Reading Allowed

Ed Harkness and Sibyl James

The Law of the Unforeseen and Hard Goods & Hot Platters Pleasure Boat Studio Press and Last Word Press

Tuesday • January 15 • 6pm

U District store

Discussion & Book Signing

The Law of the Unforeseen and Hard Goods & Hot Platters

Join us for an evening of northwest poetry with Edward Harkness and Sibyl James!

The Law of the Unforeseen explores family, history, family history, the natural world–its beauty, its degradation–the strange miracle of consciousness. Nothing is off the table. In fact, everything is on the table, including the kitchen sink. His poems move from the personal to the universal, to the quickened heart of shared emotion.

Saturated with American popular music, the lines of Hard Goods & Hot Platters carry a rhythm of their own, alternately relaxed, looping, urgent, melancholic, and Eros-driven. We get an Homage to Mick Jagger and a note by a Springsteen groupie, and encounter a notable roadhouse cheek by jowl with cheap motels. Billie Holliday gets her own poem, richly deserved. And the Ramones rate a cameo. According to James, Loves some player on the summer fire escape, and Im inclined to believe her. Nor do I doubt the wisdom of these lines: cable and bible / love, save us from both. These are poems full of yearning, regret, fleeting fulfillment, and burning desire.


Ed Harkness and Sibyl James
To his everlasting regret, Edward Harkness did not see Elvis when the King of Rock 'n' Roll visited Seattle during the World's Fair in 1962. Other than that, Harkness is a happy husband to Linda, father to Ned and Devin, and grandfather to Clio and Hilde. Having retired after a 30+ year career as a writing teacher at Shoreline Community College, he now devotes his time to other pleasures: gardening, cycling, visiting the kids and, now and then, making poems. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Saying the Necessary and Beautiful Passing Lives, both from Pleasure Boat Studio. His most recent chapbook, Ice Children, was published by Split Lip Press in 2014. Two poems in this collection, "Tying a Tie" and "Airborne," won the Terrain.org annual poetry prize for 2017. He lives in Shoreline, Washington, about a mile from the north Seattle home where he grew up, and where his mother, Doris Harkness, whose art works grace the covers of this book, still lives.

Sibyl James is the author of twelve books of poetry, fiction, and travel memoirs including In China with Harpo and Karl, The Adventures of Stout Mama, China Beats, and The Grand Piano Range. She has taught in the US, China, Mexica, and – as Fulbright professor – Tunisia and Cote d'Ivoire. She has received awards from Artists Trust and the Seattle, King, and Washington State arts commissions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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