VIDEOS: Next up in first Friday book series: Dan Raley’s ‘The Brandon Roy Story,’ ‘Pitchers of Beer,’ ‘Tideflats to Tomorrow’Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
[Enjoy this recent video of Dan Raley speaking about his book "The Brandon Roy Story." Raley will speak at the Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, installment of "Words, Writers & West Seattle."]
- The Brandon Roy Story (Old Seattle Press, 2013), genre: sports
- Pitchers of Beer: The Story of the Seattle Rainiers (University of Nebraska Press, 2011), genre: sports
- Tideflats to Tomorrow: The History of Seattle’s Sodo (Fairgreens Publishing, 2010), genre: history.
To download a flier for the next installments in “Words, Writers & West Seattle,” click here.
A graduate of Western Washington University, Raley is a homepage editor for MSN.com after working for the Skagit Valley Herald, East Washingtonian, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His writings also have appeared in nearly every major newspaper in the country through New York Times syndication and Athlon magazines, Golf Magazine, Golf World, Golf Journal, Travel and Leisure magazine, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, MLB.com and ESPN.com. Locally, he is well-known for his series of “Where Are They Now?” sports profiles in the Post-Intelligencer.
Raley resides with his wife and two daughters in North Bend, Wash To find out more about Raley, click here.
And to see an hour-long video of Raley talking about Pitchers of Beer with Seattle baseball historian Dave Eskenazi, click here.
Harold Taw and Elizabeth Austen tell the stories behind their books ‘Adventures of the Karaoke King’ and ‘Every Dress a Decision’ at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on July 11, 2014
[The video coverage (above) of Harold Taw's and Elizabeth Austen's July 11, 2014, talk at "Words, Writers & West Seattle" is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.]
West Seattle author Harold Taw spoke about his novel Adventures of the Karaoke King (Lake Union Publishing, 2011) at the July 11, 2014, installment of “Words, Writers & West Seattle.”
Also featured was Harold’s special guest, Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen, also of West Seattle, who spoke about her collection Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011).
Harold’s writing has been featured on NPR, in a New York Times bestselling anthology and in The Seattle Times. His screenplay Dog Park has garnered recognition in domestic and international film festivals and competitions.
Harold is currently completing a novel about a turbulent adolescence in Southeast Asia, collaborating on a musical with Seattle rock band called Poland and co-authoring a graphic-novel adaptation of his dark fable “The Repository of Broken Dreams” (available in What to Read in the Rain 2013).
He also is participating as a bookwriter in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Writers Group, a two-year New Works initiative that culminates in staged readings of one-act musicals in 2014 and of two-act musicals in 2015.
A Yale Law School graduate and a Fulbright Scholar, Harold has had his research and writing has been supported by, among others, 826 Seattle, Artist Trust, Centrum, the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center, Humanities Washington, Jack Straw Productions and Wing Luke Museum.
As the state’s poet laureate, Elizabeth has been traveling to all 39 counties, offering writing workshops and giving readings.
Her debut collection, Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010).
Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily, in the Los Angeles Review, Bellingham Review and Willow Springs. She is noted for her engaging public performances of poetry and has been featured at Poets House in New York City, Minneapolis’s The Loft, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, Spokane’s Get Lit!, Seattle’s Cheap Wine and Poetry and Bumbershoot.
Elizabeth produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9, earned an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles and teaches at Richard Hugo House. She makes her living at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also offers poetry and journaling workshops for staff.
Brenda Peterson tells the story behind her books ‘The Drowning World’ and ‘Leopard & Silkie’ in presentation at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on June 6, 2014.
[The video coverage (above) of Brenda Peterson's June 6, 2014, talk at "Words, Writers & West Seattle" is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.]
Through her work as a novelist and nature writer, Peterson’s curiosity about and respect for nature radiates through her 17 books, which range from her first memoir Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, chosen as a “Best Spiritual Book of 2001,” to three novels, one of which, Duck and Cover, was chosen by New York Times as Notable Book of the Year.
