A Look at Northwestern Literature | Events

Now that the days are getting darker and more dreary, there’s no better time to romanticize life in the Northwest.

Ann Spiers’ novel “Back Cut” and David Berger’s book “Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest” showcase the best of Washington, both artistically and practically.

The two authors were introduced at an event hosted by the University Bookstore on November 12, discussing their work in a one-hour Zoom session.

Spiers, the first Vashon Island Poet Laureate, kicked off the event with a poem from her book, presented from the perspective of a woman who lives in a forest on the Washington Peninsula with her veteran husband. of World War II. Spiers started working on “Back Cut” two years ago, experimenting with monologues and exploring the dynamics between husband and wife. Spiers herself attended UW, where she graduated with an MA in Literature and Creative Writing in 1965. Spiers said her attendance at UW affected her poetry and she fondly recalled her time on the campus.

“It has widened my world, which in turn helps his poetry, especially coming from Seattle, [specifically] Capitol Hill, a sort of Catholic ghetto, ”Spiers said. “There was more to the world than the rosary.”

Shepherd’s enthusiasm for the Siliqua patula, or Pacific clam, could be felt through the computer screen. Dressed in a pair of waders with a clam shovel visible in the background, Berger enthusiastically discussed the clam culture that stretches from California to Alaska – noting, of course, the best ways to get them. to eat. His book captures the history, biomechanics and importance of clams.

Event host Randy Yamanaka said these kinds of events have been happening at UW since the 1940s.

“We’ve had an events team for years,” Yamanaka said. “We had great authors, writers and actors.”

After the majority of the bookstore events were canceled due to COVID-19, Yamanaka said he appreciated the opportunity to have more events now.

“Zoom meetings are a good addition,” said Yamanaka. “You can always ask questions [and] there is personal interaction.

Still, Yamanaka said he finds virtual events don’t have the same privacy as their in-person counterparts.

“[Zoom] is great, but it’s not like sitting in front of someone, ”Yamanaka said.

While many of the bookstore events will be taking place virtually for the foreseeable future, Yamanaka said they plan to return to the events in person when it is safe. Until then, keep an eye on the University Bookstore website for any upcoming events.

Spiers and Shepherd’s books can be purchased at the University Bookstore.

Contact contributing writer Sophie Dorey at [email protected] Twitter: @soap_avi

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