Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CWP/CBP seeks BFE* for LTR

Charla Grenz, veteran host of The Cheap Series: Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose, is relinquishing her title as emcee. So, we need a new one.

Are you a sparkly, literary-inclined, kick-ass woman? Can you commit to hosting six events a year from September-May on Thursday nights at Richard Hugo House? Are you open to hosting events in special locales (like Bumbershoot or The Seattle Rep or someone’s arty loft in Pioneer Square)? Do you live in Seattle? Do you think “that’s what she said” jokes never get old? Does the idea of a job that pays mostly in street cred, free, cheap booze, and adoration excite you?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, we want to talk to you. Please send us an email telling us why you’d rock the mic like a vandal. Also, please let us know some readings/events you’ve gone to around town, and who are some of your favorite writers.

If interested, series co-founders Brian McGuigan and Steve Barker will contact you to set up a time to meet. 
Deadline for applications is July 13.

*bitchin’ female emcee

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Cheap Beer and Prose" Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.

By now you’ve recovered from your New Year’s hangover—just in time for
another “Cheap Beer and Prose,” next Thursday, January 28, 7 p.m. at
Richard Hugo House.

The featured readers are former “Arrested Development” writer and author
of “This One Is Mine,” Maria Semple, Matthew Simmons, author of “A Jello
Horse,” Midge Raymond, author of “Forgetting English,” and McSweeney’s
martial arts writer Rory Douglas.

Charla Grenz hosts; PBR is a buck per can; and a raucous open mic closes
the evening. All sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon and Richard Hugo House.

Be there!

The “Cheap Wine and Poetry”/”Cheap Beer and Prose” Crew

About the Authors
Rory Douglas is from Everett, Washington, and works at a large
Presbyterian church in Seattle. He just finished his MFA at Goddard
College and writes a mixed martial arts column for People
still mistake him for his mom on the phone.

Midge Raymond’s short story collection, “Forgetting English” (Eastern
Washington University Press, 2009), received the Spokane Prize for Short
Fiction. “Parts of these polished stories,” wrote the Seattle Times,
“sound like a smart patient describing a dream to a psychoanalyst.” Her
work has appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Ontario
Review, North American Review, the Los Angeles Times and other
publications. Her current projects are supported by an Artist
Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship.

Maria Semple is the author of the novel, “This One Is Mine,” (Little,
Brown 2008) which is currently nominated for a PNBA award. Before turning
to fiction, she wrote for many Emmy-award winning television shows such as
“Arrested Development,” “Mad About You” and “Ellen.” She is currently at
work on her second novel. Please visit her at

Matthew Simmons is the author, most recently, of the novella “A Jello
Horse” from Publishing Genius Press. He blogs at, edits interviews for and
is a regular contributor to HTML Giant.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“Cheap Wine and Poetry” Closes Out 2009

“Cheap Wine and Poetry” closes out 2009 on Thursday, November 5, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House. Series curator Brian McGuigan takes the stage with poets John Burgess and Kate Lebo and essayist Elissa Washuta. Charla Grenz hosts, and, as always, wine is $1 per cup.

Admission is FREE, though donations are encouraged to help keep the beer or wine cheap and the prose or poetry free. Open mic sign-up is at the door. Books from authors and “Cheap Wine and Poetry” merchandise are for sale.

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" is co-sponsored by Richard Hugo House.

For more info:

Seattle Poet John Burgess has two books from Ravenna Press, “Punk Poems” (2005) and “A History of Guns in the Family” (2008). He was a 2006 Jack Straw writer; co-founder of the Burning Word Festival; and the 2008 Words' Worth curator for the Seattle City Council. He's currently editor for the online lit journal Snow Monkey.

Kate Lebo was raised in southwest Washington by two Iowans and a bunch of vigilant daycare employees. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2005. Now she lives in Seattle, where she works for Richard Hugo House, a literary arts center. You can find her poems in Crab Creek Review, Smartish Pace, Filter and Knock magazines. She’s (still) working on her first chapbook manuscript. To read more about Kate (and her tasty homemade pies), visit her blog at

Born and raised in Queens, NY, Brian McGuigan is a poet, performer, arts administrator and raconteur currently residing in Seattle. He works in marketing and programs at Richard Hugo House and is the co-founder and curator of “Cheap Wine and Poetry,” Seattle's coolest reading series. His chapbook, “More Than I Left Behind,” was published by Spankstra Press in 2006. Currently, Brian is at work on a full-length manuscript of poems and a novel. For more Brian:

