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Originally published Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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Local Books: 'Last Night' poems by Brush, 'American Pandemic'

Local books include poems by Thomas Brush, the third book in the colonial America series by Patricia Weenolsen, Nancy K. Bristow's history of the influenza epidemic's effect on Americans and a children's book about seal pups by Brenda Peterson and Robin Lindsey.

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New releases

"Last Night" by Thomas Brush (Lynx House Press, $15.95). This Blue Lynx Prize-winning collection of poems by the longtime Seattle resident is hard-hitting, gritty and sweet, bringing to mind the late Richard Hugo, says the publisher. Brush will read from his collection at 3 p.m. May 20 at Open Books (www.openpoetrybooks.com).

"American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic" by Nancy K. Bristow (Oxford University Press, $34.95). Multiple perspectives of the event that killed more than 500,000 Americans shed light on the massive cultural and social disruptions that quickly were forgotten by many. Bristow is a professor of history at the University of Puget Sound and the great-granddaughter of two of the pandemic's fatalities.

"An American Children's Crusade" by Patricia Weenolsen (Rubythroat Press, $17.95). Book Three in the award-winning "Remembrance of Things That Never Happened" series, which looks at colonial America through ethnically diverse women and children fighting for the disenfranchised. It is 1706, and Mary is living in a Boston almshouse with her band of children, each with a story to tell. Weenolsen lives in Seattle.

"Leopard & Silkie: One Boy's Quest to Save the Seal Pups" by Brenda Peterson, photos by Robin Lindsey (Henry Holt and Company, $16.99). The West Seattle author's first children's book follows young Miles, a "seal sitter" who watches baby seals left on shore while their mothers search for food in the Pacific Northwest waters. Photographer Lindsey lives in Seattle and is a first responder for stranded seals. See more about the book on Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes' blog on Northwest nature, Field Notes: seattletimes.com/fieldnotes.

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