Monday, April 21, 2008

Word Nerds: Get your persona on this Thursday

The most pressing dilemma in modern literary circles is the shocking absence of...costumes. Not to mention the overuse of...ellipses.

Writers really enjoy pretending to be someone else. They love to say, "It's not about me. It's fiction." They love creating personas. They develop historical crushes on long-dead scribblers.

So, here's your chance to fulfill all your fantasies at once. Impersonate a writer you wish you were, a writer you love to mock (come on, I know you secretly admire Danielle Steele), or a writer you wish were alive so you could have sex with or converse with them. Hey, Emily, what's with the birds? Walt! Write a new book! Oh, oh, oh, Irving!

Listen up. Dress up this Thursday for Cheap Wine & Poetry. Chat up the Sylvia Plaths; give the Kerouacs the stink eye. Whatever makes you happy. But dress up.

You know you want to.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Cheap Wine and Poetry" Celebrates National Poetry Month

There is nothing “Cheap Wine and Poetry” loves more than cheap wine and poetry, especially during April, National Poetry Month.

To celebrate our sleepless nights thinking about line breaks and our hot and bothered days longing for clever metaphors, "Cheap Wine and Poetry" presents a special poetry-only evening on Thursday April 24, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House with features Roberto Ascalon, Elizabeth Austen, Rebecca Loudon, and Cody Walker.

Besides serving up a smorgasbord of poetry (and the cheap stuff for a buck, of course.), we invite you to dress up as your favorite writer, or your least favorite writer, any kind of writer. Just dress up!

Why? Because it’ll be fun, and we’ll be feeling all starry-eyed and ass-slap happy (Host Charla Grenz, first and foremost.) for poetry anyway. And maybe even hand out a prize or two for the coolest literary get-up. Wink, wink.

WHAT: “Cheap Wine and Poetry.” Celebrating National Poetry Month with a special poetry-only reading. Features Roberto Ascalon, Elizabeth Austen, Rebecca Loudon, and Cody Walker.

WHEN: Thursday, April 24, 7 p.m.

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

ETC: Wine $1/glass.
Open mic.
Merch sales.
Co-sponsored by Richard Hugo House

About the Poets
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. Ascalon graduated from Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash., with a degree in Advanced Intercultural Communication. He makes his home in Seattle.

ELIZABETH AUSTEN spent her teens and twenties working as an actor and director in cities as diverse as London, England and Holland, Michigan. After six months of solo rambling in the Andes region of South America she recognized her true nature as an introvert, left the theatre and began writing poetry. For the past 10+ years, she’s been writing meditations – sometimes lyrical, sometimes humorous – on the nature and inter-relatedness of power, sexuality and mortality. Elizabeth served as the Washington “roadshow” poet for 2007, giving readings and workshops in rural areas around the state. She provides weekly commentary on Pacific Northwest poetry readings on KUOW, 94.9, public radio. She is the recipient of a grant from 4Culture, and is an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Jack Straw Writers Program, and Antioch University-Los Angeles. Her audio CD, skin prayers, is available at

REBECCA LOUDON lives and writes in Seattle. She is the author of Tarantella and Radish King from Ravenna Press, and Navigate, Amelia Earhart's Letters Home from No Tell Books. Her third collection of poetry, Cadaver Dogs, is forthcoming from No Tell Books this summer. She teaches violin to children.

CODY WALKER teaches English at the University of Washington and poetry through Seattle Arts and Lectures' Writers in the Schools program. He also serves as a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House. His work appears in Best American Poetry, Parnassus, Slate, Shenandoah, and Subtropics. In 2007 he was elected Seattle Poet Populist. His first book, Shuffle and Breakdown, will be published by Waywiser Press in the fall of 2008.