West Seattle, Washington
One of West Seattle’s literary luminaries has won two major awards.
E.J. Koh is the winner of the 2021 Washington State Book Award for her memoir, “The Magical Language of Others.” The book is described on the publisher’s website as “a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter,” letters written after Koh’s parents returned to South Korea for work after more than a decade in the U.S., leaving the then-15-year-old author and her brother in California. “The Magical Language of Others” has also won the Pacific Northwest Book Award and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award.
Koh has also published a poetry collection, “A Lesser Love.’ And she is curating the Jack Straw Cultural Center Writers’ Program this year.
You’ve probably heard a lot this year about 30th anniversaries of Seattle grunge milestones. In some cases, that evokes the question, “Where are they now?” You’ll find some answers in a new book – published today – by West Seattle photographer/author Mike Hipple, “Lived Through That: 90s Musicians Today.” Hipple, who lives in Arbor Heights, explains, “It’s a portrait-heavy exploration of some of my favorite musical artists from the ’90s and what they’re up to these days. I wanted to see where these people are today, what their stories are, how their lives have changed since their 90s heyday and introduce readers to some bands they maybe haven’t heard of. I traveled all over the United States and Britain tracking down the artists, photographing them, and hearing their stories and I’m excited to share them. There are quite a few Seattle folks in there as well.” Including one from right here in our back yard – Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants):
Hipple’s book is available through Paper Boat Booksellers, where you can meet him and get your copy signed this Saturday (October 23) at 1 pm. This is his second book; three years ago he published “‘80s Redux,” focusing on music from that decade.
Visit C&P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) and you can help The Whale Trail‘s founder Donna Sandstrom celebrate publication of her book “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer.” The youth-geared book recounts a memorable chapter in Pacific Northwest history, when a Northern Resident Orca got lost in Puget Sound and was successfully rescued and returned to home waters, where she thrives today. You can buy the book and get it signed while you’re there; the event’s on until 5 pm, in the C&P backyard.
The West Seattleite who founded The Whale Trail, Donna Sandstrom, has just published a book for young readers telling the story of the event that immersed her in orca activism, the rescue of Springer the wayward whale. You’re invited to a launch event in West Seattle this Sunday. Here’s the announcement:
Whale Trail founder and local author Donna Sandstrom’s book “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer“ was published this month by Kids Can Press.
The middle grade nonfiction book tells the riveting story of how a young orca was discovered in Puget Sound – lost, alone and 300 miles away from home. Six months later, the 2-year-old orca was rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to her family on the north end of Vancouver Island.
It’s the first and so far only successful orca reunion in history. Almost twenty years later, Springer is thriving, tending her two calves. And on the day the book was published, Oceanwise announced that she is expecting again!
The story is told as it happened, from Donna’s perspective as a community organizer on the project. Many of the events described in the book happened here, including Springer’s initial discovery by researcher Mark Sears, and a pivotal town meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
The book is beautifully illustrated. Fact spreads are interspersed with the narrative, and learning resources include maps, matrilines,and a glossary. The book recently received a starred review in Kirkus Review, and is a selected pick by the Junior Library Guild.
Join Donna and other team members to celebrate the book’s publication, and Springer’s continued success. Books will be available to purchase on site from Paper Boat Booksellers. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Please bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask. We look forward to celebrating with you!
What: “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer” Book launch and signing featuring members of Springer’s team
When: Sunday October 17, 3 to 5 PM.
Where: C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW
Event will be held outside, weather permitting.
National Poetry Series winner Teresa K. Miller, who has deep West Seattle roots, has an online reading coming up Thursday (October 7th) and wants to let the community know. Miller is a graduate of Tilden School and while she now lives in the Portland area, her mother still lives in West Seattle. Miller was chosen last year as a winner of the National Poetry Series for her second full-length collection, “Borderline Fortune,” which will be released by Penguin this Tuesday. She will be launching the book Thursday via a virtual event hosted by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company. The announcement says Miller’s new book “explores the ancestral legacy of the climate crisis,” and that the poet “seeks through these beautifully crafted poems to awaken from the intergenerational trance and bear witness to our current moment with clarity and attention, refusing the mind’s limits.” Thursday’s online event is at 6 pm; you can register here.
Author/illustrator Danitra Hunter‘s “Purrdie Burrdie” character is meant to inspire you to love and believe in yourself. The publication of her first book is a manifestation of what that belief can help you accomplish. She is at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) all afternoon during the independent bookstore’s second-anniversary celebration – and tells us this is her first official event launching her book! She has coloring sheets for kids, too:
We first told you about Danitra and “Purrdie Burrdie” last year, when she was crowdfunding to get her book published. The campaign was a success – “I did it!” she enthused when we saw her today – and now her book’s available for purchase at Paper Boat, which is also a success, marking two years in business:
Co-proprietor Desirae Judy is there as are Paper Boat fans:
The shop is open today until 6 pm.
