ArtSEA: WA State Book Awards kick off a rich reading season

Just in time, the new batch of Washington State Book Award arrived, announced by the Washington Center for the Book.


ArtSEA: Notes on Northwest Culture is Crosscut’s weekly arts and culture newsletter.


Author of Spokane Jess walter won the fiction award for The cold millions, his historical novel about young brothers fighting for workers’ rights in Washington at the turn of the 20th century. Poet EJ Kohmoving personal story, The magical language of others, about his childhood separated from his Korean immigrant parents, won the biography / memoir award.

In general non-fiction, editor Jennifer haupt won for the timely anthology Alone Together: Love, Sorrow and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19. And Crosscut contributor Clyde Ford won the documentary creation award for Think black, about his father, the first black software engineer at IBM.

Check out the full list of categories and winners – plus the impressive roster of finalists, including Living Color: Stories of Angio Rubio, through Donna Miscolta; Exit: A dissertation on alcohol use, relapse and recovery, through Erica C. Barnett; and Black imagination, Organized by Natasha Marin.

And if the change of weather is itching for an author’s read, consider:

Sandra Cisneros (Mango Street House) has a new book in English and Spanish: Martita I remember you / Martita Te Recuerdo. She will talk about this long lost friendship story at Seattle Public Library (live stream September 17, 6 p.m.)

Kira jane buxton, local author of the funny and dystopian zombie novel Hollow Kingdom (narrated by a rude crow), celebrates its follow-up title, Wild creatures, with in-person reading at Brick and Mortar Books in downtown Redmond (September 18, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.). PS: Buxton blew me away with his answers to our fall arts Q&A with local artists.

Ruth ozeki (My year of meat) does a virtual reading (co-hosted by several local bookstores, September 22, 6 p.m.), to discuss his new novel, The book of form and emptiness, in which the death of a beloved father prompts a teenager to begin hearing voices and guidance from inanimate objects.

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