The Off Hours Winter Reading: Booze, Babes and Biting Words

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The flier did say to expect a “boozy, lively and celebratory” affair, and The Off Hours Winter Reading event did not disappoint–with drinks flowing, animated conversation and outbursts of laughter, Sole Repair on Capitol Hill was a festive locale last night. With the soft wooden walls, and round, glowing lights strung across the room–the ambiance was ideal for a night of author readings and community mingling.

The action began as soon as most of the audience had drinks in hand (though many were sipping signature cocktails or wine, we were still able to grab some cheapish beer)–and we hustled upstairs to nab some seats in the packed house before the host, Bond Huberman, dove into the readings.

Though the event was boasting four local, talented writers–Nicole Hardy, Jose Bold, Brangien Davis, and James Arthur–Huberman pretty immediately established herself as a fifth literary talent, with her elaborate and fictional prologue about each writer. Based on some strange Game of Thrones-esque world, the writers dutifully came forward to read, despite their introduction as a vampire-werewolf bastard son, or knife-wielding psychotic princess. It was very admirable.

Local, hilarious writer Nicole Hardy started things off by reading some of her “sex-themed” poetry–which involved everything from sadly caressing male mannequins at a retail store, to the Robert Redford/ Paul Newman party in her pants–yes, it’s hard to explain.

Hardy was followed by Jose Bold, who was pretty captivating–what with that long, flowing hair and strong, serious voice. Expounding on “purpose” and the beautiful mess that even the most successful of people are–it was a captivating performance.

Then came Brangien Davis with an amazing true story about a Christmas, long ago, spent in the sex-change capitol of the world. Thailand, you ask? Nope, Trinidad, Colorado of course. Her prose was concise yet illustrative, edged with humor and biting honesty–her performance was the most memorable of the evening for me.

James Arthur was the last reader of the night–focused, serious and sweet with his poetry about his newborn baby, and the way an ergonomic bicycle can sometimes make you reevaluate your life.

Of course after the festivities clusters of people still hung around–chattering in corners, sipping on drinks and congratulating the writers…and sipping on drinks some more. Perhaps it was merely the warm glow of my cheap beer, but I’m pretty sure it was a lovely, cozy night in the world of Seattle literature–and I can’t wait for the next time readings happen in the off hours.

The Off Hours Winter Reading / Sole Repair Shop / $5

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