Sure, the literary-arts program at Bumbershoot can offer amp-weary concertgoers a respite from the festival's music events. But some of this...
Sure, the literary-arts program at Bumbershoot can offer amp-weary concertgoers a respite from the festival’s music events. But some of this year’s lineup, in three venues at Seattle Center, just might get heads bobbing and hips swiveling, too. Here are some highlights.
826 Seattle Benefit: 8 p.m. Saturday at McCaw Hall. Authors Dave Eggers, Sarah Vowell and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), along with musician Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing) and the Transatlantic Orchestra, are scheduled to take part in a benefit supporting the Seattle offshoot of the San Francisco youth writing project 826 Valencia Street. Eggers, author of “A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius,” started the nonprofit, storefront writing center to promote literacy among city kids, and the concept has caught on across the country. The Seattle branch, which was founded by writer and teacher Teri Hein and counts Sherman Alexie among its board members, is set to open this fall in the Greenwood neighborhood. Its Web site, www.826seattle.org, is up and running. The center will offer youth writing workshops, volunteer tutors and mentors, among other programs. The Bumbershoot benefit will feature spoken word and music, including a performance by the Transatlantic Orchestra, which boasts members of the band Death Cab for Cutie. All the artists are donating their fees to support the 826 project.
Lemony Snicket and his accordion: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bagley Wright Theatre. If you can’t get enough of the sour taste that Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” leaves in your mouth, Daniel Handler will present his own show before heading off to the 826 Seattle benefit in the evening. He’ll accompany himself on accordion.
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“Songs of Misfortune”: 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Bagley Wright Theatre. British-born folk and pop musician John Wesley Harding, whose birth and pen name is Wesley Stace, has transformed his twisted first novel, “Misfortune,” into a full-scale musical presentation titled “Songs of Misfortune,” performed by Harding’s Seattle-based medieval rock band the Minstrel in the Galleries, the folk group the Love Hall Tryst and the string quartet JWH Harmoniemusik. Considering that the heroine of the novel is a 19th-century, transgendered orphan, this should be interesting. Skye K. Moody’s review of “Misfortune” called Stace “an out-of-the-box, truly original storyteller.”
The Indiscretions Road Show, with Aimee Bender: 3 p.m. Monday at Bagley Wright Theatre. Bender, author of “Willful Creatures,” joins fellow female writers Vendela Vida, Ali Davis, Ellen Forney and Lauren Weedman in telling funny stories about indiscretion.
Tea with Nancy Pearl: 3:30 p.m. Monday in the Alki Room. Superstar librarian Nancy Pearl (“Book Lust,” “More Book Lust,” two action figures) will share book recommendations over afternoon tea with Rick Simonson of Elliott Bay Book Co. and Michael Wells of Bailey/Coy Books.
Power to the people: 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Alki Room. At 4:30, former Stranger and Seattle Weekly writer Phil Campbell explores grass-roots politics with local activist Grant Cogswell, who co-wrote the first monorail initiative and ran for City Council in 2001. Cogswell’s story is recounted in Campbell’s book, “Zioncheck for President,” due out this fall. At 5:30 p.m., City Councilman Nick Licata hosts a competition to crown Seattle’s new poet populist.
BumberSlam Invitational: 8:15 p.m. Monday at Bagley Wright Theatre. Poetry-slam celeb Beau Sia hosts an all-ages spoken-word tournament that pits national and world champions such as Roger Bonair-Agard, Sonya Renee and Buddy Wakefield against local competitors from the weekly Seattle Poetry Slam at the Mirabeau Room and entrants from Youth Speaks Seattle, which holds performances at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. DJ PhoSHO will work the turntables.
Haiku: 1 p.m. today through Monday in the Alki Room. For a quieter poetry experience, daily doses of haiku will be offered, albeit with musical accompaniment at times.
Tyrone Beason: 206-464-2251