G. Willow Wilson
  • Kelly O
  • G. Willow Wilson
My favorite part of The Stranger's annual Genius Awards season is not the awards ceremony itself. Don't get me wrong—I love the big glamorous party at the Moore Theatre, with its booze and its music and its pageantry. But for me, the most important part of the Genius Awards is the Literature Showcase, where all three Genius Award-nominated artists read their work and sit together for a freewheeling live interview. This is the occasion where we celebrate all three nominees, and they get to show you why we think they're so wonderful.

Gary Groth
  • Kelly O
  • Gary Groth
This year's Literature Showcase is coming right up—it's this Wednesday, August 27th at the Frye Art Museum. (It's 21+, and tickets are $10.) Drinks and mingling start at 5:30 pm, the show begins at 6:15, and then we'll head for the after-party at Vito's starting at 8:15. If you don't have a ticket yet, you can show up at the Frye at 5:30 to join us for drinks and get on the standby line. The auditorium is large, and walk-ups will be seated at the time of the show until there are absolutely no seats left.

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Shin Yu Pai
  • Kelly O
  • Shin Yu Pai
This will be a memorable evening, in part because the Geniuses are such a fascinating mix, and though they may not seem to have a lot in common at a glance, there's a surprising amount of overlap in their work. Shin Yu Pai writes brilliant poetry, and she's also incorporated visual art into her work for over a decade. Willow Wilson has written two popular books—a memoir and a novel—but she's also the author of one of the best-selling comics in the country right now. And though Groth writes passionate, unabashedly intellectual cultural criticism, he's best-known as the brains behind the best comic book publisher in the United States. All three are deeply interested in the juxtaposition of words and pictures. Though their approaches are wildly different, they're traveling on the same territory. I'll be asking them some questions about that on Wednesday, and you'll have the opportunity to ask them whatever you want, too.

Last year's Literature Showcase was one of the highlights of my year, a fun and interesting examination of three of the smartest literary forces in the city. This year's Showcase has the potential to be an even livelier examination of the frontiers of literature. I hope you'll join us.