3 West Seattle writers join to ignite ‘Literary Fires’ tomorrow

By Christine Johnson-Duell
Special to West Seattle Blog

Literary Fires,” tomorrow (Wednesday) night at C&P Coffee (WSB sponsor), is a poetry and prose reading on the topic of fires, real and conjured.

The firestarter is poet Susan Rich (left), who won a 2010 CityArtist grant to write about her experiences in Spain during the 2009 wildfires. This reading is part of the grant project.

To help her fan the literary flames, Susan invited award-winning writers Harold Taw and Elizabeth Austen to read with her. All three writers live in West Seattle — and all three have had a literary year that was, well, on fire; Rich’s invitation to Taw and Austen might serve an additional purpose: To mark the achievements all three have enjoyed this year.

Elizabeth Austen (right) had not one but two chapbooks published in 2010: “The Girl Who Goes Alone,” winner of the 2010 Floating Bridge Press chapbook competition, and “Where Currents Meet, “one of four chapbook manuscripts chosen to be part of the 2010 Toadlily Press quartet, Sightline. Austen is the voice of poetry on KUOW 94.9 public radio and arrives to read at C&P fresh from an appearance at The Poet’s House in Manhattan over the weekend. (Find Elizabeth online at elizabethausten.wordpress.com.)

Earlier this year, the new imprint, AmazonEncore extended an offer to Harold Taw (right) to publish his novel, “Adventures of the Karaoke King” (April 2011 release date). Harold is also the author of the screenplay “dog park,” which has won a number of awards at international film festivals. His essay, “I Believe in Feeding Monkeys on My Birthday,” appeared on the NPR series This I Believe and is included in an anthology “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women” (Henry Holt). (Find Harold online at www.haroldtaw.com/Home_Page.html.)

2010 also brought the publication of Susan Rich’s third collection of poetry, “The Alchemist¹s Kitchen” (White Pine Press). Her earlier books are “The Cartographer’s Tongue” and “Cures Include Travel,” both from White Pine press. Susan is the winner of a Seattle CityArtist grant, PEN USA award, GAP grant and a Washington Artist Trust Fellowship. (Find Susan online at thealchemistskitchen.blogspot.com.)

“Literary Fires” starts at 7 pm Wednesday at C&P Coffee, 5612 California SW; CityArtist, the co-sponsor, is a program of the Seattle Office of Cultural Affairs.

5 Replies to "3 West Seattle writers join to ignite 'Literary Fires' tomorrow"

  • d November 9, 2010 (9:09 pm)

    Wow, that sounds great! Do we have talent in WS, or what?

  • Elizabeth Austen November 10, 2010 (6:52 am)

    Thank you, Christine, for this article about our reading. One correction — Laura Read won the 2010 Floating Bridge Chapbook Award for THE CHEWBACCA ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD REMINDS ME OF YOU. My chapbook was published as a special project by Floating Bridge, thanks to grant funding from 4Culture.

  • Tiffany B November 10, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Awesome! Wish I had known about this before I made plans for this evening. Susan was my English teacher at Highline Community College. Her poetry is fantastic!

  • Susan Rich November 10, 2010 (5:51 pm)

    Thanks, Tiffany,

    Sorry to miss you! I hope you are well.

    All best to you,


  • Jill November 11, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    Oh wow, that sounds so great, I’m sorry I am only finding out about it now. That’ll learn me for thinking I can go a few days without WSB!

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