West Seattle, Washington
On Thursday night, part of Fairmount Park Elementary School was transformed into a “camp” to celebrate literacy. Students and their families enjoyed stories and poems in a variety of ways, including listening to Native American storyteller Itsa Sash:
He was telling the story of how birds got their beaks. Other activities included, according to FPE teacher Kevin Peterson, “Poetry Hill” – about 150 poems by second- and third-graders from five classrooms – as well as “Read Around the Campfire,” “Word Chopping,” and “Writing S’Mores.” A fundraising bookfair was part of the evening too:
The bookfair continues 8 am-10 am in the library this morning (Friday) with a percentage of sales going toward buying more library books for Fairmount Park.
Get ready for summer reading season this Wednesday night with a special early start for the monthly WordsWest Literary Series event – this time around, it’s Kids’ Night! Here’s the official announcement, if you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
On May 18, 2016, WordsWest will have a special, early 6 pm start and feature Kelly Jones, author of “Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer,” and Dana Simpson, author of the “Phoebe and Her Unicorn” comic series and collections, winner of the Washington State Book Award and the PNBA Award. Not only that, Jenny Cole of Burien’s Page 2 Books will share a Favorite Poem and host a Summer Reading Table. Yummy treats will be served! This evening is partially funded by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
Kelly Jones is a former librarian and bookseller who has worked with writers of all ages. She keeps much-loved, but fair…ly ordinary chickens at her home in Shoreline, Washington. Her debut novel “Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer,” about 12-year-old Sophie and her magical chickens, was illustrated by Katie Kath and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer was named an ALSC Children’s Notable Book for 2016, a 2016 Mathical Honor Book, a 2016-2017 Texas Bluebonnet Master List nominee, and a 2016-2017 Georgia Children’s Book Award Finalist; Kelly was named a 2016 Children’s Choice Debut Author finalist by the Children’s Choice Book Awards.
Dana Claire Simpson grew up in Gig Harbor, drawing the entire time. She eventually graduated from the Evergreen State College, despite having spent all her time drawing, and not always for credit. Attempts at doing real work along the way are hardly worth mentioning; the relevant fact is that, from 1998 to 2008, she drew the internet comic strip “Ozy and Millie.” After winning the Comic Strip Superstar contest in 2009, she developed the comic strip “Phoebe and Her Unicorn” (originally known online as “Heavenly Nostrils”), currently syndicated in nearly 200 newspapers. There have been three “Phoebe and Her Unicorn” book collections, to date. The first, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, won a 2015 Washington State Book Award. The second, Unicorn on a Roll, won a 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award. A third book, Unicorn vs. Goblins, was released in February 2016.
Every third Wednesday at C & P Coffee Company, WordsWest hosts literary events that range from readings by published local and national authors, to guided writing explorations. Each month we also host a community member to share his or her favorite poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.
C & P (a WSB sponsor) is at 5612 California SW.
Carmilia’s in The Junction is home to a Little Free Library once more! Proprietor Linda Sabee sent the news, and the photo above, a month and a half after she reported the first one outside her boutique at 45xx California SW had been vandalized and then stolen. This one, like her first one, was built by family members including her dad Dale Hutchinson, who’s in the photo above. Linda notes, “The building of these libraries is a true family affair. My dad, my mom’s memory, my son AND my ex-husband!” Her mom, who’s been gone since 2007, was a teacher, Linda told us in March, “a lover of education, and a huge supporter of reading, books, and literacy.”
Thanks to Elise Olson for sharing the photo collage from Global Reading Challenge competition at Arbor Heights Elementary, one of a dozen West Seattle schools on the list of this year’s participants. The Exploding Platypi won the AH in-school challenge with a perfect score of 120 and move on to the semifinals downtown on March 8th. GRC is described by the Seattle Public Library as a “battle of the books” competition for 4th and 5th graders; here are the books they’re reading this year. The teams that emerge from the semi-finals citywide will compete in the finals at the downtown library on March 22nd.
Shorewood-on-the-Sound author Sonja Anderson is the star next Friday night (February 5th) at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble, 5-7 pm. Her book is “Sophie’s Quest,” for ages 8-12, in which a mouse and an owl find themselves together aboard a ship headed for the Holy Land. Drop in this Friday night to meet Sonja and see and hear her read from “Sophie’s Quest.” (Purchases made that night, and for five days after, will see part of the proceeds going to SWSHS.)
You have until 7 pm to get to Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village to celebrate the work of 14 young authors from Chief Sealth International High School and Madison Middle School, during this month’s edition of Words, Writers, West Seattle, presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Read more about the event on the SWSHS website.
