My new book, the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, has technically been out for a couple of weeks now, and we’ve had a series of “soft launch” events in that time, but this past week, we held our official launch party here in Tacoma!
So, what follows is a series of photos and some notes from our various events over the past three weeks.
PNBA Tradeshow, Sept. 30
We unveiled the book for the first time at the annual tradeshow for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, which was held here in Tacoma this year (Tacoma and Portland, OR trade years back and forth). I spent the day giving giant grins and hugs to literary friends like Ali Shaw, of Indigo Editing (the company we hired to edit my book) and Laura Stanfill, of Forest Avenue Press.
Creative Colloquy Crawl, Oct. 2
My first post-publication reading from the book was at the fourth annual Creative Colloquy Crawl, a literary pub crawl through downtown Tacoma. Following a couple of other events at nearby King’s Books and the Harmon Taproom, I joined poet (and my publisher) Christina Butcher and memoirist Terrell Fox at Doyle’s Pub for some war literature. I read from the opening story, which follows brothers Pedro and Hernando Jimenez after their brief and disastrous participation in the borderland Cortina Troubles of 1859.
Tacoma Studio Tour, Oct. 14
Last weekend, I joined Blue Cactus Press and a collection of artists at the Real Art Tacoma studio for a reading, open-mic, and chapbook workshop! The latter part was tremendous fun, as Christina Butcher taught folks how to construct their own hand-bound chapbooks. Most of us — myself included, were just sewing together blank books, but local poet Lux Barker brought the last unbound copy of their own first chapbook and put a cover on that beautiful manuscript! (The original run of their chapbook, There Must Be More Than This, was ultra-limited, but you can still buy an ebook version of it from Blue Cactus Press.)
Between chapbook-bindings, we also held a reading and open-mic, where I joined poets Lux Barker, Alissa Tu, and Abby E. Murray for a fun and rowdy reading punctuated by open-mic poets and even a stand-up set!
And yes, I made a blank chapbook. 🙂
THE BOOK LAUNCH, Oct. 17
Finally, on Wednesday, I joined author DL Fowler (we call him Larry) at Tacoma’s Manifesto Coffee for a joint launch of our books, my story collection and Larry’s collection of “poems and proems” (his description), Bittersweet.
We began the evening with a short talk from representatives of Centro Latino, a nonprofit in Tacoma working to support Latinx and indigenous communities. Fowler and I donated a portion of all our book sales to Centro Latino to help them in their important and necessary work.
After Larry and I read from our books, we did a short Q&A and then spent a little time mingling with the audience and chatting with folks.
Then the three of us — Christina, Larry, and I — sat down for a couple of group photos. One serious, the other . . . not so serious. 🙂
And there’s more to come!
If you feel like you missed out on all the fun these past few weeks, not to worry! I’ll be down in Olympia, WA, twice this coming week:
- Browsers Bookshop on Oct. 22 (6-8pm), reading with DL Fowler again
- Orca Books on Oct. 26 (6-8pm) for a solo outing
And even if you have been some some of these events, I make it a point to offer new material at every outing, so you should come out again anyway. Hope to see folks there!