Monday, December 27, 2010

January Castalia

Join us for the first Castalia of 2011! Featuring Maya Sonenberg, Sierra Nelson, Ben Wirth, Peter Moench, and Valerie Marie Arvidson.

WHEN: January 4, 8 pm
WHERE: Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Co-sponsored with the Richard Hugo House.
FREE and open to the public!

As always the Hugo House Cafe offers a variety of drinks to keep you well hydrated throughout the evening. We'll continue to have books for sale by current and former featured readers—so bring some cash!

More info on our readers below:

Maya Sonenberg's first collection of stories, Cartographies, received the Drue Heinz Prize. Her second, Voices from the Blue Hotel, was published by Chiasmus Press in 2007. More recent fiction and nonfiction is appearing in Fairy Tale Review, Web Conjunctions, New Ohio Review, and Hotel Amerika. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington.

Sierra Nelson earned her MFA from U.W. in 2002 and her poems can be found in Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Fairy Tale Review, Forklift, Thermos, and other locations. Co-founder of the Vis-à-Vis Society and The Typing Explosion, her collaborative graph installations can be found in Cal Anderson Park, and the new Vis-à-Vis Society statistical musical will debut at the NW Film Forum this May. Sierra’s chapbook with artist Loren Erdrich, I Take Back the Sponge Cake, recently won NYU’s Collaboration Award. She hearts typewriters, Icelandic sagas, and cephalopods.

Ben Wirth is a second-year MFA candidate at the University of Washington. He was the recipient of the Joyce Waddell Fund for Talented Writers and runner-up for the Loren D. Milliman Scholarship. His work has received rave reviews from his peers, including: "If Ben's story is the future of fiction, I'm going to cry" and "I feel as though this story hates me." As the Castalia photographer, it has been his honor to shoot so many great readers in our community, and is proud to be invited to read along with them.

Peter Moench was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Ithaca of the upper Midwest. Like many young men of his generation, his childhood was spent exploring the wooded banks and bluffs of the Mississippi River. He fished for its bounty of catfish, chased the light bulb sun across the birch infested sky, sang with the crickets and mosquitoes. When night fell and he slept at last, the woods blanketed him in oak leaves and wreathed him in holly, while the northern lights bathed his dreams in their Christmas police siren glow. From the whitetail deer he learned to sniff trouble on the wind, the sense to flee at the first sign of anything. The snow taught him its quiet wisdom, the unstirred grace of yogurt. Then, at age six, his father packed the family’s trunks and moved them south in search of their fortunes. There, in the suburbs, Peter learned of books, driveways with their own basketball hoops, and CD-ROMS, but the wilderness of the city always stayed in his heart.

Valerie Marie Arvidson is originally from Massachusetts. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction, and "mixed-fiction"/blurred genres. She is also a print-maker and visual-artist. Her personal essay about childhood and family, titled “Birds Have Eyes”, was the winner of the 2009 Hunger Mountain Creative Non-Fiction Writing Contest, judged by author Robin Hemley. Valerie is currently teaching writing composition and earning her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Washington. Fun fact: she's getting married in 2011!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Castalia Audio

What a fabulous holiday treat to sit in cozy Hugo House, nursing (or chugging) a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, and enjoying some fine poetry and prose. First year poet Erika Wilder kicked off the night with an abundance of intriguing imagery and wordplay; second year prose writer Lisa Nicholas Ritscher’s essay was accompanied by her own fabulous clarinet music; second year poet Talia Shalev began her performance with a mention of Apollo and then followed it with a few more “geek out, Greek out,” poems; UW alumna and poet Chelsea Jennings taught us about Fado, the weather, and the “old Castalia,” including costumes and Box Wine,among other things; and UW professor and fiction writer Shawn Wong shared an excerpt from his new novel.