Her new memoir, I Want To Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth was selected by The Christian Science Monitor among the Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books of 2010.
Her novels include Animal Heart (Sierra Club Books) and River of Light (Knopf), as well as Becoming the Enemy (Graywolf Press). Her nonfiction books include Living by Water and the National Geographic book Sightings: The Gray Whale’s Mysterious Journey.
These works established Peterson as a prominent creative nonfiction writer, extensively profiled in the reference work America’s Nature Writers. Peterson’s bestselling anthology Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals is often taught in university courses. Her nonfiction has appeared in numerous national newspapers, journals, and magazines, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Reader’s Digest, Christian Science Monitor, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Utne Reader.
For the past two decades, Brenda studied and written about animals, especially marine mammals and wolves. She is the founder of the West Seattle-based grassroots conservation group Seal Sitters.
Since 1993 she has contributed environmental commentary to NPR and is a frequent commentator to The Huffington Post. See her blog and website for online links. Her new picture book, Leopard and Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups, was published by Henry Holt for Young Readers and was a 2013 winner of National Science Teacher’s Association “Outstanding Science Books for K-12.”
Her new novel, The Drowning World, part of her fantasy/sci-fi Aquantis Series begun with Animal Heart, is just out in ebook and paperback from Ingram and Espresso Book Machine Network.
Judy Bentley tells the story behind her book ‘Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master’ in presentation at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on April 4, 2014
(The above video is an edited presentation by Judy Bentley on April 4, 2014, to 30 people attending the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. The video is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
Presenting at the most recent installment on Friday, April 4, 2014, was West Seattle Judy Bentley, who spoke about her book, Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master (University of Washington Press, 2013).
Bentley, who teaches at South Seattle Community College and is former board president of our historical society, coauthored Free Boy with Lorraine McConaghy, a public historian at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.
The book tells the story of 13-year-old slave Charles Mitchell, who escaped from Washington Territory to freedom in Canada on the West Coast’s tiny underground railroad in 1860. Mitchell was the property of James Tilton, Surveyor General of Washington Territory, and this book is a twined biography of the two, exploring issues of race, slavery, treason, and secession in Washington Territory.
Conrad Wesselhoeft discusses the creative process behind his novel ‘Adios, Nirvana’
in presentation to 20 at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on March 7, 2014
(The above video is the complete presentation by Conrad Wesselhoeft on March 7, 2014, to 20 people attending the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. The video is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
Conrad Wesselhoeft worked as a tugboat hand in Singapore and Peace Corps volunteer in Polynesia before embarking on a career in journalism. He has served on the editorial staffs of five newspapers, including The New York Times. He lives with his three children and a big, grinning poodle named Django in West Seattle.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt discusses how and why she wrote ‘The Urban Bestiary’
in presentation to 50 at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on Feb. 7, 2014
(The above video is the complete presentation by Lyanda Lynn Haupt on Feb. 7, 2014, to 50 people attending the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. The video is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
The wonders of the birds and critters who live among us in the city were the topic of West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt, speaking about her nature book, The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little Brown, 2013) on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village.
Haupt’s observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose “home” is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives?
In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth and memoir, Haupt draws readers into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not.
With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal, “The Urban Bestiary” is a lyrical book that awakens wonder, delight and respect for the urban wild, and our place within it.
Robert Spector discusses how he came to write his memoir ‘The Mom & Pop Store’
in book presentation to 20 at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on Jan. 4, 2014
(The above video is the complete presentation by Robert Spector on Jan. 4, 2014, to 20 people attending the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. The video is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
With the backdrop of the growing “buy local” movement across the country, Spector set out to discover the state, and the state of mind, of independent retailing in America.
From a specialty soda-pop shop in Los Angeles to a florist shop in Dayton, Ohio, from a bakery in Chicago to a bookstore in Bellingham, mom-and-pop store owners share their stories, revealing the spirit and tenacity of the small business owner, dealing with frustration and defeat as well as triumph and success.
