Putting the final touches on 2009 Seattle Bookfest

Seattle Bookfest announces the recent addition of several new authors and poets to the upcoming two-day event. Acclaimed Bellingham author William Dietrich will read from his new book, The Dakota Cipher, the third in his Ethan Gage series, and National Book Award-winning writer Pete Dexter will read from Spooner, the coming-of-age story of a young man in the South. Also, poets Jason Whitmarsh and Mike Hickey, who was elected Seattle’s “Poet Populist” last November, will be at the event to read from their most recent work. They will join a lineup of over 120 local authors, including Garth Stein, Knute Berger, Jennie Shortridge, Karen Fisher, and poets like Sam Hamill and Judith Roche.

Mystery, sci-fi, romance, literary and nonfiction writers are represented on three author stages sponsored by Third Place Books, Bookworm Exchange, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, and Fremont Place Books. The Childen’s Stage, which is sponsored by The Secret Garden Bookshop, features over 30 authors of children’s and young adult books, including Sara Anderson, Sean Beaudoin, Bonny Becker, and Kevin Emerson. The fifth stage is devoted to poetry with over thirty well-known local poets participating. In addition to author readings, there are numerous panels, workshops and activities for the whole family. There will be a Grammar Bee, a bookmaking workshop, an interactive cooking demonstration, a musical performance by the band “The Board of Education,” and much, much more.

In addition to the scheduled events, over 70 local presses, bookstores and literary organizations will have booths to display their books at Bookfest. Exhibitors include Black Heron Press, University of Washington Press, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Fantagraphics Books, Revolution Books, the Seattle Times, and many others. Throughout the weekend, Friends of the Seattle Public Library will hold a Book Swap (swap a book or buy one for $1), and the Seattle Scrabble Club will offer Scrabble games in which attendees can “challenge a champ,” play each other, and win prizes.

Bookfest will be held October 24-25 from 10am to 6pm daily in the Columbia City Event Center, the former Columbia School, at 3528 S. Ferdinand. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00. For more information and an event schedule, see the Bookfest website at www.seattlebookfest.com.