Independent bookstore Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW) will celebrate its second anniversary on Saturday and invites you to the party. Here’s the announcement from proprietors Desirae and Eric Judy:
The last year and half have taken everybody by storm – we’ve done so many things we never thought we’d have to do, yet it seems like we’ve done nothing but try to survive! But we did it…and we are grateful and excited to be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary with our community, right where we belong.
We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, September 11th, from 10 am-6 pm as we ring in year 2 with a special 20% discount on purchases over $50, a raffle with prizes including signed books by local author Susanna Ryan (Seattle Walk Report, Secret Seattle), a book launch and signing with Danitra Hunter, author of Purrdie Burrdie (the cutest children’s book around), and we will be handing out ice cream from Full Tilt while supplies last. It’s going to be a fun day, so come on down and join us – we can’t wait to see you!
Danitra will be joining us at 12:00 and will be set up just as you enter the store. We will have copies of her book Purrdie Burddie: I Love Myself, Can You See? available for purchase and signed copies will be at the shop after the the event.
(We featured Danitra and Purrdie Burrdie here last year.)
This is perfect weather for hiking – and with the help of a West Seattle author’s newly revised book, you can not only enjoy trails’ beauty, but also explore their history. Writer/historian Judy Bentley‘s “Hiking Washington’s History” is now out in a second edition. She tells WSB:
The second edition of Hiking Washington’s History, with co-author and prolific guide book writer Craig Romano, has been published this month by the University of Washington Press, which also published the first edition in 2010.
The second edition includes 12 new historic hikes, including a trail in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. The second edition has many photographs and maps, a timeline of trails, sidebars, and detailed hike narratives. I will be giving a talk with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society in September.
Bentley is a longtime West Seattle resident, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) instructor, and past president of SWSHS. She says you can get her book at Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW).
Thanks to Clay Eals for that video from “typewriter poet” Sean Petrie‘s event at the Log House Museum this afternoon (which was on our “West Seattle Saturday” preview list). You have two more chances to catch him in West Seattle tomorrow – 10:30 am-1:30 pm, he’ll be at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market in The Junction, creating typewritten poems, and then at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) at 2 pm, typing and promoting his award-winning book “Listen to the Trees: A Poetic Snapshot of West Seattle, Then and Now.”
Back in April we told you about a book release from a Morgan Junction author who publishes romance novels under the pseudonym Cara Maxwell. If you’re thinking about riding out the heat wave sitting under a tree reading, her next one is out – “A Love Match for the Marquess,” continuing her “Hesitant Husbands” series. Maxwell says, “If you enjoy romances in the style of Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, or Christi Caldwell, then you will enjoy this series.” This is her third book, and she says she’s moving into full-time writing now after a decade in education. Find out more about her and her books at caramaxwellromance.com. Her new novel is available there as an e-book or in paperback.
That wasn’t just a beach picnic at Lincoln Park on Sunday – it was a publication celebration! Back in February, we reported on a call for contributions to a zine to be published by West Seattleite Lauren Grosskopf‘s Pleasure Boat Studio. Now the 100-page zine, Kids for Kids, is out and the publisher invited contributors and their families to an informal gathering at the beach. She printed 100 copies of the zine, which features art, stories, poetry, and comics – with contributors getting them free – and while about half are spoken for, the rest are available for purchase at $15 by going here (where you can also download a PDF version free).
Two reminders for tonight:
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Celebrate spring, art, and local businesses by joining in tonight’s Art Walk! The official preview has been updated and expanded since we mentioned it last weekend, with a full list of who’s participating this month. Here’s a quick list of who’s open with in-person artist receptions – all over the peninsula from Admiral to Arbor Heights:
West Seattle Grounds (5-8 pm)
West Seattle Runner (5-7 pm)
Wend Jewelry (4-8 pm)
Fogue Gallery (5-8 pm)
Mystery Made (5 pm “till late”)
Verity Credit Union (5-8 pm)
Capers (5-7 pm)
Wild Rose’s (6-8:30 pm)
Snip Its (5-8;30 pm)
Brookdale West Seattle (3-5 pm)
Canna West Seattle (6-7 pm)
Viscon Cellars (5-8 pm)
Resolve Chiropractic (5-8 pm)
Brace Point Gallery (5-8 pm)
Multiple restaurants/bars have food and drink specials, too! For locations, artist details, links, maps, go to the official Art Walk preview.
