West Seattle, Washington
ORIGINAL 2:56 PM NOTE: Love sci-fi/fantasy? You might want to watch the Nebula Awards online tonight. West Seattle writer Cat Rambo sent the info – she’s up for a Nebula Award for her book “Carpe Glitter.” The ceremony starts at 5 pm – here’s the trailer for the event, which is part of a three-day conference:
Cat notes that LeVar Burton, seen at the trailer’s end, is presenting the Andre Norton Award. (Last month, you might recall, he read one of her stories for an online audience.) Her work is a finalist in the Novelette category; the full list of Nebula finalists is here.
8:36 PM: As noted in comments, and earlier via Twitter, Cat Rambo won! Congratulations!
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 11, 2020
If you’re a fan of actor LeVar Burton – you might know he’s reading stories live on Twttter/Periscope these days. Last night, the story he chose to read was “Magnificent Pigs,” by West Seattle-based writer Cat Rambo, immediate past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (among other accomplishments). She explained that the SFWA “arranged for people on this year’s Nebula Awards ballot (I am on there for a novelette, CARPE GLITTER) to send stories in for consideration for LeVar. He called yesterday morning and said he was reading my story last night, which absolutely flabbergasted me. I’m so happy my story got a chance to entertain that many people, and holy cow, having your work read by LeVar Burton is about as good as it gets.” (Click above to see/hear him read it.)
Updates from West Seattle’s two independent bookstores:
PEGASUS BOOK EXCHANGE: The store is “still open for business as well as offering curbside pickup and delivery.” More below:
Pegasus is at 4553 California SW.
PAPER BOAT BOOKSELLERS: The store at 6010 California SW is now closed to the public but doing delivery and pickup – here’s the newest info:
While we are closed to the public, we will operate out of the store on a limited schedule to answer phones, take orders and provide curbside drop-off and delivery. Hours of operation will be:
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: 11 am-5 pm
Delivery Times: 3 pm-5pm (if demand is high we may expand delivery days and times)
Ways To Order:
Order Online: Our online store will be up and running soon. You can place your order for books or gift cards and we will ship them out to you (shipping is free for gift cards). If you choose “in store pick-up” we will call you when your purchases are ready and you can choose to pick up curbside or we can deliver them to you. In the comments, please leave your address for delivery or type “curbside”.
Order By Phone Or Email: Call or email us with your book order and if we have what you need we will pull it off the shelf or order it for you. We will let you know when your order is ready and you can pay over the phone-please don’t send your credit card information over email.
Ways To Deliver:
Curbside Pick-Up: During our hours of operation we will offer curbside delivery outside the store. Once we contact you to let you know your order is ready, you can pre-pay over the phone and if you’ve ordered online then your order should be paid for. Call us when you are here: 206-743-8283 and we’ll run your order out to you-now you are set to read, read, read!
Delivery: We are offering free delivery to our customers within West Seattle limits. Please take us up on it-we have driving teenagers who are out of school and they are more than willing to help (as long as there’s cash involved by Mom and Dad of course!).Simply place your order over the phone or online and choose “in store pick-up”, leave your address in the comments and let us know you would like for us to deliver. We will deliver on T/Th/Sat between 3 pm-5 pm (if demand is high we may deliver on other days-we will wait and see).
This isn’t ideal! Nothing can replace coming into the store, browsing and shopping at your leisure, but we will try our best to get books (and workbooks, puzzles, games) any way we can. We are happy to give you recommendations over the phone or pick a surprise recommendation for you-we are always happy to share our thoughts and ideas with you!
We have updates today from West Seattle’s independent local bookstores:
PEGASUS BOOK EXCHANGE: This Junction bookstore is now offering delivery, within 3 miles of the store, on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Mondays. They’ll take orders via email – pegasusbookexchange (at) gmail.com – and get back to you with a cost. Delivery fee is $5 but will be waived for purchases over $50. Here’s an image of the full announcement. Pegasus’s store is still open, too – 4553 California SW (and they have an online shop here).
