Smartypants guide to the Seattle Lit Crawl

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A pub crawl meets literature with more than 80 readers and artists at this year's Seattle Lit Crawl on Thursday. You'll wander from bar to bar, drinking and listening to talented local authors read their work. Topics at the different spots will range from sobriety and recovery to sex and drugs, or head to Hugo House for readings on all things salty and salt-related (with free salt and vinegar chips!). You can find the entire schedule of readings and events here.

Whether you can attend or not, we did some research and here are our top picks from this year's free night of readings at local venues (you can always do the reading on your own). The night is split up into three phases of readings in 45-minute increments, then afterwards join Crosscut at the Lit Crawl after party at Fred Wildlife Refuge. (You can find the venues with the map below.)

6 to 6:45 p.m.

(16) Sobriety & Recovery: Sarah Hepola & Melissa Febos

Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave. (Entrance on Seneca St.)

Two critically acclaimed authors will read about their experiences with sobriety and recovery. Sarah Herpola is the author of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget and the former personal essays editor at Melissa Febos wrote the memoir Whip Smart about and her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers.

(15) Consider the Oyster: A Puget Sound Love Story

The Cloud Room, 1424 11th Ave. (4th fl. of Chophouse Row)

If you're a foodie, this is a reading you won't want to miss. Essays will be read by two talented food writers, Langdon Cook and Sara Dickerman. Cook is author of The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America and winner of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award. Dickerman's work has appeared in Bon Appétit, The New York Times, Saveur, Sunset, Seattle Magazine and Slate, where her writing won a James Beard award. After the readings, Pacifica Review nonfiction editor Corina Zappia will moderate a Q&A with Renee Erickson, owner of The Walrus and The Carpenter.

(6) A Salty Reading

Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave.

If nothing else, this will be an interesting one discussing all things ... salty? Chomp on free salt and vinegar chips while listening to all things salt-related. Authors include Sonya Vatomsky, author of poetry collection Salt is for Curing, and Richard Chiem, author of You Private Person. Also, expect a blend of story and song from cabaret queen Princess Charming.

(11) It’s a Bitch to Remember

The Project Room, 1315 E Pine St.

The Project Room is currently tackling the question: How are we remembered? So their stop on the Lit Crawl will be centered around the theme of remembrance. Allison Ellis, who has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, SELF, Redbook and Marie Claire, will be reading. Hugo House fellow Steve Barker and Jason Schmidt, author of A List of Things That Didn’t Kill Me will also share their stories.

(12) Flight of Fancy: A Literary Cider Flight

Capitol Cider, 818 E Pike St., downstairs [21+]

Purchase and taste a sampling of fine hard ciders, each paired with a reading suggestion by Seattle Public Library's David Wright and Andrea Gough who will discuss their picks.

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7 to 7:45 p.m.

(1) Draw It Out: Indie Comix

Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave. E.

Enjoy indie comic books and graphic novels with host Kelly Froh, illustrator and cartoonist Natalie Dupille, cut paper and comics artist Mita Mahato and historical graphic novelist Gina Siciliano. Eroyn Franklin will also join in; her comics have been listed in The Best American Comics: The Notable Comics of 2013 and 2014.

(5) Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind

Office Nomads, 1617 Boylston Ave.

Listen to these real-life stories about jobs that authors have really experienced just to make a buck. This reading will feature a slew of talented poets including performer and teaching artist Daemond Arrindell, and Troy Osaki, winner of various poetry slams. Memoirist Nicole Hardy, who authored Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin, and Pacifica Review's Corina Zappia will also share their stories.

(3) Sin Is Always In: Writings About Sex, Drugs, & Violence

Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave. E.

Sean Beaudoin, author of Wise Young Fool, poet Robert Lashley, and co-founder and poetry editor of alice blue review's Amber Nelson take us on the downward spiral involving everyone's three favorite vices: Sex, drugs and violence.

(19) Rachel Kessler’s Christian Charm Workbook

Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave.

This will be a fascinating slideshow performance by Seattle-based poet and essayist Rachel Kessler. She will showcase her multimedia memoir about growing up with the Jesus movement in 1970s Seattle. Kessler's work has appeared in Open Daybook, Tin House, USA Today, Narrative Magazine, Poetry Northwest, The Stranger, Henry Art Gallery, Bellevue Art Museum and elsewhere.

(9) Elliott Bay Books Presents Elizabeth Rosner

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave.

Elizabeth Rosner (The Speed of Light, Gravity, Blue Nude) reads from her historical novel Electric City, named one of the best books of 2014 by NPR and now out in paperback. Hosted by award-winning author Peter Mountford.

8 to 8:45 p.m.

(14) A Reading by Poetry Northwest

Sole Repair, 1001 E Pike St. (Entrance on 10th Ave.)

Local contributors for the oldest poetry mag in the Northwest will read their work and Editor Kevin Craft will host. This reading will include: Clare Johnson, Michael S. Harper Poetry Prize recipient and Post-it Note Project artist; Suzanne Bottelli, poet and former Jack Straw writer; and Emily Bedard, poet and teacher at the Henry Art Gallery, Hugo House, and Writers in the Schools.

(3) VIDA Presents: Women of Color Prose Reading

Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave. E.

Three incredible female voices take the spotlight at this prose reading by authors Shannon Barber (Self Care Like a Boss), award-winning author Jennine Capó Crucet (Make Your Home Among Strangers) and Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation: A Memoir and poem-ish memoir Hollywood Notebook.

(13) Outcasts and Innocents

Vermillion Arts Gallery & Bar, 1508 11th Ave.

A montage from Outcasts and Innocents, Alice Wheeler’s photography collection of Seattle locals. Her new book brings together three decades of photographs made in and about a region which is complicated to define through anything other than its elemental landscape. Plus, there will be readings by award-winning fiction author Stacey Levine, writer and musician John Osebold, poet John Olson, and novelist Ellie Belew.

You can read more about all of the authors at the Lit Crawl here.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Cambria Roth

Cambria Roth

Cambria Roth is formerly a digital editor at Crosscut, where she curated and wrote Crosscut’s daily, weekly and election newsletters.