If you could curate your own series of authors and thinkers to come to Seattle, who would you choose and why?
Besides starting up your own local reading series, the closest you can get to a literary-style Choose Your Own Adventure is probably SAL’s Create Your Own Series, in which you can pick any four of our events to attend, crossing over series and selecting who you think is the best of the best. Maybe you want a more affordable way to go to multiple SAL events, or maybe you don’t want to have to decide between poetry, prose, or any of our special events.
Below, the SAL staff act as mini-curators and share with you their own selections for CYOS—in other words, who they’re most excited to see this season.
Nichole Coates, WITS Program Associate
Roxane Gay: I can name at least three separate times over the last few weeks where a friend has asked me with a great deal of excitement, “Did you know that Roxane Gay is coming to Seattle?!” Why yes, dear friend, I did. I’ve read several of Roxane Gay’s articles over the past couple years. After finishing Bad Feminist last week, I’m even more excited to see her speak. Reading her essays is like having a deep conversation with a close friend, where the discussion volleys from abstract analyses of the intersections of culture, gender, race and class, to the intimate ways these forces play out in your life and the world around you.
Helen Oyeyemi: Helen Oyeyemi’s stories feel like fairy tales, fantastical with an eerie hint of familiarity. Her writing is dreamy and quick on its feet, lyrical only long enough to let a moment shine before flitting to the next one. It’s certainly easy to get lost in the worlds she creates, and I’ll be excited to see he take to the stage in April!
First Loves with Sherman Alexie: In idle moments, I will reserve a few books at my local library. Then I will reserve a few more books. And then a few more… and some more… and more. Weeks later, I will arrive at the library only to be dumbfounded by the massive number of books that have arrived for me to check out. During my last trip to the library, I was thrilled to find Re: Jane by Patricia Park, Adam by Ariel Schrag, and The Heart is a Muscle the Size of your Fist by Sunil Yapa peeking out between all the other titles I had put on hold. Sorry, other library books, but you’ll have to wait.
Emily Nussbaum: I’m always excited to see when Emily Nussbaum has written a review of one of my favorite shows, because her writing is always so sharp and insightful. She has extra sensitive antennae for picking up on thematic nuances and cultural influences, and I know that after reading one of her reviews, I’ll be able to watch a series with a new critical lens…which totally justifies my next Netflix binge. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch Bojack Horseman and Lady Dynamite for the umpteenth time.