Thursday 8/16

Robert Ellis Gordon

Robert Ellis Gordon is what you name your boy if want him to become a novelist. And so it is, Robert Ellis Gordon became a novelist. Tonight he reads from and signs his latest book, The Funhouse Mirror: Reflections on Prison. During the late '90s, the novelist Gordon taught writing workshops in Washington State prisons until funding was cut by the legislature. The Funhouse Mirror is the product of that experience. It includes essays and stories contributed by six of his prison students. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free. He also reads at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park Town Center, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, Tues Aug 21, 7 pm, free.

* Romy Ashby

Romy Ashby is what you name your daughter if you want her to become Romy Ashby. Romy Ashby, in this particular case, was born in the Pacific Northwest rainforest and now makes a living through freelance writing, storytelling, and composing song lyrics. She's the author of one book of stories called The Cutmouth Lady, and collaborated with Chris Stein and Deborah Harry on the most recent Blondie record, No Exit. She will read and sign Cutmouth Lady, which is considered a "cult classic." El Diablo Coffee Co., 1811 Queen Anne Ave N, #101, 285-0693, 8 pm.

Friday 8/17

* Kim Todd

Todd reads from her first book, Tinkering with Eden: A Natural History of Exotics in America, which is about the bringing of flora and fauna from distant lands to this continent. The tale is apparently both cautionary and illuminating, and Todd is a "maker of lovely sentences," according to William Kittredge. The book also received the PEN/Jerard award. Elliott Bay Books, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.

James Fallows

The national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly has turned his gaze to airplanes. Fallows reads downstairs at Elliott Bay Books from his new book Free Flight: From Airline Hell to a New Age of Travel. Co-presented with Town Hall Seattle, Elliott Bay Books, 7:30 pm, free.

Saturday 8/18

Charles Cross

Former editor of the late, great music biweekly The Rocket reads from his biography Heavier Than Heaven. The book claims to be the most extensively researched account of everybody's favorite dead Aberdeenian. Elliott Bay Books, 7:30 pm, free.

Monday 8/20

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw, four-time Superbowl-winning quarterback and Emmy-award winning broadcaster, talks about and signs his memoir It's Only A Game. Number one overall pick of the 1970 NFL draft, quarterback for Pittsburgh Steelers, and retired in 1984, Terry Bradshaw has now "translated his extensive knowledge and passion for the game" into being a sports commentator for CBS Sports and the network's NFL Today. He's also a horse breeder, gospel singer (!), actor, and motivational speaker (!). He will sign the books with his name only. Due to time constraints, he cannot sign other items such as toothbrushes or dildos. However, he will pose for photos if fans bring their own cameras. Here are two sentences from his new book: "My father met my mother through her father, because the two men welded side by side in a Panama City, Florida, shipyard. So I had welding in my genes." University Bookstore, 7 pm, free.

* W. S. Di Piero

Poet, essayist, translator art critic W. S. Di Piero reads for two nights. Tonight Di Piero will give a slide lecture on the work of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, discussing his early sculpture, his Surrrealist focus, and his skinny goth statues. Tickets are $4 general admission and free for Hugo House members and people under 21 years old. Tuesday, August 21, Di Piero will also read from his latest book of poems, Skirts and Slacks. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 822-7030, both nights at 7:30 pm, $4.

Tuesday August 21

John Saul

The prolific master of suspense and terror reads from and signs his latest novel, The Manhattan Hunt Club. In this book, a college student is wrongfully accused of a crime and then "sucked into the depths of the Manhattan underground, a network of subway tunnels and secret caverns that hides a secret society." University Bookstore, 7 pm, free.

Poetry/Spoken Word Open Mics

EAST INDIA TRADING COMPANY--Mon at 7. Coffee Messiah, 1554 E Olive Way, 208-1188, free.

HOMELAND--Tues at 7:30. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th Ave E, 264-5139.

RE-BIRTH--Thurs at 7:30. Zodiac Café, 605 Broadway, 720-4502, free.

RED SKY POETRY THEATER--Sun at 7. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th Ave E, 264-5139.

SEATTLE POETRY SLAM--Wed at 9. Open mic, open slam with a $25 cash-money prize. Featured poet is Capitol Hill's own Fran Varian. Sit & Spin, 2219 4th Ave, 441-9484, $4.

WIT'S END--Sun at 7, with MC Ken Shiovitz. Wit's End Bookstore & Tea Shop, 770 N 34th St, 682-1268, free.

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