Kate Lebo, Sam Lingon and Spokane’s hot and happening literary scene, we turned her book launch party for Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers in a raise-the-roof take the people to church fundraiser for Democratic challenger, Lisa Brown.

Some of the best writers in Spokane— Chelsea Martin, Sharma Shields, Laura Read, Ellen Welcker, Nance Van Winckel, and Maya Jewell Zeller— joined Kate on stage to each read one of the poems, ending with an appearance by Lisa Brown with some comments on the values of art in a democratic society— one reason the Republicans keep voting against funding for the arts!

I was amazed that the night raised $1700 from a crowd out to see poets, but that speaks to the passion people have for a real representative of the people and not the billionaires and for the demand for accountability for the corruption under the Trump administration.

We always enjoy our trips to Spokane. SO many wonderful writers! And a shout out to the Bartlett for once again hosting us. They have a GREAT venue if you’re looking for performance space in Spokane.


Third Anniversary Reading

By | Readings, Thoughts

Three years!

We were honored to be included in Hugo House’s inaugural season and delighted that we could present readers from past, present and future ERB books!

Pardon the photos— I certainly did not stand in the best space given the lighting and stage! But given the schedule Hugo House keeps, I am sure that in time, I’ll find the best spot to stand!

Thanks to Maya Jewell Zeller, Melinda Mueller, Christine Deavel, J.W. Marshall, Deborah Woodard, Riccardo Pieri and E. Briskin for reading work published with us or new work of theirs. We also thank Rachel Kessler who was representing the Vis-à-Vis Society, whose epic 100 Rooms is sure to be a big hit in 2019. And finally, we want to give a shout to Aileen Keown Vaux, who’s recently published Consolation Prize (Scablands Books) is one of my favorite books of 2018. So many of the other Washington small presses have been gracious with their knowledge, that it felt important to give a shout back!

We also had an opportunity to show one of our Emerging Vision Filmmaker films, so a another round of applause to Rebecca Starkey for her work considering Alchemy for Cells and Other Beasts and her mother!

Finally, that was a very full house and we appreciate very much all the readers who are finding our work and joining us in these events. THANK YOU.

Vicinity/Memoryall Book Launch!

By | Readings

Always a pleasure to have a reading at Open Books, but last night was especially so as we launched our first play, Vicinity/Memoryall by Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall.

Years ago, when I was still quite young and new to Seattle, I started going to Open Books… and through time and many dozens of books later, have been friends with these two kind and generous people. As someone who never had much poetry in college and never completed a degree, I can say, that they are the biggest influence I have had in my poetic education.

It has been a wonderful honor to publish a their first play and to have the type of collaborative experience I was hoping for when starting this publishing enterprise. I have learned so much from them as we have worked through this process together.

In addition to hearing pieces of their new play (to be produced in July 2019), we also screened Sarah Lintakoon‘s “Olive”. She was the winner of our Emerging Visions Award for 2018. While checking it a bit long, we were delighted at the ways Sarah creatively worked with very little budget and a team, to tell her own story about memorialization and grief.

Our 2018 Emerging Visions Film: “Olive” a film by Sarah Lintakoon

Finally, we also got to hear Christine sing her song, What the Moon Knows and her the musical variation composed by her father, R. Gary Deavel. Take a listen on Soundcloud.