Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bumbershoot announces literary arts programming & contest

The 39th annual Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival, Presented by Samsung Mobile will showcase a wide range of arts over Labor Day Weekend (September 5 – 7). The Festival stretches across the 74-acre Seattle Center, located beneath the city’s iconic Space Needle, and programs 20 indoor and unique outdoor venues. This progressive Festival features live music, comedy, literary and visual arts, theatre, dance, film, and urban crafts. Bumbershoot’s complete lineup will be announced mid-July. Current Festival lineup and ticket information are located at

Bumbershoot has long distinguished itself by programming literary arts in the midst of the Festival. This year's lineup demonstrates the pervasive influence of writers, from film (Melvin Van Peebles) to television (LOST) to the internet (Stuff White People Like). The lineup also features the beloved S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), powerhouse indie presses (McSweeney's, Manic D), poetry (curated by Spencer Moody), food writing, spoken word, and the unexpected (David Cross, debuting his first book). It all happens on Bumbershoot’s Literary Arts Stage at the Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre and the Performing Arts Stage at Bagley Wright Theatre where book lovers and thousands more will delve into a diverse Literary Arts Program. Bumbershoot’s Literary Arts Program is supported by University Bookstore, hosting onsite book signings throughout the Festival.

The 2009 Festival’s literary arts lineup includes:
David Cross / S.E. Hinton / Melvin Van Peebles / Writers of LOST: Carlton Cuse, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz / McSweeney’s New Fiction / Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like / The Enablers Have Spoken and You’re Fine with Spencer Moody / Zak Smith / Tom Douglas / Manic D / Youth Speaks Seattle w/ Staceyann Chin & Prometheus Brown (Geo of Blue Scholars) / Jessica Anthony / Bill Cotter / Ross Simonini / iLL-Literacy / Seattle Noir / Jess Walter / Kathleen Flinn / Daniel Wilson / Kevin Emerson / Writers In The Schools / Jon Longhi / Amber Tamblyn / Lynn Breedlove / Tara Hardy / Jack McCarthy / Danny Sherrard / Kevin Sampsell / Kerry Cohen / Lyall Bush w/ Devin Sullivan

S.E. Hinton
S.E. Hinton is one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others, changing the way people look at young adult literature. The Outsiders, her first novel, was published in 1967 (when she was 16 years old), followed by That Was Then, This is Now; Rumble Fish; Tex; and others, including the recent Some of Tim's Stories (Penguin/Speak). Bumbershoot is thrilled to host this rare appearance by such a celebrated and esteemed author.

David Cross
Known for roles on the small screen such as "never-nude" Tobias Funke on Arrested Development and the role of "David" in Mr. Show With Bob And David, as well as his stand-up routine full of sharp-tongued rants and rages, Cross has carved out his place in American comedy. With a mix of personal essays, satirical fiction posing as truth, advice for rich people, and a top-ten list of top-ten lists, I Drink for a Reason, Cross’s first book, is as unique as the comedian himself, and cannot be missed.

Writers of LOST
The TV show-turned-cultural phenomenon, LOST’s immense popularity was immediate and steadfast. Known for their twisting plot lines, timelines and intricate character development, LOST writers Carlton Cuse, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have helped change the boundaries of television and—arguably—narrative itself. This program will include dialogue among the writers and an audience Q & A.

Youth Speaks Seattle w/ Staceyann Chin & Prometheus Brown (Geo of Blue Scholars)
In this special Bumbershoot event, Youth Speaks Seattle, the Northwest’s premier literary arts organization for youth, presents the area’s brightest and boldest young poets in concert with two of today’s most cutting-edge performance artists. Finalists and winners of the 2009 Seattle Youth Poetry Slam Series will join Staceyann Chin (NYC) and Prometheus Brown aka Geologic of Blue Scholars (Seattle) to form one of the most lyrical, relevant and thought-provoking poetry/hip-hop lineups ever to grace a stage. This cross-generational group of powerful poets and their words will move you, amuse you, awe you, and inspire you. Presented as part of Bumbershoot’s Arts Integration Project with support from the National Endowment for the Arts

F is for Food: Tom Douglas, Kathleen Flinn
Local culinary greats Tom Douglas and Kathleen Flinn treat the Festival audience to a literary feast. Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, shares her trials and triumphs at the famed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Tom Douglas is one of Seattle’s top chefs, restaurateurs (Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta’s, Serious Pie and Lola) and authors. Known for his dynamic dishes and Pacific Northwest noshes, Douglas—a recent James Beard Foundation Award nominee—will join Flinn for a program sure to whet your appetite.

