Open Books, one of only four poetry-only bookstores in the country, has successfully transitioned ownership and is re-invigorating its events calendar with readings, book launches, discussions, signings and a children’s story time every Sunday. This Friday, Oct. 28, a reading and discussion will kick off a planned series on the ins and outs of translation. All events will be right here in Wallingford, at 2414 N. 45th St.
The event, titled On Translation, will feature Alejandro de Acosta and Maged Zaher as they read from their recent translations and discuss the challenges of communicating the nuances and musical resonances of a poet’s work outside the language in which it was originally written. Audience members will be encouraged to join the conversation. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Acosta is co-translator of Micrograms by the highly influential Ecuadorian poet Jorge Carrera Andrade, published by Seattle publisher Wave Books in 2011. Zaher, translator of A Winged Horse in a Plane by Iraqi poet Salah Faik (Tinfish Press), is a familiar face at Seattle writers’ hub the Hugo House, and in 2013 won The Stranger’s Genius award in literature.
Open Books founders John Marshall and Christine Deavel retired in September, passing the torch to Billie Swift, a poet and Seattle native.
“My goal is for Open Books to be a community gathering space where anyone who loves poetry or who wants to learn about poetry can share ideas and discover new work,” Swift said. “Through our events, we want to support local writers, and at the same time invite in some of the best poets from around the country so that Seattle has a chance to enjoy and discuss their work.”
Swift is also placing a special emphasis on expanding the bookstore’s programming for children, starting with a weekly children’s storytime, Sundays at 11 a.m. Guest readers will read from the Classic Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and a selection of poetry for children. On Nov. 20, lauded Seattle poet and educator Ed Skoog will be a featured reader, and will sign books afterward, from 12-2 p.m.
Other upcoming events include:
- A signing with Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World (Moon City Press), 4-6 p.m. Oct 29
- A reading with Kimberly Lambright, Ultra Cabin (42 Miles Press) and Carol Guess Tinderbox Lawn (Rose Metal Press), 7 p.m. Nov. 4
- A reading with Sam Hamill, Brenda Hillman and Colleen McElroy, guests from the 2016 Cascadia Poetry Festival, 4 p.m. Nov. 6. Tickets available through Cascadia Poetry Festival.
- On Collaboration: A discussion on the making of The After (Entre Ríos Books) will feature poet Melinda Mueller, musician Kate Olson and publisher Knox Gardner, 7 p.m. Nov. 11
- A double book launch from Scablands Books with Ellen Welcker, Ram Hands, alongside friend and fellow poet Tim Greenup, Without Warning, 7 p.m. Nov. 13
- A reading featuring Sarah Riggs, Pomme & Granite (1913 Press) and Sarah Mangold, Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press), 7 p.m. Nov. 29
- An evening of storytelling and discussion with Jane Wong and fellow Kundiman artists, 7:15 p.m. Dec. 2. Jane will be on hand at 6:30 to sign copies of her stunning debut Overpour (Action Books)
- A reading featuring poets Ari Banias, Bill Carty, and Stacey Tran, 7 p.m. Dec. 9