Elissa Washuta is a Seattle-based, Jersey-raised writer. In 2009 she completed an M.F.A. at the University of Washington, and she received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in 2007. She is the host of Richard Hugo House’s monthly open mic. When not working on putting the finishing touches on her memoir, “The Kindling Effect,” Elissa can be found knitting, singing karaoke or talking about the fact that she used to fence before she injured her knees.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

“Cheap Beer and Prose” Cracks a Fresh One for Seattle’s Prose Writers

“Cheap Wine and Poetry” presents a new spin on Seattle’s coolest and most popular poetry reading series, “Cheap Beer and Prose,” on Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House. Featured writers include Ryan Boudinot, Cienna Madrid, Mary Purdy and David Schmader, all reading from long works while putting back a few cold ones. Charla Grenz hosts, and, in the spirit of “Cheap Wine and Poetry,” where wine is served
for a buck per plastic cup, beer is $1 per cup.

Admission is FREE, though donations are encouraged to help keep the beer
or wine cheap and the prose or poetry free. Open mic sign-up is at the
door. Books from authors and "Cheap Wine and Poetry" merchandise is for sale.

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" is co-sponsored by Richard Hugo House.

For more info:

Ryan Boudinot is the author of “The Littlest Hitler” (Counterpoint, 2006),
a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. His novel “Misconception” is
forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in fall 2009. His work has appeared in
McSweeney's, The Stranger, “The Best American Nonrequired Reading” and
elsewhere. He teaches at Goddard College's M.F.A. program in Port

Cienna Madrid is a local writer and humorist whose articles have appeared
in The Stranger, Arcade Journal, SubTerrain Magazine and the Boise Weekly.
She is a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House, where she is working
to complete her first novel. In her free time Madrid volunteers at
Heritage House and mentors a teen writer who often exhibits more
discipline and skill than Madrid herself.

Mary Purdy is a transplant from NYC where she was a regular on the comedy
scene. Her solo show “PURDY WOMAN” was produced at several Off-Broadway
venues in NYC as well as featured in the Piccolo Spoleto Fest in
Charleston, SC, and Bumbershoot Festival 2005. Her 2nd solo piece “Judy
Blume Owes Me” was produced in both LA, NYC and Seattle as well as
featured in a variety of comedy festivals. Mary was a regular comedy
contributor to NPR's “The Next Big Thing” for 3 years. Her work has been
seen here in Seattle at On the Boards Live Girls! Theatre, Spin the
Bottle, The Stay Up Late Show, Macha Monkey Cabaret and Hugo House among
other places. She is also co-artistic director and founder of dedicated to producing new & original solo
theatrical works.

David Schmader
is a writer and performer who's been living and working in
Seattle since 1991. His solo plays include Letter to Axl and Straight,
which he's performed to great acclaim in Seattle and across the U.S. In
his spare time, Schmader is also the world's foremost authority on the
brilliant horribleness of Paul Verhoven's Showgirls, hosting annotated
screenings of the notorious stripper drama at film festivals across the
country and supplying the commentary track for MGM's special-edition
Showgirls DVD in 2002. Since 1999, Schmader's been an editor and staff
writer for the Seattle newsweekly The Stranger, for which he writes the
weekly pop culture-and-politics column "Last Days." He's currently
completing the new live cinema essay Nomi's Inferno: An Abridged and
Annotated Tour of American Cinematic Failure, and a new solo play, Litter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m.

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" celebrates National Poetry Month on Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House with poets Christa Bell, Matt Gano, Peter Pereira and Judith Roche.

About the Readers

Christa Bell
is an award-winning feminist folk poet, performance artist and cultural activist. She is the author of three collections of poetry, two spoken word CDs and the creatrix of the one-woman phenomenon, “CoochieMagik: A SpokenWord Musical Comedy” directed by Baraka de Soleil.

Matt Gano
is a nationally known poet, writer, and performance artist residing in Seattle, Washington. He is a member of the 2008 National Poetry Slam team for Seattle and finished in top position to earn the title, “Seattle Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champion”. He was a member of the National Poetry Slam team for Seattle in 2004, and again in 2005 and remains one of the top performing artists in Seattle’s poetry circuit. His published work includes: chapbooks,"Music Maker",“Welcome Home”,“I Eight the Infinite”, and “Art Barker”, a self-titled poetry LP, and a live recording entitled “A Giant’s Pulse.” More to come soon……

Peter Pereira
’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, and have been anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, the 2007 Best American Poetry, and the recent Frye Art Museum anthology Looking Together: Writers on Art. His poems have also been featured online at Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, as well as on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. His books include The Lost Twin (Grey Spider 2000), Saying the World (Copper Canyon, 2003) and What’s Written on the Body (Copper Canyon 2007), which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Peter is a family physician in Seattle, and was a founding editor of Floating Bridge Press. He plans to read tonight from new work supported by a King County 4Culture grant, a poems series entitled “The Expedition of the Vaccine” exploring world health, imperialism, children’s rights, and the fate of 22 Spanish orphan boys used as vaccine carriers in the early 1800’s.

