Anastacia-Reneé Is Ubiquitous and Worth It

Seattle’s it lit figure of the moment isn’t a fluke—she earned it.

Every so often in Seattle, a writer pops into the popular consciousness. You’ll find them everywhere at once: in every Seattle-centric magazine, newspaper, and website that covers the literary scene. (Yes, there aren’t so many of those these days, but that’s a complaint for another time.)

When this kind of writer appears—a Robert Lashley, say, or a Sarah Galvin, to use two recent-ish examples—it must be easy for aspiring authors to fall prey to jealousy. You toil at open mics and publishing for free in hand-printed literary magazines, then suddenly the it lit figure of the moment stares out at you from free boxes around the city. This doesn’t happen very often, and it probably feels as though they’re taking up some of the spotlight that by rights ought to belong to you.

In my experience, though, these overnight success stories happen because the writers in question Work. Their. Asses. Off. They read everywhere, they write all the time, and they put in the hours to gain the respect they deserve. Case in point? Anastacia-Reneé, the poet who has received glowing profiles in a number of local publications including a fantastic City Arts cover story by Galvin that’s on the stands right now.

The reason Anastacia-Reneé is getting so much attention is that she’s publishing three books of poetry with three different publishers this summer: (v.), Forget It, and Answer(Me). This confluence wasn’t just handed to her on a platter; the truth is that Anastacia-Reneé is relentless. She reads all over town and advocates for other writers. She experiments in plays, visual art, and nonfiction. Until recently she was the Poet in Residence at the Hugo House, making her expertise available to aspiring authors with regular office hours and special appointments.

Anastacia-Reneé’s restlessness shows up on the page, too. She has written under a number of aliases over the years, and her work investigates the question of identity—race, sexuality, community—in nearly every poem. She is fragmented, and she is mighty, and she is a force of nature. She’s exactly the kind of writer we need to see posted on every corner of the city right now.

To celebrate the second release of her busy summer, Forget It from Santa Cruz publisher Black Radish, Anastacia-Reneé will be joined on Tuesday at Elliott Bay Book Company by three stellar Seattle-area authors: poet Jane Wong, memoirist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and poet/civil-rights attorney Shankar Narayan. She’s not only generous with the spotlight, but Anastacia-Reneé is perfectly willing to give time and exposure to authors who complement her work. Other writers would balk at giving three dynamos some of their stage time. Anastacia-Reneé knows that every stage is big enough to share. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m. Tues., July 25. Paul Constant is co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read books coverage like this at seattlereviewofbooks.com.

More in Arts & Culture

Cast trailers for “Three Busy Debras” filming at the Snoqualmie YMCA parking lot on Sept. 4. Madison Miller / staff photo
New TV show filming in Snoqualmie

“Three Busy Debras” is being filmed in cities in the Seattle area, including Snoqualmie.

Tyler, The Creator performs during Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in Seattle, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Gallery: Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival 2019

Scenes from Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival at the Seattle Center.

Acquisition gift chosen from 2018 Seattle Art Fair. Installation view of Recent Acquisitions: Toyin Ojih Odutola, Frye Art Museum, 2019. Photo: Jueqian Fang.
Seattle Art Fair renews partnership with Frye Art Museum

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is pleased to announce the… Continue reading

Bread Face. Courtesy of the artist @breadfaceblog.
Seattle Art Fair returns Aug. 1

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is proud to announce the… Continue reading

Linda Hodges Gallery in Pioneer Square. Photo courtesy Linda Hodges Gallery
Despite Construction, Pioneer Square’s Art Galleries Remain Strong

Long a hub for Seattle’s visual arts scene, the neighborhood gets an new space this spring with the opening of ARTS at King Street Station.

Patty Gone offers an artistic toast to Danielle Steel. Photo courtesy Mount Analogue
Patty Gone’s Queer Romance Novel Reflections

The artist’s upcoming residency at Mount Analogue explores the cultural impact of pulpy romantic fantasy.

Photo by Spencer Baker 
                                Mark Haim’s torso will be guided by his friends’ movements in Parts to a Sum.
Crowdsourced Choreography

Mark Haim’s ‘Parts to a Sum’ exemplifies how choreographers are relinquishing control in the name of collaboration.

Seeing the Seattle Opera’s <em>The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs</em> counts as screen time. Photo by Philip Newton
The Innovative Tech Disconnect of ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’

Like the technology Jobs pioneered, the Seattle Opera production is flashy but lacking in soul.

Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2019 Picks

Make the most of the cultural cinematic event with these four selections.

‘Roma’ projects to be the big winner at the 91st Academy Awards this Sunday. Photo by Carlos Somonte
And The Winner Is: 2019 Oscars Preditions

Who will take home the awards on cinema’s biggest night?

Britney Barber (center) and Samantha Demboski (left) perform in ‘Empty Orchestra.’ Photo courtesy Jet City Improv
Making It Up As They Go Along

Jet City Improv’s retributive actions towards a former player raise issues of the comedy institution’s staff culture.