PAPER BOAT BOOKSELLERS: This Morgan Junction bookstore also working on delivery. Meantime, some other changes. From co-proprietor Desirae:
We will be reducing our hours temporarily starting tomorrow 3/13. For right now, we feel that this is necessary due to school closures as well as the health and safety of our team and our customers. We will find every way we can to get books into the hands of those who need them!!! We are working on our online store right now and plan to deliver to those who can’t make it in – more details to come… Family reading time is canceled for the remainder of the month! Still happening: Classic Novels Book Club this Sunday at 2:00! As always – feel free to call or email us with questions and to place your book orders. We love you, West Seattle, and we will work together to create a stronger, more healthy community by supporting each other as best we can!
Paper Boat is at 6040 California SW.
Going back to before last year’s vote on the Seattle Public Library levy, much discussion focused on its inclusion of a plan to end overdue-material fines. That just kicked in, but it’s not the only change that’s taking effect. From the library’s announcement:
… The Library continues to urge residents to return their library items. It will send reminders via email, text and phone. Patrons will receive notices to remind them when materials are due, as well as when they are past due. Patrons will still be responsible for paying replacement fees for lost or damaged items. Outstanding fees for lost and damaged items will not be waived. …
As part of the new policy:
· Patrons will now be able to renew items up to three times if no one else is waiting for them
· The Library will change its notification schedule to help borrowers remember to return their items, and patrons can now sign up for text-message reminders
· Patrons who do not return an item within 14 days after it’s due will have their Library account suspended until they’ve returned the item or paid the replacement fee
· The Library will consider an item lost if it is not returned after 31 days past its due date, and a replacement fee will be added to the account
· Patrons can find details on the new policies at spl.org/NoLateFines
The change means the reinstatement of about 51,000 accounts, SPL says. Meantime, the levy also is adding hours of operation, starting this Sunday, when all branches will open an hour earlier, noon instead of 1 pm. Delridge Library also soon will be open on Fridays because of levy funding, which is expanding hours at High Point and South Park too.
If you have a young reader in the family who’s reading – or has read – the Louisa May Alcott classic “Little Women” (now the subject of a new movie), here’s a chance to talk about it. Next Thursday (January 2nd), local educator Julia Douthwaite Viglione, Ph.D., is leading a “‘Little Women’ Book Discussion Club” for ages 8+ at Paper Boat Booksellers. It’s free; Dr. Viglione explains, “We will engage in spirited and well-focused discussion of “Little Women” … You will read the book before coming, and you will write down your favorite quotes to share during the discussion.” It’s happening 11 am-12:30 pm next Thursday; Paper Boat is at 6040 California SW.
They’ll be open until 7 tonight. And on Friday night, their first author event:
Paper Boat is West Seattle’s first all-new-books independent bookstore since Square One closed nine years ago.
Big event ahead for West Seattle-headquartered The Whale Trail. Just announced:
Erich Hoyt, internationally renowned author and marine conservationist, is returning to deliver a new series of talks about orcas and marine conservation. ‘Orca Tour 2019’ follows the sell-out 2014 and 2015 tours and will focus on Erich’s efforts to protect marine mammal habitats worldwide and how they might support the conservation of orcas in the North Pacific. The talks, as well as the release of Erich’s expanded new edition of “Orca: The Whale Called Killer,” are especially timely given the recent loss of three southern resident orcas.
“Orca: The Whale Called Killer” charts Erich Hoyt’s adventures and conservation work, which began with killer whales off the B.C. coast and was followed by two decades of orca research in Kamchatka, Russia. As co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, and policy lead for the Healthy Seas program of the U.K.-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Erich co-directs a 10-year project to map the habitats for 130 species of marine mammals across the world’s oceans. His book, “Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises,” has helped set the standard for marine biodiversity conservation work.
“This is a rare chance to hear from Erich in person,” said Donna Sandstrom, Executive Director of The Whale Trail and a member of Governor Jay Inslee’s Task Force on Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery. “Erich has been thinking about how to protect orcas as long as he has been writing about them, starting in the 1980s when he contributed to the successful effort to protect Robson Bight, a critical habitat for the northern resident orcas. Erich’s talk will inspire and inform our efforts to protect J, K and L pods, here, where his work began.”
