The Fest in Print

"IT'S NOT JUST music! It's not just music!" OK, OK, Bumber-authorities, we hear you. The truth is that there's always been some kind of quasi-literary component to the fest, although it tends to get drowned out by, yes, the music. This year's ink events fall into two main areas: 'zine publishing and live readings/ performances. Housed in the Seattle Center's Snoqualmie Room (north of KeyArena, off Republican Street), the so-called Ink Spot will host a variety of workshops, panels, and talks for the scissors-glue-and-stapler set. Local publishers like Floating Bridge Press and Fantagraphics will be represented, as will local artists/cartoonists like Jim Woodring (Frank), Roberta Gregory (Bitchy Bitch), and Ellen Forney (a regular SW contributor). Venture to the nearby Alki Room Literary Stage, where raging Romanian poet Andrei Codrescu will face down raging dyke poet Alix Olson (4 p.m. Fri., Aug. 29). Olson also does her solo thing there at 7 p.m. the same evening, while Codrescu later goes trochee-to-trochee with Sheri-D Wilson (9 p.m. Sat., Aug. 30, Bagley Wright Theater). Dishing up dysfunction rather than dithyrambs, Running With Scissors memoirist Augusten Burroughs promises even more autobiographical pathology at the Charlotte Martin Theater (inside the Seattle Children's Theater complex; 6 p.m. Sun., Aug. 31). If you didn't get enough of what our Leah Greenblatt called "the Dickens-on-acid depravity of his childhood [that is] scatalogically hilarious, willfully bizarre, and even occasionally touching," he's here to sell you on the follow-up, Dry. Our Tim Appelo had praise for All Over Creation by Idaho's Ruth Ozeki (Alki Room Literary Stage, 7:45 p.m. Sun., Aug. 31), calling it a "scampish, rather touching romp of a novel . . . the best book I ever read about potatoes, and it's also good on what Saul Bellow called 'potato love'the kind that thrives in close, unpretentious families." Finally, as we continue to manage Iraq and Afghanistan as part of our post-Cold War imperial portfolio, Philip Wohlstetter's Valparaiso (Charlotte Martin Theater, 6 p.m. Sat., Aug. 30) sounds both timely and interesting. Wohlstetter was in Chile for the U.S.-backed Sept. 11, 1973, coup that overthrew (and killed) elected president Salvador Allende, and this spoken-word performance piece recalls what he saw, interspersed with passages from Neruda, accompanied by a backdrop of period photographs. Remember how ousting the Commies was supposed to make Chile safe and peaceful? Gee, that worked well. It kinda sounds like the Bush plan today for spreading love, tolerance, capitalism, and democracy throughout the embittered, impoverished Arab- speaking world. But maybe Valparaiso won't be so cynical. And maybe the Bush plan will work. Fat chance. BRIAN MILLER info@seattleweekly.com

 
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