WORDS, WRITERS, SOUTHWEST STORIES: If you’d rather cozy up with an online author presentation, this monthly series presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is happening tonight too. At 6 pm, hear from author David Williams about jhis book “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.” Free but you have to register to get the link – go here.
Award-winning West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt has specialized in a subject close to our heart – the intertwining of wildlife and human life, even in the city. We first spoke with her back in 2009, after her third book, “Crow Planet,” was published. Four years later, “The Urban Bestiary” was published; “Mozart’s Starling” followed in 2017; and now, after another four-year interval, tomorrow is the official publication date for “Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit.” On her website, Haupt describes it as “a book about interconnection, healing, and creating a life of reciprocity with all beings,” and notes that she finished it after the onset of the pandemic. No reading or signing events planned on the peninsula so far (here’s one online), but she tells WSB there’s an incentive for you to buy her book through one of West Seattle’s independent bookstores: “I am happy to personalize books for people through Pegasus and Paper Boat.” Three of Haupt’s previous books have won major awards, including two Washington State Book Awards.
West Seattle’s northernmost Seattle Public Library branch is finally going to start offering curbside service. Here’s the announcement:
Starting Tuesday, April 27, The Seattle Public Library will offer Curbside Pickup Service at the West Seattle Branch from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Library patrons can pick up holds of physical materials at the West Seattle Branch two days a week and can return materials through the branch book drop seven days a week. They can also use the Library’s Curbside printing service to print (and pick up) up to 10 black-and-white pages a day. The West Seattle Branch is located at 2306 42nd Ave SW.
With the expansion of Curbside service to the West Seattle Branch, The Seattle Public Library now offers Curbside service at 16 locations, and patrons can return materials at 19 locations throughout the city of Seattle. See www.spl.org/Hours for a full list of services and hours at each location.
Curbside Pickup Service locations offer additional services, including free Curbside printing, a selection of Peak Picks that patrons can browse and add to their checkouts, Grab & Go bundles of books sorted by genre, and free child-sized and adult disposable masks available for patron use.
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, patrons are required to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of separation from other patrons and staff. The Library follows best practices for the health and safety of our patrons and staff, including social distancing, regular cleaning and sanitation, wearing personal protective equipment, requiring the use of face masks, plexiglass barriers and quarantining of Library materials.
Visit spl.org/Curbside for information on how Curbside Pickup Service works and spl.org/Hours for a schedule of services at each Curbside location. The Library’s Road to Reopening page shares the latest updates on our reopening process.
Next Tuesday is also the day the Southwest Branch opens for some in-building service.
Weekend reading alert: West Seattle writer Cara Maxwell (her nom de plume) has just released her romance novel “Love Once Lost,” free for download until Sunday night. She’s a Morgan Junction resident who describes herself as elementary teacher by day, author by night, and mom of a toddler too. Here’s the plot summary for “Love Once Lost”;
The younger son of a viscount and an established London rogue, Christopher Bowden sets out for Paris with only two objectives. Number one: find Meera Hutton. Number two: get away from her as quickly as possible. Christopher vows he will not let the clever, enchanting Meera pull him in and break his heart again. But when he discovers the plot that has ensnared Meera, his loyalty and duty leave him no choice but to come to her aid.
Surprised to find herself reunited with the man she once loved, headstrong Meera cannot resist the embers of desire burning between them. Having spent the last decade relishing her hard-won independence, Meera is fascinated and confused by the strong connection she has to Christopher. As her life begins to fall apart, she finds herself turning to him again and wondering what her future…or their future…might hold.
You can download it here – free until 11:59 pm Sunday. It’s second in a series; you can buy the first, “Meant To Be Mine,” here.
In our photo above is Rev. Ron Marshall, signing his book about the West Seattle Food Bank‘s first 30 years, at the WSFB’s 30th-anniversary celebration in 2013. Though the food bank has eight more years of history since then, the role it fills remains constant: Fighting hunger – and now after its merger with the West Seattle Helpline, fighting homelessness too. This Thursday night, listen to the author – who is still on the WSFB board – tell its story, in a live online presentation, Here’s the announcement:
‘Words, Writers & Southwest Stories,’ a historically based speaker series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, is excited to announce that it is hosting Ron Marshall for a live Zoom presentation on Thursday, April 8 at 6:00 PM. Marshall will deliver a presentation titled, “Hunger Immortal: The First Thirty Years of the West Seattle Food Bank.” Registration is required. Please register HERE.