See more information on this exciting book-talk series below!
Nicole Hardy discusses how she came to write ‘Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin’
in book presentation to 25 at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on Dec. 6, 2013
(The above video is the complete presentation by Nicole Hardy on Dec. 6, 2013, to 25 people attending the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. The video is contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
The youthful journey of faith and abstinence was the topic of a presentation by West Seattle author Nicole Hardy at the Dec. 6, 2013, installment of “Words, Writers & West Seattle.”
Hardy spoke to an audience of about 25 about her memoir Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin (Hyperion, 2013) at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village.
When Hardy’s eye-opening “Modern Love” column appeared in The New York Times, the response from readers was overwhelming. Hardy’s essay, which exposed the conflict between being true to herself as a woman and remaining true to her Mormon faith, struck a chord with women coast-to-coast.
Now in her funny, intimate, and thoughtful memoir, Hardy explores how she came, at the age of thirty-five, to a crossroads regarding her faith and her identity. During her childhood and throughout her 20s, Hardy held absolute conviction in her faith. But as she aged out of the church’s “singles ward” and entered her 30s, she struggled to merge the life she envisioned for herself with the Mormon ideal of homemaker, wife and mother.
Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin chronicles the extraordinary lengths Hardy went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life — flying across the country for dates with Mormon men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor church guidance could help Hardy prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she’d grown up believing.
In the tradition of the memoirs Devotion and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin is a mesmerizing and wholly relatable account of one woman’s hard-won mission to find love, acceptance and happiness – on her own terms.
Peter Stekel unravels World War II mystery in ‘Final Flight’
presentation at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village on Nov. 1, 2013
(This video consists of the full presentation of West Seattle author Peter Stekel on Nov. 1, 2013, for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. Video contributed by Mark Jaroslaw of Avenue Productions.)
The thrilling solution to a 70-year mystery was the topic of a presentation by West Seattle author Peter Stekel at the Nov. 1, 2013, installment of “Words, Writers & West Seattle.”
His history/mystery book was triggered when, in October 2005, two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra found the mummified remains of a man in a World War II uniform, entombed in the ice. The “Frozen Airman” discovery created a media storm and a mystery that Stekel chose to investigate. What did happen to the four men who perished in 1942 on a routine navigation training flight, 150 miles off-course from its reported destination?
The author found bad weather, bad luck and bad timing. He also came upon empty graves, botched records and misguided recovery efforts. Then, in 2007, the unimaginable happened again. Stekel himself discovered a second body in the glacier. Another young man would finally be coming home.
Through meticulous research, interviews, and mountaineering trips to the site, Stekel uncovered the story of these four young men. Final Flight explores their ill-fated trip and the misinformation surrounding it for more than 60 years.
The book is a gripping account that’s part mystery, part history and part personal journey to uncover the truth of what happened more than 70 years ago on Nov. 18, 1942. In the process Stekel narrates the young aviators’ last days and takes us on their final flight.
Admiral neighborhood’s Stephanie Guerra gets free monthly sessions
featuring West Seattle authors and books off to ‘Not Crazy’ start
(This video consists of the full presentation of West Seattle author Stephanie Guerra on Oct. 4, 2013, for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village.)
With funny and poignant excerpts from her brand new young-adult novel, Billy the Kid Is Not Crazy, Admiral neighborhood resident Stephanie Guerra got our “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village off to a great start on Oct. 4, 2013.
The 10-year-old protagonist, Billy, is a master at getting in trouble, but his quest to find his place in the world is a story that is inspiring.
At the Oct. 4 launch, Guerra captivated an audience of 15 who filled all available seats.
It also was special because this installment was the actual launch of Guerra’s book. She had not seen finished copies of the book until she arrived at the event, and she was thrilled.