This time tomorrow (Friday) night, you have the chance to cheer 14 student authors who will be in the spotlight at this month’s installment in the Words, Writers, and West Seattle literary series:
Students from Madison Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School will be talking about the books they’ve written as a part of a Community Learning Center program out of the West Seattle YMCA.
Sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, this FREE Young Authors installment of “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” begins at 5 p.m. Friday, January 8, 2016, at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village. All purchases made by those attending the talk that afternoon and for the next five days will result in a contribution of ten percent of proceeds to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society under the Barnes and Noble Book Fair Program.
According to the YMCA class instructor, Greg Hatcher, the students have published fiction, memoirs, and poetry in all sorts of genres. Hatcher says, “The students tend to lean toward the fantastic in their fiction but nothing is off limits.” Book titles include (from Madison Middle School students) Art In Words; Limitless; In Our Own Worlds, Fending for Ourselves; Imagination; Imagination, The Next Generation; Dubstep Kitty; Stuff and Nonsense; and More Than Just Scribbles
Students from Chief Sealth High School will be presenting Potpourri; Inkwell; Rising Sun; Shattered Moon; Harrowing Fairy Tales; and Raison d’Etre.
Stop by B&N any time between 5 and 7 Friday night to listen to some or all of the students and celebrate their accomplishments; read more about the Words, Writers, and West Seattle series here.
Whatever you’re facing – you can overcome it. That’s the message shared at Denny International Middle School this afternoon by Seattle-based best-selling author Sherman Alexie. With humor and honesty, he spoke to Denny students in a special all-school assembly at the end of the day, telling them about challenges he faced growing up on the Spokane Tribe of Indians‘ reservation in Eastern Washington on his way to becoming an acclaimed author (dating back to his first novel, “Reservation Blues,” which won an American Book Award in 1996.
Until 7 pm, author and longtime West Seattleite Shirley Enebrad is at Barnes & Noble/West Seattle for this month’s edition of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented literary series Words, Writers, & West Seattle. She’s currently based in Honolulu but remains well-known here for her years not only as a neighbor but also as an entrepreneur – she co-owned The Good Book – and television producer. B&N is in the midst of a mini-Makers Faire so Shirley is talking tonight about the process of “making” writing, from TV to books to web, as well as speaking about her book “Over the Rainbow Bridge,” chronicling her 9-year-old son Cory‘s death from cancer. Shirley was introduced by series coordinator Dora-Faye Hendricks.
Food literacy was back on the menu today in the Sanislo Elementary library, as Katherine Pryor – author of “Sylvia’s Spinach” and “Zora’s Zucchini” – came to visit. First- and second-graders rotated through over the course of the morning. Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes featured “Zora …,” the newer of the two books, with kindergarteners back in June, and wrote about it here. Pryor’s publisher is Readers to Eaters, whose co-founder Philip Lee visited Sanislo last year. (Check out all the Readers to Eaters books here.)
Pryor talked to the students about growing food, including how she gardened in the back of a pickup truck one summer. In a re-enactment of the story about Sylvia, they all got to taste spinach leaves, in case they hadn’t before – and we hear some spinach was to be planted in the school garden beds, too.
(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)
After a two-week closure, the Seattle Public Library‘s West Seattle (Admiral) branch will reopen tomorrow as scheduled, SPL’s official announcement:
The West Seattle Branch and book drop, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday, August 31. The branch was closed for two weeks while the front steps were being replaced as part of a project to improve access to the branch.
Improvements to the branch include:
· Rebuilding front steps
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to main front entrance
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to lower-level meeting room
· Adding lighted handrails to ramps and steps
· Resurfacing parking stalls on north end of the lot
The project is expected to be completed in late September.
Doing some pre-holiday cleaning? Got children’s books that the kids in your family have outgrown? Consider taking them to the West Seattle Food Bank, which provided the photos and the request:
The West Seattle Food Bank’s Bookcase Program is in need of all kinds of gently used children’s books, especially board books. Our Bookcase Program has grown tremendously over the last year – we distributed over 12,000 adult and children books all through generous donations from our community. Our clients love the program; they can take up to 10 books home to keep. Donation hours are Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm and we are located at 3419 SW Morgan St. on the corner of 35th & Morgan. Enter through the garage on Morgan, come in, and we have volunteers that can help you with your donation. Thank you so much.
(You want to make somebody smile before the holiday, right?)
Five notes about West Seattle writers – starting with an event tonight:
SARAH FOX @ WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: First Friday of the month means it’s the night that the Southwest Seattle Historical Society presents WWWS at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble. 5-7 pm, meet and hear from Sarah Fox, who’ll read from her book “Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West.” (The clip above is her video invitation.)
