BARBARA GUEST--See Calendar Box. Open Books, 2414 N 45th St, 633-0811, 7:30 pm, $5.
*JESSE GREENE & DAN SAVAGE--Dan Savage's long-awaited book about adopting a child as a gay man is just about to hit the shelves; he joins up with Jesse Greene, author of The Velveteen Father: An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood to discuss unconventional families. University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
WITOLD RYBCYZNSKI--Rybcyznski's tome A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century is appropriately grounded in the landscape of scholarship. Olmsted, who designed New York's Central Park, co-founded The Nation, and managed California's largest gold mine, among other accomplishments, is done justice here. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
REYNOLDS PRICE--In the tradition of C.S. Lewis, Price ruminates on the nature of a Christian God in Letter to a Man in the Fire: Does God Exist and Does He Care? The book was originally written as an open letter in response to correspondence from a medical student dying of cancer, but its topic has found a wide appreciative audience. Seattle Public Library, Lee Auditorium, 1000 4th Ave, 386-4184, 7 pm, free.
VICKI & DENNIS COVINGTON--A couple as co-authors seems like a dangerous proposition, but Vicki and Dennis Covington have evidently survived the making of Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage, a tough love story. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 8 pm, free.
JANE VANDENBURGH--Washington D.C. writer Vandenburgh's second novel, The Physics of Sunset is a horrifying and compulsively readable pore-level examination of upper-class angst. Two overeducated people fall into an affair, spliced by naval-gazing and architecture. Vandenburgh's prose is heavily structured, poetic, and as frizz-free as a politician's hairdo. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
JAMES THAYER--Attorneys continue to turn to crime writing, and Thayer's Seattle-set suspense Terminal Event retells the 1997 crash of TWA flamesight 800 with solid storytelling skill. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 5:30 pm, free.
TONY HISS--Alger Hiss' son writes a memoir based on letters from his father while in federal prison: The View from Alger's Window: A Son's Memoir. Tony Hiss is an award-winning author in his own right, and Publisher's Weekly says the memoir is "delicately rendered." Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
JOHN SAUL--Another hop to the bestseller list for Saul, The Right Hand of Evil plops a troubled family down in a haunted house. Third Place Books, 1717 Bothell Way, 366-3320, 7 pm, free.
HARRIET BASKAS--A good guide for summer, Baskas' Museums of the Northwest lists lots of weird landmarks. University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
DEIRDRE MCNAMER--McNamer's been getting lots of attention for her newest novel, My Russian, which follows a woman looking for a way out of her life. Main character Francesca Woodbridge wakes up one morning and realizes her "interior self... seemed to have burned out." There is also a mystery involved, and the setting is an anonymous Pacific Northwest town. Seattle Public Library, Lee Auditorium, 1000 4th Ave, 386-4184, 7 pm, free.
*OCTAVIA BUTLER--Butler's ability to combine contemporary fears with the futurism of science fiction has won this brilliant author a MacArthur "genius" Award (she is the first to win one for sci-fi); she can add it to her countless other awards. She reads tonight from new work, in an event presented by Clarion West. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
TONY HISS--See Mon June 28. Third Place Books, 1717 Bothell Way, 366-3320, 7 pm, free.
LYDIA MINATOYA--Seattle author Lydia Minatoya understands that paper can be as seductive a fuel as poppies. In her debut novel, The Strangeness of Beauty, Etsuko Sone's "I-story"--first person narrative--opens in Seattle in 1922. She has followed her husband to America, where he has abandoned her via death. When she must accompany her deceased sister's daughter back to China, she finds herself adrift in a culture in which she no longer fits. These are compelling elements, bits of beauty like haiku. University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
*PAUL LAFARGE--See Book Review Revue, page 36. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 8 pm, free.
LAURA KALPAKIAN--Primo teacher (at WWU in Bellingham) and award-winning author, Kalpakian reads from her newest, Steps and Exes, the story of the construction of family. Third Place Books, 1717 Bothell Way, 366-3320, 7 pm, free.
Note to regularly programmed open mics: The Stranger will list events only if we receive an announcement--regular listings will be dropped unless we are notified that the events are in fact ongoing.
665--Words and music add up in this evening venue, tonight presenting Open Mic O'Rama. Four Angels, 1400 14th Ave (at Union), 689-8661, 7:30 pm, free.
THE PEARL--Turn irritation into beauty: bring fiction, poetry, film or drama. Every first Thursday celebrates Dead Poets. The Pearl, 4215 University Way NE, 547-3326, 8 pm, free.
*RED SKY POETRY THEATER--Continuing its 18th season of readings, spotlighting local writers plus an open mic. Tonight, Judith Roche steps on stage. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th off Pine, 633-5647, 7 pm, free.
LIVINGROOM--Every Monday about this time, people read and rant and play music. Tonight features Blox. Habitat Espresso, 222 Broadway E, 689-8661, 7:30 pm, free.
HOMELAND--The homiest of open mics, with reader Blox, and espresso chocolate chip cookies. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th Ave (at Pine), 324-8815, 7:30 pm, free.
*SEATTLE POETRY SLAM--Seattle's launch pad to infamy, hosted by Allison Durazzi. This week: Tim Sanders, The Cinderell Kid and member of Seattle's National Poetry Slam Team. Slam for finals, $50 prize! OK Hotel, 212 Alaskan Way S, 366-2280, 9 pm, $3.
COFFEE MESSIAH--Come to confess your sins, stay for a cookie. Open mic for poetry, stories, music, rants, and more. Coffee Messiah, 1554 E Olive Way, 860-7377, 8:30 pm, free.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS:
WORDSCAPE--The Stranger recommends that you pick up Wordscape, Seattle's free monthly guide to literary events, to find a complete listing of opportunities for writers. Wordscape has an outstanding listing of contests, grants, and calls for writing, which we can only envy. Pick it up at most local bookstores and libraries!