Billy the Kid is both charming and hilarious, in the voice of Billy, who lives in West Seattle, and there are West Seattle references throughout. Plus, it has great cartoon illustrations drawn from Billy’s point of view. The audience was rapt, which might seem a surprise given that it is written for a pre-teen, middle-school audience, but it proved the truism that everyone likes to hear a good story. She also discussed her first young-adult novel, Torn, released in 2012.
The minds of middle-schoolers are familiar territory for Guerra, who teaches children’s literature and writing at Seattle University and creative writing at King County Juvenile Detention Center. She also researches and speaks out about literacy instruction for at-risk teens.
Many of those attending bought copies of Billy the Kid Is Not Crazy and Torn, which was great because from each purchase our organization received 10 percent under the Barnes & Noble Bookfair program. Stephanie graciously wrote inscriptions and had many one-on-one conversations with attendees. She also signed other copies of the books in stock at Barnes & Noble, and they are for sale there.
The series is ongoing (see below), and we are looking for other West Seattle authors who might want to participate this series. Further information can be obtained by calling Dora-Faye Hendricks, “Words, Writers and West Seattle” chair, by phone at 206-280-9983 or by e-mail.
How great is it that West Seattle will have its own book series with its own authors and that we all will be able to easily remember that it happens on the first Friday of each month?
Project slates free monthly sessions featuring West Seattle
authors and books at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village
Local authors are participating in a new “book talk” series about their published books at a free monthly series, “Words, Writers & West Seattle.”
“This is a great way for West Seattleites to get to know authors from their neighborhood,” says Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. “The series offers a variety of genres, reflecting many ways to tell stories, and it’s a perfect fit for us because eliciting, preserving and passing along stories is fundamental to our mission.”
At 5 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, Barnes & Noble Westwood Village is hosting a presentation by a West Seattle-based author on a recently released book or books, plus a time for questions and answers. Each session will end at 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Westwood Village will have books available for sale at each session. Ten percent of the proceeds from book purchases associated with “Words, Writers & West Seattle” go to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society through the Bookfair program of Barnes & Noble.
Information on future presentations is available on the list below. Further information can be obtained by calling Dora-Faye Hendricks, “Words, Writers and West Seattle” chair, by phone at 206-280-9983 or by e-mail.
The slate for ‘Words, Writers & West Seattle’:
All sessions run from 5 to 7 p.m. the first Friday of each month at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village. Further information can be obtained by calling Dora-Faye Hendricks, “Words, Writers and West Seattle” chair, by phone at 206-280-9983 or by e-mail.
Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Molly Ringle, Persephone’s Orchard (Central Avenue Publishing, 2012), genre: young adult
Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, Susan Rich, Cloud Pharmacy (White Line Press, 2014), genre: poetry
Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, Sandi Doughton, Full Rip 9.0 (Sasquatch Books, 2013), genre: science nonfiction
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 Stephanie Guerra, Billy the Kid Is Not Crazy (Two Lions, 2013) and Torn (Marshall Cavendish, 2012), genre: young adult
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 Peter Stekel, Final Flight, The Mystery of a World War II Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen in the High Sierra (Wilderness Press, 2010), genre: history
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 Nicole Hardy, Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin (Hyperion, 2013), genre: memoir
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 Robert Spector, The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories from the Heart of America (Walker Books, 2009), genre: memoir
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 Lyanda Lynn Haupt, The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little Brown, 2013), genre: nature
Friday, March 7, 2014 Conrad Wesselhoeft, Adios, Nirvana (Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), genre: young adult
Friday, April 4, 2014 Judy Bentley, Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master (University of Washington Press, 2013), genre: creative nonfiction
Friday, May 2, 2014 Mike Hickey and Arleen Williams of South Seattle Community College, genres: poetry, fiction
Friday, June 6, 2014 Brenda Peterson, The Drowning World (Delphinius, 2013-14), genre: young adult
Friday, July 11, 2014 Harold Taw, Adventures of the Karaoke King (Lake Union Publishing, 2011), genre: adult fiction. Also, Harold brought along a special guest, Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen, who spoke about Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011).