ARLEEN WILLIAMS AT BPP: 3-6 pm Saturday (June 6th), stop by Beveridge Place Pub to join in the celebration of Arleen Williams‘ completion of her Alki Trilogy, explained on the second page of the event flyer:
BPP is at 6413 California SW.
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES – KIDS’ NIGHT! 6 pm Wednesday, June 17th, at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), the next WordsWest Literary Series event will help young readers put together their summer reading list. And it’ll feature authors whose work they’ll want to read if they haven’t already – Sundee T. Frazier and father/daughter team Dr. Charles Johnson and Elisheba Johnson.
MEET AUTHORS AT MORGAN JUNCTION FESTIVAL: 10:30 am-6 pm on Saturday, June 20th, one of the new features at this year’s Morgan Junction Community Festival: Meet local authors! It’s a long list already, and you can see it in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLEITE’S COOKBOOK: Ron Merlin e-mailed to let us know he’s published a cookbook and has a signing event set for August 1st. Not in West Seattle, but this is enough lead time to plan! The signing will be at Victrola Coffee Roasters, 411 15th Avenue East. Merlin says, “I’m hoping folks will come and I would love to meet them, and provide them with a signed copy of my effort over the last six years.”
The monthly WordsWest Literary Series has already highlighted many talented local writers – but this month’s edition really has something they can crow about: A rare West Seattle appearance by best-selling author Lyanda Lynn Haupt. She and poet Allen Braden are reading this Wednesday (May 20th) at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) in the next WordsWest event, as announced:
From backyard bestiaries to the farms of White Swan, nature slays us. From the intelligence of crows to the many chambers of a cow’s heart, we learn to look again at the commonplace life that surrounds us. For the May 20th, 2015 edition of WordsWest Literary Series, Washington poet Allen Braden and West Seattle naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt, will join us for a night of natural highs. This month WordsWest is again very grateful for a grant from Poets & Writers that allows us to pay our writers for their time and talent.
Allen Braden is the author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood (University of Georgia) and Elegy in the Passive Voice (University of Alaska/Fairbanks). His poems have been anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Poetry: An Introduction, Best New Poets and Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry. He teaches at Tacoma Community College.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her most recent book is The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little, Brown 2013). Her previous books include Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness (Little, Brown 2009), awarded the 2010 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award; Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (Sasquatch 2001), winner of the 2002 Washington State Book Award; and Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks (Little, Brown 2006).
Every third Wednesday, 7 pm, at C & P Coffee Company, WordsWest hosts literary events that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level. Each month a community member from a local, independent business shares his or her favorite poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. On May 20th, we welcome Eric Jordan of The Office Junction. WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.
C & P is at 5612 California SW.
We’ve reported before on the achievements of Taryn Smith, the West Seattle High School senior who is the reigning Miss Seattle – and this Saturday (April 18th), you can help her with her next community-service endeavor: A book drive for local kids.
Taryn will be at Merryweather Books in The Junction (4537 California SW) collecting donated children’s book to give to the kids at Mary’s Place, which helps homeless women and children with shelter and other needs. Bring your book donations to Taryn at the shop between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday.
Got a little space on your bookshelf? Or maybe in your nearest Little Free Library? A legendary book sale is coming up Saturday – and inviting donations before then if you have some books that need new homes (read this all the way to the end!):
It’s spring, and that means it’s time for the annual Sanislo Elementary Book Sale!
Come join us Saturday, April 4th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school (1812 SW Myrtle Street) to browse a great selection of used books and buy a sweet treat. All proceeds benefit the annual fourth grade adventure to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island where for three days and two nights, our kids will immerse themselves in environmental education and camp fun. For many of the kids, this is will be their first trip away from home, first ferry ride, first campfire, first s’more, and it is always a highlight of their years at Sanislo. Please come support our kids and your reading habit! We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
We are also accepting donations of used books in good condition for the sale. (Please, no textbooks, manuals or magazines.) Donations can be dropped by the Sanislo front office during the school day. You can contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. THANK YOU!
(Tuesday night WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
We went downtown last night for the 20th annual Global Reading Challenge finals, in which West Seattle Elementary‘s Reading Warriors (above) and Lafayette Elementary‘s Rad Radical Hyperactive Jellyfish (below) were among the seven teams that made the cut from around the city.
Even this event was affected by the southbound Highway 99 closure – our area’s teams made it in time, heading northbound, but the start time was postponed so everyone could arrive from the north end. Ahead – scenes from the competition:
As previewed in today’s calendar highlights – West Seattle’s newest Little Free Library is officially open for book stocking and borrowing. Thanks to Gunner for the photo of this LFL’s builder/host Robbie at this afternoon’s reception in the 7700 block of 12th SW, also featured on this neighborhood FB group page. The official LFL site says more than 20,000 LFLs are open for book-sharing, in 70+ countries.
