Sherman Alexie may live in Seattle, but he hasn’t left his formative years - which were spent in Eastern Washington - very far behind him.
In his continually growing body of work, which includes poetry, short stories, novels and various non-fiction pieces, Alexie confronts his past as a reservation Indian, as an outsider in white society, as a recovering alcoholic and even as an aging basketball player.
Most recently, Alexie has included screenwriting in his literary resume. As part of a continuing screenwriter reading series sponsored by Cinema Seattle, the sponsoring body of the Seattle International Film Festival, Alexie will read from a screenplay titled “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” at 7:30 p.m. March 17 in Seattle.
The reading will occur at the Alibi Room, which is located on a lower level of the Pike Street Market.
“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” which is described as “a thoughtful and often bittersweet profile of native life,” is scheduled to begin production as a movie this spring under the direction of Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre.
In his screenplay, according to a Cinema Seattle press release, Alexie tells the story of “two young Native American boys on the verge of manhood - bound by tragedy in infancy and separated by the awkwardness of adolescence - (who) find themselves forced by circumstances to share a journey of awakening.”
Presented as a special presentation of SIFF’s Screenwriters Salon, the reading costs $7 for general admission and $5 for Cinema Seattle members.
For further information, call (206) 324-9996. Or access the SIFF Web page at http://www.seattlefilm.com.
A tale of two cultures
Esmeralda Santiago, author of novels such as “America’s Dream” and an autobiography titled “When I was Puerto Rican,” will speak and sign books on Wednesday at Spokane Falls Community College.
Santiago will speak at 11:30 a.m. in the Student Union Building, lounges A, B and C, about her childhood experiences of immigrating to the mainland United States. She will sign books beginning at 12:45 p.m. For further information, call 533-8566.
Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko will sign copies of his many books of poetry at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Moscow’s BookPeople, 512 S. Main. Yevtushenko is attending a Russian program at Washington State University, says BookPeople owner Bob Greene.
On the road
Kim Barnes, author of the often-harrowing autobiography “In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in an Unknown Country,” is on the road in support of her book’s paperback edition (Anchor Books, $12.95).
The writer, who lives near Lewiston, will read at a number of sites in Montana and as far away as Madison, Wis., Dayton, Ohio, and Iowa City, Iowa.
Other than her April 4 reading in Hamilton, Mont., the closest she’ll come to the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area is a Thursday night Seattle reading at the University of Washington.
But that shouldn’t stop you from reading her book on your own. Critics all over the country have hailed Barnes’ work.
Confluence Press, the press at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, has published a book that should attract readers of western, particularly Native American, history.
“A Little Bit of Wisdom: Conversations With a Nez Perce Elder” (230 pages, $25) is co-authored by Horace Axtell and Margo Aragon. Axtell is a 70-something Nez Perce who lives in Lewiston. Aragon, a video documentary filmmaker, is the host of “Northwest Morning,” a television show broadcast from Lewiston.
For ordering information, call Confluence Press at (208) 799-2336.
The reader board
Wayne Allred, author of “Geezerhood: What to Expect From Life Now That You’re Old as Dirt,” will read from his book at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington.
Clay Morgan, author of “Santiago and the Drinking Party” and other works, will read from his writings at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Idaho Courtroom.
Kathleen Noble, author of “The Sound of Silver Horn,” will read from her book at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Auntie’s Bookstore.