Book It

Seattle Book Readings and Literary Events During AWP

A massive creative writing conference is coming to town, so it's time to party with the wordsmiths.

By Allison Williams March 2, 2023

Batten down the bookshelves: Seattle is facing an invasion of writers, poets, and professors for the Association of Writers and Writers Program annual conference, back in the city for the first time since 2014. The massive event takes over the Seattle Convention Center March 8–11 with panel discussions, readings, and a book fair featuring a million printed pages. 

However, given that entrance to the event is $540 at the door, well, the starving artists of the world won't get a chance to see keynote speaker Min Jin Lee or the highbrow discussions taking place across the ballrooms (Saturday admission is only $25, but limited to the events happening that day).

Fortunately, literary events spring up across the city when AWP comes to town. And because writers are, as a whole, party people, many include open bars, DJs, or other fun extras.

City Feet, Swamp Mouths

March 8, 6–9pm | Blarney Stone Pub

Part of the joy of AWP is how authors from around the country gather in one place. Several literary journals based in Louisiana host writers from the state. We'll say this about the Louisiana scribes—they know how to name their books. The lineup includes Mag Gabbert, recent author of Sex Depression Animals, and Rodrigo Toscano, who penned a book called The Charm and The Dread.

Rebecca Makkai with Peter Mountford

March 8, 7:30pm | Third Place Books Lake Forest Park

The author of the award-winning book The Great Believers—plus finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize—has a new work, I Have Some Questions for You. Coincidentally, writing teacher Peter Mountford has questions for Rebecca Makkai.

Sly, Witchy, Twisted, Free: Writing Women Beyond the Literary Gaze

March 8, 7–8pm | Capitol Cider

Local women get serious about their work, with a side of cider. Readers include Seattle University professor Sonora Jha and Subduction author Kristen Millares Young, both of whom appear on Seattle Met's Big Seattle Reading List.

In-Na-Po’s Celebration of Indigenous Nations Poets

March 9, 7–8pm | Elliott Bay Book Company

Naturally Capitol Hill's famed bookstore is hosting several events during AWP; this poetry event celebrates the recently founded In-Na-Po community, short for  Indigenous Nations Poets. Readers include a local voice Cedar Sigo, raised on the Suquamish Reservation.

Defining Cascadia: A Cultural Celebration

March 9, 6pm | Town hall seattle

Consider it the literary guidebook to our home. To mark the publication of Cascadia Field Guide, a collection of poems, artworks, and stories about the Northwest, the three editors gather to discuss just what makes this place so special. 

Triptych: A Reading, A Screening, and a Dance Party

March 10, 7:30–10:30pm | Northwest Film Forum

What happens when editors and writers pick the playlist? Find out at the dance party that follows the reading at Northwest Film Forum, which will obviously also feature some film clips. It serves as a kind of preview for NWFF's Cadence Video Poetry Festival, coming in April.

Comics Night Out: It's an Art Party

March 11, 6–8pm | Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery

Celebrating 10 years of the radical parenting zine Mutha, Georgetown comics shop Fantagraphics hosts 10 artists and a conversation between cartoonists MariNaomi and Megan Kelso. And because these are comics and zine people, it's a proper party with food and drink.

Seattle City of Literature Happy Hour

March 11, 4–6pm | Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

We're very proud of our UNESCO City of Literature designation, so to mark the Kristen Millares Youngedited essay collection Seismic, a host of local voices take to the stage. Readers include Anastacia-Reneé, Claudia Castro Luna, and Jourdan Imani Keith. Happy hour follows, and RSVPs are recommended.

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