From Madison Middle School librarian Stacia Bell, word of a big event next week:
Next Tuesday, March 24th, popular young-adult author Marissa Meyer will be visiting Madison Middle School to talk with students about her Lunar Chronicles dystopian series and her experience being an author. There will be two author talk assemblies in the Madison cafeteria—one at 9:40 and the other at 1:30 — and parents and families are welcome to attend. Marissa will also be selling and signing her books after each assembly for interested students. Paperback copies of the books will be on sale for $10.95 and hardback copies for $19.70. Students and families can pay with cash or check (make checks out to University Book Store). Students are also welcome to bring previously purchased copies of her books to get them personally signed by Marissa. And as always, all of the books in this series will be available for checkout in our Madison Library. Contact Madison Librarian Stacia Bell at email@example.com if you have questions. Hope to see you out!
Last year came word of the nomination … now, finally, it’s time to vote on a local book nominated for a national award.
“Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups” has been nominated for the prestigious Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award for best book.
Written by Brenda Peterson with photos by Robin Lindsey (co-founders of Seal Sitters), the book weaves a tale based on the true story of the friendship of two West Seattle seal pups in 2007 – and the young volunteers who protected them.
There are 5 nominees for the award, and children must read or listen to at least two of the books in order to vote for a winner. Voting must be completed online between March 15 and April 10, 2015. All elementary-school-age children are eligible to vote.
The highly respected Beverly Cleary Award will help bring even more national attention to the book. This award will help protect seal pups and inspire children to reap the rewards of volunteerism and environmental stewardship.
While Leopard & Silkie has garnered much praise from critics (including 2013 Outstanding Science Trade Books K-12 by National Science Teachers Assoc), the best award of all would be from the children we so hope to influence!
Wondering how to vote? Details are in this post on the Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog.
P.S. – WANT TO BE A SEAL SITTER? TRAINING NEXT SUNDAY! We’re told space remains at this Sunday’s training session for potential Seal Sitters volunteers of (almost) all ages – if you’re interested, it’s a rare chance to get the training and get involved. Go here to get details, including the mandatory RSVP link.
This Wednesday (January 21st), you’re invited to the next edition of the WordsWest Literary Series at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), and with two days to go, there’s been a last-minute change in readers – Jennie Shortridge (above right) will now join Frances McCue (above left). Here’s the updated announcement from the WordsWest curators:
From fad diets to online dating to world peace — this is the exhaustingly inexhaustible material of New Year’s Resolutions. Join us for the perspectives of two amazing local authors as they take a new look at the old tradition of making and breaking our resolve. For the January 21, 2015, edition of WordsWest Literary Series, best-selling novelist Jennie Shortridge and award-winning poet Frances McCue will read their work which invites all of us to explore our ideas, hopes and intentions for the coming year.
This month WordsWest is thankful for support from Poets & Writers.
Frances McCue is a poet, essayist, reviewer and arts instigator. From 1996-2006, she was the founding director of Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Her poetry collection The Bled won the 2011 Washington State Book Award. McCue’s other work includes the essay collection The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs (runner-up for the Washington State Book Award), poetry collection The Stenographer’s Breakfast, and prose in Mary Randlett Portraits.
Jennie Shortridge is the author of five bestselling novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew. Her books have been selected as American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next picks, Target Bookmarked picks, and Library Journal’s Editors’ Picks. Three have been optioned for film. An avid volunteer, Jennie is the co-founder of Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit collective of Northwest authors who raise money and awareness for literature and literacy.
Every third Wednesday, 7 pm, at C & P Coffee Company, WordsWest hosts literary events that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level. Folks from local, independent businesses share a favorite poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. On January 21st, Twilight Gallery and Boutique will join us.
WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw. Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordsWestLiterary. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit WordsWestLiterary.com.
C & P is at 5612 California SW.
West Seattle’s literary scene continued to deepen in 2014 – and on this second day of 2015, it’s already time for the year’s first installment of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented monthly celebration of local writing, Words, Writers, West Seattle. Tonight, 5-7 pm, come to Westwood Village’s Barnes & Noble bookstore to meet and hear from writer Christine Brant, who’s featured in the SWSHS-provided, Avenue Productions-produced video invitation above. It’s free; if you’re interested, you’ll be able to buy her book “Red and Grey” during the event. P.S. The next four editions of the first-Fridays WWW series are previewed here.