Writers In The Schools: Youngheads vs. Oldheads
Today’s youth will come head to head with their elders in a friendly challenge of literary arts know-how. Area students will match wits with Writers In The Schools’ Writers in Residence (a group of slam champs, published pros and living legends): Karen Finneyfrock, Daemond Arrindell, Aaron Counts, Wilson Diehl, Kevin Emerson, Rachel Kessler, Peter Mountford, and Matt Gano.

The Great Northwest: Jess Walter, Kevin Sampsell, Kerry Cohen
The Pacific Northwest has been home to innumerable authors, poets, illustrators, and a population bound to books. This panel welcomes three such talents: Jess Walter (Spokane, WA), Kevin Sampsell (Portland, OR) and Kerry Cohen (Portland, OR). Walter, described as “ridiculously talented” by The New York Times, has earned praise from The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and Nicky Hornby. Walter is the author of five novels including The Zero (finalist for the 2006 National Book Award), Citizen Vince (winner of the 2005 Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel) and his latest, The Financial Lives of the Poets. Kerry Cohen’s journey from insecurity to confidence is a cautionary tale and a revelation for girls young and old. The unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl speaks to countless others with compassion, understanding and love. Kevin Sampsell is author of the short story collection Creamy Bullets (Chiasmus), editor of the new Portland Noir (Askashic), and has been publishing books under the name Future Tense Books since 1990.

McSweeney’s New Fiction
McSweeney's, the publishing house founded by the irrepressible Dave Eggers, presents a program on New Fiction, featuring Jessica Anthony (The Convalescent) Bill Cotter (Fever Chart) Ross Simonini, interviews editor of The Believer (McSweeney's monthly literary magazine), and more. The program will be hosted by Bumbershoot favorite Starlee Kine (of "This American Life").

Speak, Poet!
Seattle has become a hotbed of some of the nation's best spoken word performers. With national (and international!) champions, ranking slam teams, and one of the longest-running slams in the country, Seattle has earned bragging rights. Three of the area’s very best are represented in this program: Tara Hardy, Jack McCarthy and Danny Sherrard.

Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like
Since the 2008 creation of Christian Lander’s blog Stuff White People Like, his satirical take on contemporary "Caucasian culture" has lured 300,000 daily hits and has spun off into a popular book: Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. Lander will share his insight that is sure to hit home to some of his Seattle audience.

The Enablers Have Spoken and You’re Fine w/ Spencer Moody
Spencer Moody, known as proprietor of The Anne Bonny and musician (Murder City Devils), shares his love for the written word by curating a group of his favorite enablers to take the podium, offering poetry for the people, and a splash of spoken word spectacle. Moody’s guests include: Anthony Anzalone, Clyde Petersen, Patrick DeWitt, Andrea Zollo (Pretty Girls Make Graves), Pete Quirk (The Cave Singers), and Gavin Tull-Esterbrook.

Melvin Van Peebles
Melvin Van Peebles established his legacy not only as the iconoclastic founding father of modern African American cinema (with 1971's Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song) but also on Black Broadway theatre as well. Van Peebles has been prolific across several media as a novelist, musician, and composer. His new project is the film Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha, for which his new graphic novel of the same name is a companion piece. In this program Van Peebles will present the novel, clips from the film, and talk about his life and writing. Moderated by Stan Shields of the Seattle International Film Festival. Presented as part of Bumbershoot’s Arts Integration Project with support from the National Endowment for the Arts

Zak Smith: We Did Porn
Punk artist and icon Zak Smith made a name for himself by visually re-creating Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and drawing pictures of girls in the "naked girl business." His artistic pedigree and acute observation landed him in high-profile exhibits at the Whitney and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. We Did Porn follows Zak Smith (aka Zak Sabbath) from the New York art scene to Los Angeles' seedy yet colorful underbelly—the world of alt porn. Through memoir and more than one hundred drawings, Smith narrates his foray into pornography and gives his readers a new understanding of the industry, its players and its audience.

