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Originally published Friday, June 27, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Nextbook, Jewish literature organization, ends Seattle series

Nextbook, a national organization that showcases Jewish literature, culture and ideas, is closing down its Seattle literary series.

Seattle Times book editor

Nextbook, the national not-for-profit organization that showcases Jewish literature, culture and ideas in programs for the general public, has announced the end of its public program series in Seattle.

In a news release, Nextbook program fellow Michele Yanow said the national organization has run public programs in Seattle, Chicago and Washington, D.C. However, according to the release, the organization has decided to move away from local programming and focus on running programs at the national level, including a Web magazine, book publishing and other forums for literature discussion.

No existing programs will be canceled; the group ended its 2007-08 series earlier this year.

Last summer, Nextbook began looking for local organizations to take over the series and raise some money to support the program. They found partners in Chicago and D.C., but after nine months of conversations with Seattle organizations, Nextbook couldn't find a viable partner.

Local organizations that have partnered with Nextbook include the Seattle Public Library, the King County Library System, the Jewish studies program at the Jackson School at the University of Washington, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

Nextbook has brought an extensive list of name authors through Seattle, including novelist Nathan Englander, book critic Michael Dirda, NPR personality Susan Stamberg and mystery writer Sara Paretsky, to name a few.

Mary Ann Gwinn: mgwinn@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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