Judith Roche
is the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Wisdom of the Body, won an American Book Award, She has edited a number of poetry anthologies and has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several public art projects which are installed in the Northwest area, including an installation about salmon at the Chittenden Locks. She is Literary Arts Director Emeritus for One Reel, and teaches poetry workshops throughout the country. She was Distinguished Northwest Writer in Residence at Seattle University in 2007 and is a Fellow in the Black Earth Institute.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" Thursday, March 26, 7 p.m.

After a couple of months off, “Cheap Wine and Poetry” is back on Thursday, March 26, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House. The featured readers are poets Roberto Ascalon and Nicole Hardy, blogger-turned-novelist Rebecca Agiewich and solo performer/humorist Sean O’Connor.

As always, the spunkified Charla Grenz hosts, and we keep you warm with wine at $1/glass. Open mic follows the featured readers.

We hope to see you there.
The “Cheap Wine and Poetry” Crew

Rebecca Agiewich is the author of BreakupBabe: A Novel published by
Ballantine Books in 2006 (and which was a finalist for the 2007 Lulu
Blooker Prize, a literary prize devoted to "blooks."). It was inspired by
her dating blog, also called "Breakup Babe," which earned her a devoted
audience and scared off many potential boyfriends. She is a firm believer
that the interactive nature of blogging is a boon for aspiring writers.

New York-born Roberto Ascalon is a poet, writer, arts educator and
performance artist. He is an instructor at Nova High School in Seattle and
teaches teenagers at Artscorp. Ascalon has participated in Bumberslam at
the Bumbershoot Festival, the Seattle All City Slam Poetry Finals and two
Seattle National Poetry Slams. In 2004, he self-published his book The
Words Are Not Enough. His poems have appeared in the anthologies Poetry on
Buses 2004: Facts and Fictions and From the Page to the Stage: National
Slam Anthology

Nicole Hardy lives in Seattle where she works as a waitress and a teacher.
Her chapbook, Mud Flap Girl's XX Guide to Facial Profiling, was a finalist
in Main Street Rag's 2006 chapbook contest and was published as part of
its Editor's Choice chapbook series. She earned her MFA at the Bennington
College Writing Seminars, and was nominated for a 2007 Pushcart Prize. Her
poems have appeared in many journals and have been rejected from many
more. More about Nicole and her poems can be found at

Sean O'Connor has been writing mildly amusing essays for magazine and
radio, and presenting his work on stage since 2004. He is an award-winning
humor writer whose recorded work has been featured on NPR stations
nationally. He performs locally with 60 Seconds Max, A Guide to Visitors,
Unicycle Collective and others.

WHAT: “Cheap Wine and Poetry”

WHEN: Thursday, March 26, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, Seattle.

Cash bar.
Wine: $1/glass.
Books and “Cheap Wine and Poetry” merch for sale.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vote Elizabeth Austen for Seattle Poet Populist!

By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about politics— the bailout plan, offshore drilling and all that freaking blinking. But what if the election were decided by metaphor? Line breaks? Or knowing the difference between assonance and dissonance?

Seattle Poet Populist is just that, an election of the city’s most populist poet, who, for a year, acts as advocate for poetry in the community. “Cheap Wine and Poetry” has nominated Elizabeth Austen. You can vote for her here. It only takes a few clicks.

Elizabeth has read at “Cheap Wine and Poetry” a few times, most recently at our National Poetry Month reading. She has produced a CD of her work, skin prayers, which you can listen to samples of here. Besides her own writing, Elizabeth is an amazing advocate for poetry, presenting poems by local writers on KUOW and in her role as the Washington “roadshow” poet in 2007. She also works with students as a poet in the schools and teaches at Hugo House and privately.

Your lovely friends at “Cheap Wine and Poetry” have had the pleasure of putting a few back with Elizabeth on occasion, and we adore her. She is a sweet person, a nurturing teacher and a kickass poet. That’s why you should vote for her! Again, you can do that right here— just in case you forgot.

And while we have you, the next “Cheap Wine and Poetry” is Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.— two days after the Poet Populist election and that other one too. Come and celebrate or drown your sorrows with the great work of slam master Daemond Arrindel, funny lady Cienna Madrid and the hip hopping Marya Sea Kaminski with “Cheap Wine and Poetry” curator Brian McGuigan to boot.