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Originally published Monday, January 20, 2014 at 5:04 AM

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Awards, a book sale and other literary news

A roundup of Pacific Northwest Literary news, with details on the Pacific NW Book Awards, Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Great Big Book Sale and Seattle7 Writers Writing Conference.

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit Life

Lots of literary events are on deck in our sodden city, and awards season has kicked off with some regional book prizes. Here’s a quick roundup of local literary news:

Pacific Northwest Book Awards

These awards, given out by independent booksellers in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington., were announced in early January. The winners: “A Tale for the Time Being,”a novel by Ruth Ozeki of Whaletown, British Columbia; nonfiction by Seattle author Langdon Cook; “We Live in Water,” a story collection by Spokane’s Jess Walter; “Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems,” by Robert Wrigley of Moscow, Idaho; “Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey,” a children’s book by Portland’s Emily Winfield Martin, and by Portland graphic artist Joe Sacco.

Good news for poetry lovers

Poetry Northwest, the regional poetry magazine, has received $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to upgrade its website and improve the searchability of its archive, reports Poetry Northwest editor Kevin Craft. Another local winner: Port Townsend’s Copper Canyon Press, which received $65,000 to support the publication of e-book versions of poetry volumes.

The Winter Institute

This annual event, thrown by the American Booksellers Assoication, gathers together independent booksellers to talk books, authors and the business of books. This year it’s in Seattle, today through Friday, Jan. 20-24. If you see people weighed down by bags of books around the Westin, be kind and give good directions — they get the word out about great books and authors all over the U.S. of A.

Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Great Big Book Sale

If you love big art books but blanch at their prices, this sale sounds promising. SAM is cleaning out old inventory, and event organizers promise “Warhol, Rome, Picasso, design, Asian art, impressionism, biographies, novels, coffee table books, arts and crafts, books for kids, and how-to books” at reduced prices. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 22-26 (till 9 p.m. on Jan. 23) at the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, 1400 E. Prospect St., Seattle. For more information go to or call 206-654-3120. If you’re a SAM member, a presale will take place Jan. 15-19; the website has details.

Seattle7 Writers Writing Conference

The Seattle7 writers group holds its fourth annual “Write Here, Write Now” conference from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Ave. N.W. in Seattle. Event organizers promise “a day of instruction, one-on-one meetings with authors, and community, but mostly, writing.” Authors on hand include Garth Stein, Claire Dederer, Laurie Frankel, Jennie Shortridge, Tara Conklin, Carol Cassella, Kevin O’Brien, Indu Sundaresan, Dave Boling, Ed Skoog, Kathleen Alcala, Stephanie Kallos, Bernadette Pajer, Thea Cooper, Clare Meeker, Katherine Malmo, Boyd Morrison, and more. Registration fee of $137 includes your charitable donation of $67 to Seattle7Writers literacy causes and also includes continental breakfast and lunch. More information and registration for the event is available at

Seattle University’s Search for Meaning Literary Festival

This festival, now in its sixth year, will take place Saturday, Feb. 15. This year’s authorial lineup includes some heavy hitters as keynote speakers: Katherine Boo, who won the National Book Award for nonfiction for her 2012 book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity”, and Isabel Wilkerson, who won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for her nonfiction saga of black migration out of the South, “The Warmth of Other Suns.” Follow along on the website:

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or

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