With just over 24 hours and counting, we’re gearing up for the two-part Ghosts of Seattle Past launch on Tuesday April 11 and we couldn’t be more excited! As I write the copies are arriving, in all their beautiful bound glory and we can’t wait to present the city with the gift it’s given us. Be sure to join us at Elliott Bay Book Company at 7pm and the JewelBox Theatre at 9:30pm to celebrate!
The party does not stop after the launch however, as Ghosts will go on tour!
Jaimee and Josh will be visiting a number of cities in the next month to showcase the collection of interviews, essays, comix, and art commemorating places in Seattle lost to development, gentrification, and neglect. Josh will present his gorgeous hand-drawn maps of the city and together they will talk about how the project grew from a community-sourced atlas of memories into a time capsule of a changing city. Then they will open the floor to attendees to share memories of places they have lost in their own city and to pin them on a digital map.
Here are our cross-country tour dates on the horizon, with every event free and all-ages:
- Saturday 4/15 @ 7:00pm at Bluestockings in New York
- Tuesday 4/18 @ 7:00pm at The Art Church in Philadelphia
- Thursday 4/20 @ 7:00pm (with ONE DC) at The Potter’s House in Washington, D.C.
- Friday 4/28 @ 7:00pm (with Know Your City) at Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland
Spread the word and grab your friends! These aren’t just regular readings; we’re not just plopping our stories into the laps of another city. This project is called Ghosts of Seattle Past, but what we really want is to bring the model across the country. So we’ll be partnering with local businesses like radical bookstore Bluestockings in New York and deeply-rooted non-profit The Potter’s House in D.C., and organizations such as creative place-making Know Your City in Portland to help other cities experiencing rapid change commemorate what makes them special. Hope to see you there!
After our whirlwind of dates across the nation, we’re going to do some tours of our own right here in Seattle. We plan on making Ghosts an ongoing force through spring, and on Saturday May 6 we’ll be teaming up with Atlas Obscura for a walking tour of Yesler Way. We’re pumped to partner with a nationwide organization that shares our passion for memory and place. We’re especially excited that this collaboration is going to let us zoom in on just one site: Yesler Way. Rachel Kessler is turning her community project/anthology essay “Profanity Hill” into a guided stroll through personal memory, Eric Magnuson of Atlas Obscura will be supplementing with geographical and historical context, and we’ll wrap up with a reading from several of our other contributors focusing on the International District–Chinatown and the Central District, starting around 4pm at KOBO Gallery within the historic Higo Variety Store.
Here’s who will be reading:
- Dean Wong reading a piece about grief, Donnie Chin, and Canton Alley
- Shelly Leavens reading from an interview with Roger Shimomura about the Wah Mee and Bush Garden
- Dave Holden (son of Jazz Patriarch of Seattle, Oscar Holden), in conversation with Jaimee Garbacik about the Palomar Theatre and old jazz scene
- Noel Franklin reading a comic about the OK Hotel
- Judy T. Oldfield, reading from an essay about the Merchant’s Café and the effects of tech culture
- Tamiko Nimura, reading about the inspiration she found in David Ishii bookstore
There’ll even be a special musical guest along the way! This is a ticketed event, so be sure to get yours now and join us at 3:15pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute—we can’t think of a better way to spend a spring afternoon.