NEWS GLEAMS | Free Literary Events, Updated Burn Bans, and New Manny Ellis Podcast

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


✨Gleaming This Week✨


Photo depicting the interior of the Beacon Hill Branch.
The Beacon Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library will kick off “The Business of Books,” a four-part workshop with an overview of the industry. (Photo: Carina A. del Rosario, courtesy of The Seattle Public Library)

Seattle Public Library Hosts Free Author and Community Events This Month Virtually and In-Person

This September, The Seattle Public Library offers a number of free author programs, book discussions, and community dialogues that celebrate disability justice, banned books, and literary entrepreneurship. They also include a four-day festival that mixes poetry and prose with improvisational theater. Check event descriptions at SPL.org/Calendar for registration and links for online events.

Thursday, Sept. 15 — 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong [Online]

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Elsa Sjunneson celebrate the release of disability rights activist Alice Wong’s memoir Year of the Tiger on her behalf. Presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures and Estelita’s Library. ASL and live captioning will be provided.

Monday, Sept. 19 — 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Banned: Censorship and Intellectual Freedom [Online]

A discussion about banned and challenged books, featuring local writers Jewell Parker Rhodes (Ghost Boys) and Jonathan Evison (Lawn Boy) and moderated by Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum’s Lillian Dabney. The panel will share firsthand accounts from challenged authors about their experiences, and offer the audience an opportunity to share and gain insights into their own attitudes towards censorship. 

Thursday, Sept. 22 — 6:00–7:30 p.m.
The Business of Books: How to Start a Book-Related Business, Session 1 [In-Person at Beacon Hill Branch]

Want to start a book-related business but don’t know where to start? This four-part workshop series kicks off with an overview of the industry, including “The Life of a Book,” presented by Gary Luke, and a roundtable discussion about “Things I Wish I Knew” with publisher Christina Vega, author and festival founder Jeffrey Cheatham II, and longtime bookseller Karen Maeda Allman. Remaining workshop dates are Oct. 8, Nov. 12, and Dec. 6.

Tuesday to Friday, Sept. 27–30 — 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Bibliophilia, a four-day festival [In-Person at Microsoft Auditorium of Central Library]

Guest curator Jekeva Phillips brings the page to the stage by combining poetry and prose with improvisational theater. Themes will include “Heathcliff Letters” (Sept. 27, everything you ever need to know about great literature without cracking a book), “Bestsellers” (Sept. 28, with audience and cast improvising together on what comes next); “Vonnegut” (Sept. 29, creating Kurt Vonnegut-style play based on audience suggestions); and a “Quiz Show” finale (Sept. 30, with games, prize packages and live reading and performance).


Photo depicting a wildfire burning trees in a forested area.
Photo is attributed to the Bureau of Land Management (under a Creative Commons, CC-BY 2.0 license).

King County Fire Marshal Issues Stage 2 Burn Ban Prohibiting Outdoor Recreational Fires

Due to high temperatures and dry weather, the King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for unincorporated King County, prohibiting all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are restricted to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only. 

During a Stage 2 burn ban, burning residential debris is prohibited, as is any other outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire (using firewood or charcoal). Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or discontinue it when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with a misdemeanor. Residents who smoke should also exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes.

The updated ban takes effect as the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region, which means that critical fire weather conditions are present and any fires that develop will likely spread quickly. The large fire in Oregon and other fires in Washington have stretched wildfire fighting resources throughout the region.


A mural honoring Manuel Ellis and calling for justice in his death fills a wall in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood.
A mural honoring Manuel Ellis and calling for justice in his death fills a wall in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. (Photo: KARI PLOG/KNKX)

‘The Walk Home’ Is a New Podcast on the Life and Death of Manny Ellis

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, KNKX launched a special limited-series podcast entitled The Walk Home, which delves deep into the story of Manny Ellis and follows the journey of Manny’s sister Monèt Carter-Mixon as she fights to bring more attention to her brother. 

In March of 2020, Manuel “Manny” Ellis was killed in police custody. There were some news reports of the death at the time, but without additional evidence coming to light, the story quietly faded away. But shortly after the murder of George Floyd — and the social justice uproar that took hold of the country — the public found out that Manny’s death had been ruled a homicide by the Pierce County medical examiner.

Three of the Tacoma police officers involved have since been charged, setting up what promises to be one of the highest-profile trials in Pacific Northwest history.

The Walk Home also looks at the culture around policing and its broader implications for Washington communities. Listen to its first episode and find more information at TheWalkHomePodcast.org.


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