$15 or less: Weekend listings for the budget-conscious culture lover

Kay Ryan at Kane, Stornoway at the Croc, Phinney Garage Sale Day and more -- for less
Crosscut archive image.

Poet Kay Ryan reads at Kane Hall

Kay Ryan at Kane, Stornoway at the Croc, Phinney Garage Sale Day and more -- for less

Jill McCorkle on the Art of Character
Richard Hugo House, Wed. 5/15 at 7-10 p.m., FREE
Author Jill McCorkle’s most recent work, the novel Life After Life, is set in a retirement home, where she follows an ensemble of characters, all deftly drawn with sympathy and acuity. McCorkle will be giving a talk on the art of character development, entirely for free. The bar will be open.

We Are All Failing Them
Northwest Film Forum, 5/16-5/18 at 8 p.m., $15 general
Part of the Live at the Film Forum series, this live song cycle (accompanied by film) is performed by composer Robin Holcomb and guests. According to Holcomb, the performance uses the notorious and mysterious Donner Party to ask the question: “What gets left behind along the trail to the Promised Land?”

Kay Ryan
University of Washington Kane Hall, Thursday, 5/16 at 7 p.m., FREE
Beloved poet Kay Ryan will be the honored guest of the annual Roethke Reading at UW, now celebrating its 50th year. Ryan has been writing compact, invigorating poetry since the '70s. She is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2011), a MacArthur award (also 2011), AND was U.S. Poet Laureate from 2008-2010.

Absolutely Avocados
Book Larder, Thursday 5/16 from 6:30-8 p.m., FREE
This light-hearted, low-stakes evening is devoted to the many uses of avocadoes (besides guacamole and devouring them in their entirety in your kitchen late at night). Author Gaby Dalkin will be there preparing a recipe from the book and taking questions.

Stories We Tell
Harvard Exit, Friday 5/17 at 4 p.m., $10
SIFF kicked off on Thursday night, and thus the next MONTH will be full of great, rare film opportunities. In this documentary, Sarah Polley uses interviews with family, colleagues and friends to explore her parents’ relationship. A touching portrait of how families tell their stories, particularly to themselves.

Frances Ha Pacific Place, Friday 5/17 at 9:45 p.m., $10
In fave indie director Noah Baumbach’s latest, we get to know Frances, a 27-year-old aspiring dancer living in Brooklyn and trying to figure out life. She’s hilarious, likeable and flawed in an all-too-relatable way.

Phinney Neighborhood Garage Sale Day
All around Phinney/Greenwood, Saturday May 18th from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Walk the neighborhood, perusing the treasures at individual yard sales. Stop by the big flea market at the Phinney Neighborhood Association. What will you bring home? I got my record player here for TWENTY DOLLARS a few years ago; last year, I got a bag of corks for $1.

Ilina Sen on Women and Democratic Movements in India: Changing Dynamics, Altered Perspectives
Town Hall, Sunday 5/19 at 5:30 p.m., $5
Indian human-rights activist and feminist scholar Ilina Sen discusses her work with the most impoverished communities, and the women’s movement in her home country. Considering the current political climate around women’s rights — in the U.S. and India alike — this is sure to be a stirring, impassioned evening.

Stornoway, Horse Thief
The Crocodile, Monday 5/20 at 8 p.m., $15
British group Stornoway will deliver their distinct brand of twee, indie rock. They’ll be playing songs off their recent, second studio album Tales from Terra Ferma. Sidenote: Their 2009 song “Zorbing” remains one of my favorite good mood songs.



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