Art by Stacey Rozich

The Latest Issue of ‘PageBoy’ Invites Writers to Write About Writers They Love

Writing about writing can be tedious, but here the exercise is invigorating.

Nobody makes writing sound more romantic, important, and magical than a writer, and that’s why writing about writers is a writer’s favorite pastime. Visit any bookstore’s how-to-write section and you’ll find volume after volume that describes writing as an art, a craft, a calling, a sacred trust. A writer can make writing sound like the most important activity in the world, and the only thing writers love to do more than publicly praise the work of another writer is to talk shit about other writers in the bar after the reading.

A major pitfall of writing about writers, though, is finding readers. Many readers don’t have the patience for the up-their-own-buttholeness of writing about writing. (Take it from a book critic who’s been in the business for a while.) After all, we use the term “writer’s writer” to describe little-read but much-admired authors. So if you’re going to publish the writing of writers on the topic of writers, you’d better have a damn good reason.

Since 2009, Seattle literary magazine PageBoy has published high-quality writing and art in a utilitarian package: each volume tends to be beige and low on flashy graphic design save a few full-color prints from a featured artist. This minimalism is intentional; it pushes the words right into the foreground of the reader’s attention. And PageBoy editor Thomas Walton always does right by those words. The table of contents in each issue is a parade of high-quality local talent, and Walton always coaxes the very best out of them.

Read the rest of this review in Seattle Weekly’s print edition, or online here at Seattle Review of Books.Paul Constant is co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage at seattlereviewofbooks.com.

More in Arts & Culture

The interrogation of Parolles serves as one of the comedic highlights in ‘All’s Well That Ends Well.’ Photo by John Ulman
‘All’s Well’ Doesn’t End Well

Despite strong performances and comedic zest, it’s hard to not get hung up on the befuddling ending of Seattle Shakespeare’s latest production.

On Being Trans: J Mase III Creates a Space to Feel Welcome

The Seattle artist hosts a three-day event at Gay City.

Appropriately, Tacoma Art Museum’s new Benaroya Wing gives a splash of glass 
                                to the building’s facade. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider
Tacoma Art Museum Opens New Benaroya Wing With Dazzling Glass

Stunning glass trees by Debora Moore highlight the addition’s initial offerings.

Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig simmer as musicians in love in <em>Cold</em> <em>War</em>. Photo by Lukasz Bak
The Warm Musical Romance of ‘Cold War’

The gorgeous Polish tale of love behind the Iron Curtain would be a layup for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in a non-‘Roma’ year.

Why can’t we all just get along? Lynch, Crocetto, and Rawls in ‘Il trovatore.’ Photo by Jacob Lucas
Seattle Opera’s High C’s Adventure

Turns out a conventional approach is best for Verdi’s notoriously implausible ‘Il trovatore.’

Students of the TeenTix Press Corps Intensive bring a youthful prospective while taking in Seattle’s arts scene. Photo courtesy TeenTix
TeenTix Fosters the Next Generation of Arts Critics

Youths are engaging in critical arts thinking via the local nonprofit’s Press Corps Intensive.

Most Read