Erich added: “It’s special for me coming back to the Northwest to celebrate this new edition of my book—the work that set me on a life path. In my talks, I will introduce a global context for addressing threats and supporting marine habitat conservation. Much has changed for the orcas here. People know the individuals and their families and appreciate their precarious existence—especially the endangered southern residents. We all want to do more to help them.”
The Orca Tour is organized by The Whale Trail and local sponsoring organizations. “Orca: The Whale Called Killer” and Erich’s other books will be on sale at each event. A Q &A and book signing will follow each presentation.
Orca Tour – WEST SEATTLE
Who: The Whale Trail presents “Orca Tour 2019” with Author and Conservationist Erich Hoyt, sponsored by Sound Community Bank
What: Presentation and talk given by Erich Hoyt on “Healthy Seas for Whales and Dolphins” and book signing of new edition of “ORCA: The Whale Called Killer”
When: Thursday, September 19, 7 PM
Where: Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW, West Seattle
Tickets: $15 General Admission • $10 Students/Seniors/Kids under 12
Advance Tickets: erichhoyt.brownpapertickets.com
Congratulations to Susan Rich, Harold Taw, and Katy E. Ellis, the local writers who founded WordsWest Literary Series, for its successful five-year run, which ended last night with a celebration at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor).
Among the accomplished authors and poets who joined them one last time for readings, West Seattle-residing Claudia Castro Luna, our state’s Poet Laureate:
As the three co-founders told WSB just before season 4, the idea behind WordsWest was to be able to go to readings without having to cross the bridge. But this year, various life changes led Ellis, Rich, and Taw to decide it was time to close the book on a good run.
Markus Taylor shares the photo and report:
Two West Seattle authors have won a 2019 IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) for their erotic romance novel Pop Secrets. Markus Taylor and his silent writing partner live on Alki, along with the book’s female protagonist. Markus accepted the award in New York City on May 28th at the Copacabana in Times Square. The writing combination of a gay male and a straight female worked remarkably well for the genre.
Pop Secrets synopsis:
A fast-paced, edgy escape into a secret world of sexual temptation and liberation. Thirty-year-old Jackie Notter has had enough of men. After a disastrous marriage, Jackie has a chance encounter with pop sensation Brixton Webber. For the first time in her life she finally experiences true pleasure. Jackie wants more and Brixton is happy to deliver. What begins as wild sex turns into a torrid love affair. But they live in completely different worlds, and their age difference complicates matters. How far will Brixton’s disapproving manager go to keep them apart? Will Jackie’s interloping “was-band” ruin everything? Is Brixton willing to alienate his young and adoring fans for the sake of love, or will Jackie remain his Pop Secret?
The book’s website is here.
Early reminder for Wednesday night – it’s the second-to-last WordsWest Literary Series event, last one in the longrunning format – here’s the announcement in case you haven’t already seen it in the calendar:
In the penultimate event of WordsWest Literary Series’s five-year history, on May 15, 2019, novelist Erica Bauermeister and poet/visual artist Alan Chong Lau will muse upon “Awakening the Senses.” As an added bonus, independent bookstore Open Books will have copies of Erica’s latest novel, The Scent Keeper, available to purchase one week before its official release date!
Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of four novels. Her most recent is The Scent Keeper (St. Martin’s, May 2019), a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. Her other novels include The School of Essential Ingredients (Putnam, 2009), Joy for Beginners (Putnam, June 2011), and The Lost Art of Mixing (Putnam, 2013). She is also the co-author of two nonfiction books: 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.
Poet and visual artist Alan Chong Lau’s collections of poetry include Songs for Jadina (1980), which won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; Blues and Greens: A Produce Worker’s Journal (2000); and no hurry (2007). With Lawson Fusao Inada and Garrett Hongo, he authored The Buddha Bandits Down Highway 99 (1978). His work has appeared in anthologies such as From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas 1900–2002 (2002) and What Book!?: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop (1998). Poems by Alan Chong Lau in collaboration with photos by John Levy will appear in the online literary magazine Otata starting in May, 2019. His book of poems, prose and artwork about Japan will be published by Entre Rios Books in 2020. Arts editor for the International Examiner, Lau coordinates the Asian review of books Pacific Reader, and ArtXchange Gallery represents his visual work.
