Recommended Reading Inspired by The Off Hours

If you missed the latest installment of The Off Hours reading series at Sole Repair last night, you missed several special moments:

A man proposed to his girlfriend on top of the bar at intermission; reader Jose Bold found 100 dollars in the bathroom and bought drinks for everyone within earshot; and just before the end of the show, the power went out suddenly and everyone rushed into the street, frightened, and, just as suddenly, were collectively overtaken by the desire to sing Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” in the romantic glow of the Neumos sign across the street.

Actually, none of those things are true at all (although, I have seen the Jeff Buckley part go down at a party).

What really happened: four talented readers delivered excellent narratives and poems with good humor and excellent diction, touching on themes that include recumbent bicycles, The Stranger Suggests column, coming out of the closet to one's family and spiritual, mental and bodily mess. 

Thankfully, all of the readers were graciously tolerant of the silly Game of Thrones-inspired intros I gave them in lieu of offering any useful biographical information whatsoever.

So I want to circle back and say you should follow their work, beginning here:

James Arthur’s first book Charms Against Lightning is coming out very soon from Copper Canyon Press.

Jose Bold (aka John Osebold) is a musician and plays in the band Awesome. He also recently published work in Folio. Follow him on Twitter and do whatever he says.

In addition to crafting excellent poems and stories in her spare time, Brangien Davis wrote this song about the Viaduct. She also sits next to me at work. If you want to know what she’s doing at any given time during the work day, just e-mail me. Or, you should read this great essay she wrote about her weird/fabulous house in Arcade magazine (scroll down to see the article). Finally, subscribe to Seattle magazine; she does a splendid job of showcasing local arts and artists in every issue.

Last but not least, Nicole Hardy, whose poetry collection This Blonde charmed me a while back, is working on a memoir. If she lets you follow her on Facebook, she will probably tell you when it’s ready to read.

Finally, I want to formally apologize to all the organizers and attendees of MLA for the many untoward jokes I made at your expense last night. I thought MLA stood for Multiple Lap-bands Anonymous.