The history of the West Seattle Food Bank is no ordinary story. It’s filled with intrigue and sadness, great dedication, and mounds of lucky breaks. Ron will explore the story of the bank from its beginnings in 1983 and its ongoing efforts to meet the needs of a changing, growing community. Ron will also provide a glimpse into both the history of the food bank and profiles of the individuals, including board members, volunteers, donors, and property owners, who worked to guarantee that the food bank had a permanent home.
Ron Marshall has served on the West Seattle Food Bank board since 1996. He’s past president of the West Seattle Ministerial Association and has served on the board of Music Northwest for over 25 years. Ron has been the pastor of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle since 1979. He was raised in Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School in 1967, and graduated from Washington State University in 1971. Ron is the author of two books on the religious thought of Martin Luther and Søren Kierkegaard. He’s also well known for his unique, ongoing class on the Koran, which he has been teaching four times a year since 2003.
This series is open to hosting any author or speaker addressing historical issues relating to the Puget Sound/Duwamish Peninsula and/or the general public. Additional information on future presentations can be obtained by contacting Dora-Faye Hendricks, Chair, ‘Words, Writers & SouthWest Stories’ by phone at 206-290-8315 or by e-mail at Dora-Faye@comcast.net.
Hope Lutheran School eighth-grader Bryson Albers is asking for your help this Sunday afternoon, in a donation drive for Books for Africa. Here’s the announcement Bryson sent:
Ever since I was young, I have loved reading! It has inspired much creativity in me and taught me many concepts that I otherwise would have not known. Did you know that Africa has a ‘book famine’? I am working toward changing that. I want to collect at least 300 books to send to ‘Books for Africa’- so that I can help bring this same creativity and passion to young people in Africa. Unfortunately, many young people in Africa do not have access to books but ‘Books for Africa’ aims to fix this. Books for Africa have already delivered 50,000,000 books to people in Africa (across 38 countries) and hope to deliver 50,000,000 more. I am looking for book donations of (one, two, or many!) that meet Books for Africa’s requirements (see below). Books can be new, gently used, and Textbooks or Library books are welcome as well. You can come to my book drive which will be going from 12:00-3:00 on Sunday, March 21st. You could also donate money directly to the Books for Africa website. In order to keep track of the money, it would be good if you donated it in honor of me so I know how much is donated.
Books For Africa accepts:
popular fiction and nonfiction reading books (soft and hard cover).
books that are 15 years old or newer.
primary, secondary, and college textbooks (soft and hard cover) published in the last 15 years.
reference books published in the last 10 years, except encyclopedia sets.
medical, nursing, and IT books published in the last 10 years.
some Bibles or religious books, please place them in a box separate from other donations and mark the box as “Religious texts.” Bibles are sent only when requested by African recipients.
School/office supplies—paper, pencils, pens, wall charts, maps, etc.
Books For Africa does NOT accept:
Magazines or journals of any kind, including academic journals.
Home decorating or wedding books.
Ethnocentric books, such as the biography of Abraham Lincoln or the history of Ohio.
Foreign language books except for French books. French novels and dictionaries are welcome.
American history or civics.
Music books for K–12.
Murder mysteries or anything with “kill,” “die,” “murder,” etc. in the title.
The dropoff donation drive will be Sunday (March 21st), noon-3 pm, in the Hope Lutheran parking lot, alley entrance off SW Oregon just east of 42nd SW.
Earlier this month, we shared a call for local student writers and artists to send in work for a zine that Lauren Grosskopf of West Seattle-based nonprofit literary press Pleasure Boat Studio plans to publish, In case a young writer/artist in your household missed the announcement, she’s extended the deadline to next Tuesday (March 2nd). It’ll be “a small magazine of kids art, comics, poetry, writing for elementary and middle-school ages.” From the original announcement:
Kids can send in anything they’ve done that they like, or make something new. It will be in full color. This may be a one-time thing or I may put one out yearly depending.
Please send high-res JPEGS or PDFs to:
Lauren Grosskopf, Publisher/Designer
She’s publishing the zine to celebrate “children’s creativity and expression.”
Here’s an invitation for creative youth, from West Seattle-based nonprofit literary press Pleasure Boat Studio:
A local WS press is putting out a small magazine of kids art, comics, poetry, writing for elementary and middle-school ages.
Honoring and appreciating children’s creativity and expression, with the main impetus behind the project being that I imagine kids would really enjoy seeing each other’s art, comics, stories, and poems… Hence, a little zine, for kids, by kids!
Kids can send in anything they’ve done that they like, or make something new. It will be in full color. This may be a one-time thing or I may put one out yearly depending.