The Favorite Poem Project invites a community member to share a favorite poem and information about his or her organization. On May 15th, we welcome the host for WordsWest throughout its history, C & P Coffee Company.
WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw. Grant funding from Poets & Writers, Inc. allows WordsWest to pay featured writers for their time and talent.
This all gets going at 7 pm Wednesday (May 15th) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
Congratulations to the team behind “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred,” which has won three awards! The 244-page coffee-table book published last year by Documentary Media is the creation o writer and photographer Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, with West Seattle’s Clay Eals as editor and introduction writer. The awards:
— The Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Awards, Silver for Regional Books (note the commemorative sticker on the cover in the photo above!)
— The Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs), Bronze for West Pacific / Best Regional Non-Fiction
— The Association for King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) Virginia Marie Folkins Award
Details are here, including video of one award presentation. And if you happen to be joining the Rotary Club for West Seattle tomorrow morning (8 am at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction), you can congratulate Eals in person; he’ll be making the 32nd presentation about “Historic Hundred.”
The photo is from West Seattle High School teacher Joy Patman, who reports “a pretty cool visitor” to her Spanish 4 class this past Wednesday: Author Valeria Luiselli, who spoke hours later at Benaroya Hall downtown. She explains that the author “wrote a very timely book a year and a half ago called ‘Tell Me How It Ends,’ which documents in question form the immigration crisis as it relates to undocumented minors arriving at the Mexican-American border and being interviewed for asylum. We were able to purchase a set of these books last year. SP4 read it this quarter, worked together on projects over the last week and (Wednesday) had the experience of engaging the author in Spanish in a round table discussion.”
Got a dog? Enjoy traveling? West Seattleite Brandie Ahlgren, founder/editor of CityDog Magazine, is getting ready to publish a book you might enjoy – but first, a bit of crowdfunding:
after 13 years of digging up the best places to sit, stay, and play with your pooch in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve compiled it all into one place, a 200-page, full-color guidebook called the Doggone Travel+Adventure Guide. As you can imagine, printing a full-color book is not cheap, but worth it with over 350 photos shot by Northwest professional photographers! Anyway, we recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover half of the printing and with just nine days to go, we are 50% to our goal. One of the pledge levels includes a photo of your dog in the book.
If you love literature, we bet you look forward to the third Wednesday of the month, when WordsWest Literary Series takes over C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) for the night. Next edition is March 20th – still more than a week away but we want to give you extra heads-up, as WordsWest has announced this will be its final season of regular monthly presentations. Here are the details on who you’ll see and hear this month:
WordsWest Literary Series Presents “Questions of Time Travel, Time Zones, Time’s Up”
with poet Catherine Barnett and fiction writer Renee Simms (L-R in top photo)
Favorite Poem by Open Books: A Poem Emporium
We let it rule our lives, we say it passes too slow and then too quickly. What is time and how does it affect us? Poet Catherine Barnett and fiction writer Renee Simms will share 90 minutes with us and read from their new books — both looking at time in a multitude of ways.
WordsWest Literary Series is grateful for funding from Poets & Writers, Inc. that allows us to pay our writers for their time and talent.
Catherine Barnett is the author of three poetry collections, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (2004),The Game of Boxes (2012), winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Human Hours, just published by Graywolf Press. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award, she is a member of the core faculty of New York University’s Creative Writing Program, a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, and an independent editor. She lives in New York City.
Renee Simms‘ writing appears in Callaloo, Oxford American, Ecotone, Literary Hub, Southwest Review, North American Review, The Rumpus, Salon and elsewhere. She’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Ragdale, Vermont Studio Center, Kimbilio, PEN Center, and Cave Canem. She’s been a featured artist at Elliott Bay Book Company, Tempe Center for the Arts, Midnight Special Bookstore, and on the Portland book podcast, Between the Covers. She lives with one-and-a half children (her eldest is away at college) and a black and white kitty named Barack. Renee’s debut story collection is Meet Behind Mars. She is currently working on a collection of essays and a novel.
WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.
The series launched in 2014. Susan says that various life changes have led to the co-curators deciding that Year 5 will be the last, but, “we are probably going to return for special events.”