Since 2005, Oakland trio iLL-Literacy has been mutating words and sounds, invading concert halls, off-Broadway stages, and college arenas throughout North America and Europe and infiltrating networks from HBO, MTV and beyond. iLL-Literacy’s music and spoken word recalls our primal past, while leaping forward (and sideways) into a future marked by inter-racial babies and Twitter. Presented as part of Bumbershoot’s Arts Integration Project with support from the National Endowment for the Arts

Vampires and Robots: Kevin Emerson, Daniel Wilson
The Pacific Northwest’s penchant for rainy days and caffeine-laced beverages may have something to do with the creative imagination that abounds between the regions’ authors Kevin Emerson (Seattle, WA) and Daniel Wilson (Portland, OR). Emerson is the author of the Oliver Nocturne young adult fiction series and Carlos is Gonna Get It, inspired by his teaching years in Dorchester, MA. Daniel Wilson is a robot enthusiast from Portland, OR, known for his books The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame, How to Build a Robot Army, Where’s My Jetpack?, and How To Survive a Robot Uprising. Cornlia Dean for The New York Times calls Wilson "hilariously deadpan."

Manic D at 25
Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of indie publishers Manic D Press with authors Amber Tamblyn, Jon Longhi and Lynn Breedlove. Jon Longhi is the author of four books, including The Rise and Fall of Third Leg and Wake Up and Smell the Beer. Tamblyn is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award–nominated actor and award-winning poet. She came to fame on the soap opera General Hospital, followed by a starring role on the television series Joan of Arcadia and film roles including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Her book, Free Stallion: Poems (Simon & Schuster, 2005) won a Borders Choice Award for Breakout Writing. Lambda Literary Award finalist Lynn Breedlove is the author of the speed-driven bike messenger novel Godspeed and winner of a Heritage Award for Creativity.

Night Shift: A Story and Six Songs
An original story written (and read) by Lyall Bush with original songs on the same theme sung by the songwriter Devin Sullivan (Malthusian Orkestra). A young woman comes back home one night to find a possum curling around one of her kitchen table legs. Things change for her when she asks the men of the village for advice about how to take care of her problem.

Seattle Noir
Akashic Books has been publishing its acclaimed Noir series since the Brooklyn Noir debut in 2004. The new Seattle edition of the series, edited by Curt Colbert, embraces both Seattle's hardscrabble past and its evolution to high-finance and high-tech — just a greater opportunity for those with sinister intent. The program will feature Colbert— author of the Jake Rossiter & Miss Jenkins mysteries, a series of hard-boiled, private detective novels set in 1940's Seattle — as well as several others writing from the underbelly of the city.

Bumbershoot invites anyone who loves food and stories to compose a short essay (no more than 500 words) focused on a memorable food experience --pleasant, or not so much. Have you cooked a treasured family recipe with disastrous results? Do you recall your beloved grandmother with the merest scent of freshly baked bread? Did you hear family secrets spilled around the Thanksgiving table, or travel to a far corner of the world in search of an exotic morsel? We all have stories to tell about food, so start dishing!

Heralded chefs and writers Tom Douglas and Kathleen Flinn will be our guest judges for this contest. They will choose the winner and also be looking for topics to discuss as part of their "F is for Food" program at Bumbershoot, where Flinn will read the winning entry to the live audience. The Seattle Times will publish the winning entry AND treat the winner and a guest to the Ultimate VIP Weekend at Bumbershoot! Submission deadline is Sunday, August 2. Contest details at

In its 39th year, Bumbershoot continues to offer a massive weekend roster of world-class entertainment, arts and culture for an exceptionally low ticket price. The value-packed Festival’s Insider Deals ($60 3-day passes and $25 single day-specific tickets made available to BumberFan Club members) are SOLD OUT. However, buying advance tickets (available NOW) will save patrons roughly 30% savings off the full price!

Single day-specific tickets are $35 through August 21, and $50 thereafter. Advance three-day passes are $80 through Friday, August 21, and $120 thereafter. These tickets are available NOW on, and beginning Tuesday, July 21 at Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

A Special Entry (discounted) ticket for seniors 65 and over, patrons with permanent disabilities and kids aged 6–10 (accompanied by a paying adult) will be available for $15 / day at two gates during the Festival, and ONLY the day of the event (no advance sales of any kind). Children aged 5 and under are admitted for free.

For more ticket information visit

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