Please send high-res JPEGS or PDFs to:
Lauren Grosskopf, Publisher/Designer
So, travel is a little dicey right now. But this is a great time to read about it. Here to help with that: Gatewood-based writer Pam Mandel, who has just published a book, “The Same River Twice,” billed as “a memoir of dirtbag backpackers, bomb shelters, and bad travel.” It’s not just a travel tale, but also “a memoir of going away and growing up,” as explained on the book’s webpage. This is Pam’s first book, but we’ve known about her writing for years; in the early days of WSB, when we had a page linking other West Seattleites’ blog-format websites, we included her site Nerd’s Eye View, which she still updates – after 16 years! Among the posts – her account of getting the book deal a year ago. It’s gritty and honest; her book is from the heart, too. You can buy a signed copy from West Seattle’s own independent bookstore Paper Boat Booksellers, Pam tells us. And she has a story to go with that: “I had still not received my author copies when I got email from Paper Boat telling me my book was in. It was Monday, they were closed, but when I asked if I could come down and hold it in my hands, they said they’d be in the shop for another hour. I bolted down Gatewood hill — they unlocked and they piled them on the counter for me. It was a beautiful thing to see the book in person for the first time in the place where it’s meant to be — an independent bookstore.”
West Seattle author/illustrator Danitra Hunter wants more kids to meet, and be inspired by, a character she created who’s known as Purrdie Burrdie.
She created Purrdie Burrdie while working at the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) as a teacher in recent years – a job she says she can’t do right now because the pandemic has closed her classroom. But she is working on another way to reach kids – a children’s book starring Purrdie Burrdie.
Danitra explains, “She represents self-love, and many children in our community love and adore her. Purrdie Burrdie started out as a coloring page and over the years I’ve been working on her world and I currently have a live Kickstarter campaign to publish my first children’s book “Purrdie Burrdie: I Love Myself, Can You See?” This book was inspired by little Black girls at West Seattle Elementary being ashamed of being Black and Brown girls. A friend of mine who worked for an afterschool program told me this information and it truly broke my heart.” But Purrdie Burrdie is for everyone: “I want people of all ages and backgrounds to love themselves – that’s why I am in your world!”
Her Kickstarter campaign – already more than halfway to its goal – will enable her to self-publish the Purrdie Burrdie book, ideally in February 2021, in honor of Black History Month. (Even if you’re not interested in backing her project, you can see preview pages on her Kickstarter site.)
“Stay Inside the Lines” started as a project to offer free coloring pages, created by area artists, to enable more artistic expression by kids during the pandemic. The organizer is a Gatewood resident, Galen Driver, who tells WSB the project is now growing into a full-scale coloring book, with sales to benefit kids in a second way:
At the start of quarantine in March I noticed a lot of parents at work complaining the schools were not providing art activities and they were running out of things for their children to color. I’d also seen a staggering stat about adult coloring books and mental health. I decided to pull together a bunch of local artist friends to create a bunch of free print-at-home coloring pages under the project name Stay Inside The Lines Seattle. After launching, I continued adding more new pages and artists and got a lot of press around the project, driving thousands of downloads.
I’ve recently partnered with ArtsEd Washington to launch the ‘Color for the Arts Fund,’ dedicated to providing art supplies for local Title 1 schools with high numbers or percentages of children living in low-income households which tend to be predominantly BIPOC communities. To launch the fund, we’ve put physical copies of the coloring book up for pre-sale, donating one book for each book sold along with 100% of profits to the art supplies fund.
To pre-order the benefit book, go here. You can also still explore the Stay Inside the Lines site to find free downloadable coloring pages right now, and to see the list of contributing artists (you’ve probably already some of their work, Galen notes, around West Seattle).
In pre-pandemic times, you might have seen Sean Petrie writing poetry on his century-old typewriter at the Farmers’ Market. In 2018, he was in residence at West Seattle Summer Fest, typing in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log House Museum‘s booth, and now that round of live poetry has become a book! In collaboration with SWSHS, Petrie has published “Listen to the Trees: A Poetic Snapshot of West Seattle, Then and Now,” via Documentary Media.
It features some Junction businesses, too, including Husky Deli, Easy Street Records, and Elliott Bay Brewing. You can see and hear him online in a SWSHS presentation at 6 pm next Tuesday (October 13th). There will also be a limited-capacity in-person launch at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW), noon Saturday, October 17th. The publisher says the book will thereafter be available at both of West Seattle’s independent bookstores, Paper Boat and Pegasus Book Exchange (4553 California SW).
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