FROM PROPER POETS TO RHYMESLINGERS
This year's gifted versifiers prove that poetry ranges from the elegantly formal to the refreshingly flippant. Seattle family physician and Floating Bridge Press co-founder PETER PEREIRA calls upon his unique medical and artistic backgrounds to depict the human body. Jack Straw Writers Reading: Starbucks Literary Stage, 1-2:30 p.m. Sat. Sept. 1. New Seattle resident BIG POPPA E promises more humorous material, as the author of The Wussy Boy Manifesto delivers his usual high-energy mix of performance poetry, stand-up comedy, and dramatic monologue. Starbucks Literary Stage, 3:45-4:45 p.m. Sat. Sept. 1. Composed of spoken wordsters Dave Caserio, Danika Dinsmore, Michael Ricciardi, Catherine Wing, and percussionist Matthew Burgess, FOURWORD FORTETE offers an "orchestration of original work collaged with the works of John Cage, James Joyce, the Art of Noise, and the Magnetic Fields." Starbucks Literary Stage, 2:15-2:45 p.m. Mon. Sept. 3.
THE PERPETUATION OF COOL
Coltrane had it, Kerouac had it, Brando had it, Laverne (but not Shirley) had it, and so do the following authors, all pop-culture chroniclers and thus keepers of the Cool. Prize-winning L.A. Weekly journalist, poet, and eco-activist LEWIS MACADAMS relates exactly how hip happened in "Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant Garde." Starbucks Literary Stage, 7:15-8 p.m. Sun. Sept. 2. As longtime editor-in-chief of The Rocket, CHARLES R. CROSS knew which bands were striking a chord in Seattle when most of the Cha-Cha crowd were sucking on pacifiers rather than cigarettes. He presents his acclaimed new biography of Kurt Cobain, Heavier Than Heaven, based on more than 400 interviews, countless hours of research, and exclusive access to the Nirvana singer's diaries. Starbucks Literary Stage, 2:15-3:15 p.m. Sun. Sept. 2. Macadams and Cross join David Meltzer and Laura Kelly on "THE COOL PANEL," in which they attempt to define what may be a forever-elusive concept. Brn Shoes Bagley Wright Theatre, noon-1:30 p.m. Mon. Sept 3. Lastly—and possibly as an antidote to all this worship of (mostly male) pop-culture icons—INGA MUSCIO, the local writer responsible for Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, will explain how the Cool often means the misogynistic. Starbucks Literary Stage, 3:45-4:45 p.m. Sat. Sept. 1.
NEW YORK CITERATI
Call it envy, call it West Coast-centrism; there's something vaguely annoying about DAVE EGGERS and SARAH VOWELL crashing Bumbershoot's literary brouhaha. One can't help but cringe upon imagining the two publishing world darlings canoodling in a midtown Dean&Deluca, Eggers maybe stressing about that screenplay he's being paid a meager two million to pen, and Vowell perhaps complaining about having to contribute to next week's "This American Life" (most likely on enlightening experiences in McDonald's, or the way The Brady Bunch affected our adolescence). But let's end this daydream (we're turning an unflattering green, after all) and focus on the facts: Eggers and Vowell are both damn-talented writers. With his McSweeney's, Eggers has demonstrated that literary magazines don't have to read as serious as death—or cower before Manhattan's monster-sized publishing houses. Even more impressive, his autobiographical novel, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, just might be one of the few 21st-century literary works still praised 100 years from now. Never mind her delightfully idiosyncratic radio commentaries, Vowell has made waves off air with Take the Cannoli, her witty personal essay collection that plants her in the path of past NPR greats such as David Sedaris. Eggers & Vowell: Brn Shoes Bagley Wright Theatre, 3:15-4:45 p.m. Mon. Sept. 3.
DIANE DI PRIMA
One of the last living Beat writers—and one of the few females in the bohemian bunch—Diane Di Prima visits with her autobiographical Recollections of My Life as a Woman, which expands on her provocative 1968 Memoirs of a Beatnik. My Life begins in Brooklyn, where Di Prima's immigrant parents showed more abuse than love. After a stint studying at Swarthmore, the budding poet decided she'd rather be writing, dropped out of college, and tuned in to the artistic revolution occurring in N.Y.C. of the '50s and '60s. The anything-goes atmosphere—as well as pals like Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde, and LeRoi Jones—transformed Di Prima into the formidable writer that she is today. Margot Boyer conducts an interview with the author on Saturday, while Sunday has Di Prima reading from her work. Interview: Starbucks Literary Stage, 5-6 p.m. Sat. Sept. 1. Reading: Brn Shoes Bagley Wright Theatre, 2:30-4 p.m. Sun. Sept. 2.