A poet’s utopia, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, is a poetry-only bookstore located in Wallingford, Seattle. Owned and run by husband and wife duo John Marshall and Christine Deavel, Open Books is the only bookstore of its kind on the West Coast (the other is in Cambridge, MA). The store’s collection caters to a wide range of poetic sensibilities and carries not only recently published works, but a variety of rare and first editions as well.
Described by many as “a poet’s haven,” Open Books acts as one of the main hubs of the Seattle poetry scene, and frequently hosts readings by both local and visiting poets. In June of this year, California poet Victoria Chang, author of Salvinia Molesta (University of Georgia Press, 2008), Circle (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005), and editor of Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press, 2004) gave a reading at Open Books, one which was well attended by a number of notable Asian American poets teaching and writing in the Pacific Northwest: Rick Barot, Pimone Triplett, Oliver de la Paz.
Tonight, the store is hosting a reading by San Francisco Bay Area poet Brian Teare, whose most recent book, Sight Map, was published by the University of California Press. He will be followed next week by another Bay Area poet, Brenda Hillman, who teaches currently at St. Mary’s College of California.
Poets, literature lovers, and supporters of independent bookstores in the Seattle area can drop by Open Books (2414 N. 45th St. Seattle, WA 98103) from 11am-6pm on Tuesday-Saturday, and noon-4pm on the first Sunday of the month. Those living in other parts of the country can join the store’s mailing list, or place online orders for rare or unusual collections of poetry. John and Christine are always more than happy to help, and take very seriously their work of supporting the literary arts.