Archive | November, 2005

Observations at South Lake Union

The other day, I felt compelled to provide reports on what I saw and kept calling the answering machine at my house and leaving messages. I saw that the color of Japanese maple leaves that had been left on the sidewalk before being swept away had left tiny brown silhouettes of their shapes. In the dusk the sodium lights cast shadows of the trees over the sidewalk so that it looked like shadows of the naked trees still had their leaves. I reported on two middle-aged women each carrying a take-out bag from the Hooters on South Lake Union. It didn’t occur to me that the place might be frequented by dinners actually looking for food. I had assumed it was frequented exclusively by creepy middle-aged men with Mick Jagger hair dos. I had also assumed that like other theme restaurants, such as the Rainforest Café, that the food was not of sufficient quality to warrant carrying it off the premises. Mid-way through this report the machine filled and shortly after that Lisa erased the contents of the machine since the majority of the messages were of her father calling at nine o’clock asking her if she was still asleep.

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Clear Cut Press at Third Place Books

Evening with the co-founder of Clear Cut Press, Matthew Stadler, features the authors reading from their new books. Matt Briggs reads from Shoot the Buffalo and Stacey Levine from Frances Johnson. There will be music and conversation and more. 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 22nd at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.

* STRANGER SUGGESTS. “The works of Briggs and Levine are central to the real substances and identity of our region’s literature.”

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Article in the Seattle PI

Small publisher’s quality is exemplified by 2 Seattle novelists

Clear Cut’s most recent releases are two fine novels by Seattle authors — “Shoot the Buffalo” by Matt Briggs and “Frances Johnson” by Stacey Levine.

Read the article by John Marshall

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Report From Powells

I left from Seattle at dusk and by the time I arrived in Tumwater, Stacey Levine who was riding with me to Portland, asked, “Is it midnight?” It was only six o’cock, but once we passed beyond the ambient light of the streetlights, parking lots, and public storage compounds skirting I-5, the world was dark. At the Rest Area just north of Centralia, a man asked the people running the Comfort Station, “Is this coffee?” Stacey discovered a cat.

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Review of Shoot the Buffalo in The Oregonian

Every once in a while a novel comes along that is truly remarkable. “Shoot the Buffalo” by Seattle’s Matt Briggs is one of those.

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Review in Sunday’s The Oregonian

Every once in a while a novel comes along that is truly remarkable. “Shoot the Buffalo” by Seattle’s Matt Briggs is one of those.

[Read the Review by Katie Schneider.]

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Portland Mercury Review of Shoot the Buffalo

The latest offering from Clear Cut Press (aside from being adorably pocket-sized as usual) is a well-crafted work of fiction by Seattle-based writer Matt Briggs. [Review by Evan James]

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Conflict of Interest, I can’t do November InPrint

I won’t be able to participate in the November InPrint event at Richard Hugo House. It was my misunderstanding when I initially approached them about talking experience as a panelist for 4Culture and along with the arts administrators of Seattle fairly robust grant giving arts community that the event would be a no charge event offered to writers around town.

In fact it was pretty important to me that this event be offered without charge because the process of applying for grants is a process that is arduous and very off putting for most writers. Hugo House was only talking three or five dollars. This isn’t a lot, but in my experience talking to writers as a former writer-in-residence at Hugo House, there are a lot of writers in Seattle for whom three or five dollars means they won’t do something; they won’t come to a literary event; and they won’t pay to make copies for a grant application.

I was hoping to talk to these very writes at Hugo House and encourage them in not shying away from standing up for their writing in a grant application and saying to a government agency that their writing is worth something and here is why it is worth something. In serving on this 4Culture panel this last year I was struck by how poorly written and conceived the literary applications were in comparison to the often elegant and sometime enjoyable applications assembled by the dancers, film makers and visual artists of Seattle.

In trying to force the issue with Hugo House, I overstated my case and said I would cancel my participation in the event if they didn’t relent on the charge. Lyall Bush, the Programs Manager at Hugo House, wouldn’t relent on the charge, so I’m out.

My apologies if you were planning on attending this event. Please feel free to e-mail me and I’ll let you know (for free) what I was going to talk about.

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