Shannon reports that students from Alki Elementary and Genesee Hill Elementary also made it to today’s round, which was won by North Seattle’s McDonald International Elementary. This year’s final is March 19th; here are the books used in this year’s GRC.
Love history? You have a chance this week to celebrate it as Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard return to West Seattle with an illustrated talk about their recently published book “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.” West Seattle historian and writer Clay Eals, who edited the book, will be part of the presentation, 6 pm Thursday (January 24th) at Aegis Living (4700 SW Admiral Way). Everyone’s welcome to what will be, Eals notes, “the 25th event on behalf of the book since its launch on Paul’s 80th birthday last October 28.” Find out about the previous presentations – including videos – on the book’s website. Better yet, just go! It’s free, and Aegis will treat you to appetizers and beverages.
Story and photos by Tony Lystra
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Now that the Westwood Village Barnes & Noble has closed its doors, Pegasus Book Exchange is West Seattle’s last surviving bookstore — and, despite a deluge of obituaries for America’s independent bookstores, business is booming at the family-owned store at 4553 California Avenue SW, employees say.
Eric Ogriseck, who has worked at the store for seven years, said 2018 was the best year in Pegasus’ history. The banner year was, no doubt, helped along by last year’s closure of Merryweather Books, just a few storefronts up California Avenue. Still, Ogriseck said, revenues at Pegasus have been jumping roughly 5-10 percent in recent years.
The vast majority of the book store’s shelves are piled with used books, but the store started selling a few new titles more than a decade ago, when customers were clamoring for new copies of the hit teen vampire drama Twilight.
With Barnes & Noble closing, Ogriseck said more books are on their way to Pegasus, which has been owned for nearly four decades by Fred and Lanthe Epps, of Mount Vernon, and managed by their grown daughter Emma Epps.
“We have to kind of stay with the times,” said Ogriseck, who added that the store will likely increase its new book inventory by 10 percent.
Most months, you’ll find WordsWest Literary Series bringing writers to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) on the third Wednesday. This month, however, because of the holiday, the free event is happening on the fourth Wednesday – three days away, 7 pm November 28th! Here’s what’s planned:
Join WordsWest on this special date as three Bellingham writers bring you a feast of words to satiate your post-Thanksgiving hunger for top-notch writing. Bruce Beasley will read poetry, Suzanne Paola non-fiction, and Carol Guess will surprise us with her genre-acrobatics! For the fifth year in a row, our November event will feature a bake sale with 100% of the proceeds given to the West Seattle Food Bank, and a food bank volunteer will share their favorite poem.
Bruce Beasley is a professor of English at Western Washington University and the author of eight collections of poems, most recently All Soul Parts Returned (BOA Editions, 2017).
Carol Guess is the author of nineteen books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered, Doll Studies: Forensics, and Tinderbox Lawn. In 2014 she was awarded the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement by Columbia University. She teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.
Suzanne Paola’s latest works of nonfiction are Make Me a Mother(W.W. Norton) and Curious Atoms (Essay Press). She is also author of Body Toxic, A Mind Apart, and the novella Stolen Moments. Awards include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, and an Oprah Bookshelf pick.
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 is at 5612 California SW.
Tonight at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor), local author Betsy Bell read from, and signed copies, of her new book “Open Borders.” She describes it as “a personal story of love, loss and anti-war activism … a fascinating trip back to the 80s when Seattle realized we were a target in the case of a nuclear war. I was part of the big wake-up call to prevent such a thing. My husband and daughter and I joined a group of people who traveled into the USSR to deliver a letter of peace at the height of the Cold War.” You can find out more about the author at her website.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:15 PM SUNDAY: The Barnes & Noble bookstore chain has struggled for years and is currently reported to be in a “strategic review”. Rumors of its Westwood Village store closing have arrived in our inbox now and then. This time, it’s no rumor. After Lynne e-mailed us to report hearing via social media that the store is closing in January, we went there to ask. The on-duty store manager confirmed to us that the company headquarters has indeed informed them the store will be closing in January. No further comment; we’ll follow up with company HQ and the firm that manages Westwood Village, Madison Marquette, tomorrow. The 26,000-square-foot store opened in October 2005. While Westwood Village has more than half a dozen retail spaces listed publicly as “for lease” right now, so far as we can find, this is not (yet) among them. The next-closest B&N is at Pacific Place downtown.
ADDED 3:09 PM MONDAY: We asked B&N corporate media relations for comment on why the store is closing and what would happen to its employees. They’re not commenting on either of those questions and said this statement is “all they have”:
“We will be closing our Westwood Village, Seattle location in January. It has been our pleasure serving this community over the years, and we will continue to serve our valued customers at our stores at South Center (Tukwila) and Downtown Seattle.”
-Jim Lampassi, VP of Real Estate Development at Barnes & Noble
Congratulations to Lyanda Lynn Haupt! The West Seattle-based author has just won the 2018 Washington State Book Award for nonfiction for “Mozart’s Starling.” She also was honored with the award in 2002 for “Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds.” The 2018 awards were announced last night at the Central Library downtown; they are given for “the strength of a book’s literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality” and eligibility requires either being born in Washington or having lived here at least three years. The full winners’ list:
2018 WSBA WINNERS: BOOKS FOR ADULTS CATEGORIES
· “This Is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel, of Seattle (Flatiron Books)
· “Mozart’s Starling” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, of Seattle (Little, Brown & Company)
· “The Spider and the Fly” by Claudia Rowe, of Seattle (Dey Street/ HarperCollins)
· “Water & Salt” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, of Redmond (Red Hen Press)
2018 WSBA WINNERS: BOOKS FOR YOUTH CATEGORIES
· “Shawn Loves Sharks” by Curtis Manley, of Bellevue, illustrated by Tracy Subisak, of Portland (Roaring Book Press)
Books for Young Readers (ages 6 to 8)
· “Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows” by Asia Citro, of Issaquah (Innovation Press)
Books for Middle Readers (ages 9 to 12)
· “The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming” by J. Anderson Coats, of Everett (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Books for Young Adult Readers (ages 13 to 18)
· “The Arsonist” by Stephanie Oakes, of Spokane (Dial Books)
Also part of the honors, West Seattle-residing state Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, as a contributor to “WA 129,” a collection of 129 poems by poets living in Washington, put together by her predecessor Tod Marshall.
As we’ve chronicled over the years, West Seattle is rich in writing talent. The latest local author to publish a book invites you to its launch party in The Junction Wednesday night.
Admiral resident Shepherd Siegel, Ph.D., says his book “Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture” has been a work in progress for decades. He began journaling in his teen years, keeping notes of things he’d seen in books, intuitive notions, and other observations. Eventually that led to the central theme of his book, the notion that all humans need to be in touch with their own playfulness – that we can create a happier and more peaceful existence by rediscovering in ourselves the sense of playfulness we had as children.
Kirkus Reviews describes “Disruptive Play” as “philosophically provocative and original.” Throughout the book, the author makes the case for people rediscovering a sense of play by discovering the tricksters in our midst, those playful spirits who try to keep the powerful off-balance, not for the sake of gaining power, but to, as Dr. Siegel puts it, find a sense of love and wonder in the world. His examples stretch back into ancient times, but include contemporary examples from Robin Williams to Bugs Bunny. The trickster, he says, fools the powerful into seeing that their seriousness serves no one. Out of that example, he thinks people can find a way to discover a non-competitive cooperative play that can enrich their lives. Play, Siegel notes, is common to all species, yet somehow humans manage to set it aside as they become older.
“Disruptive Play” puts up a timeline across human history that shows how people have been socialized into putting aside a childlike sense of play in order to adopt more adult roles. The timeline also puts forth an alternate view showing artists and entertainers, especially musicians, who have set aside the roles foisted onto them and have become the tricksters of their various artistic forms.
Siegel has lived in West Seattle for more than 25 years (and, disclosure, your WSB co-publishers have known him since we were all new arrivals in the early ’90s). From 1996-2012, he worked at Seattle Public Schools headquarters as manager of the district’s Career and Technical Education program. His launch party for “Disruptive Play” starts at 6 pm Wednesday (September 26th) at ArtsWest in The Junction (4711 California SW).
Are you a West Seattle author with a book on the way? Let us know so we can let your neighbors know too!