Literary Festival

Reading with Rebecca Brown and Ellen Forney
Hosted by Sean Nelson

Saturday, October 24, 2015
2:00 – 3:30 pm

Frye Galleries

Home by Dark

Rebecca Brown and Ellen Forney present in tandem, talking, conversing, and reading from their work about how they deal with the dark and the light of Seattle, in their work and in their lives. Being artists allows them to save themselves, to struggle with, laugh at, and embrace death and loss, and when they’re at their best, to help others do the same.

Both of us have both lived in the dark and light of Seattle since the '80s. The neon gas flame sign that lit the night in South Lake Union was sacrificed to urban development in 2001, and we both miss it terribly. It stars in Ellen's 1999 Stranger comic, "Seattle's Erotic Landmarks":

"Far from the explicit erection-wielding or multi-breasted monuments to fertility common to certain other lands, denizens of American cities are forced to view with a creative and leering eye those landmarks around us that we may construe as suggestive.

"Perhaps our most striking erotic landmark is perched atop the Puget Energy Building at 8th and Mercer. This 3-sided revolving sign, with its brilliant blue neon tubing and twinkling white bulbs, beams like a brazen beacon over Mercer's crawling traffic. Spectacular from dusk 'til dawn, it is commonly and affectionately known as 'The Magic Pussy' or 'The Nuclear Vagina' (except by gay men, who simply call it 'the gas flame sign')."

—Rebecca Brown and Ellen Forney

Frye Art Museum exhibited work by, and featured readings from, Rebecca Brown during Mw [Moment Magnitude], 2012.

About the artists

Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books including American Romances, The Gifts of the Body, and The Dogs: A Modern Bestiary. Her play The Toaster, commissioned by New City Theater, premiered at On the Boards, Seattle. She wrote the libretto for The Onion Twins, a dance opera produced by Better Biscuit. An adaptation of The Terrible Girls was presented by About Face Theater, Chicago. Her altered books have been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, Italian, and more. She has read from her work and lectured in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Rome, New York, and elsewhere.

Ellen Forney is the author of bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, which has been translated into six languages. She collaborated with Sherman Alexie on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which won a National Book Award. She was a Civitella Ranieri fellow, Master Artist at Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Artist In Residence at Seattle’s Town Hall, and has given talks and lectures at universities and conferences around the world. She was selected to create two permanent large-scale murals for the entryways of Capitol Hill’s light rail station, scheduled to open in 2016.

Image: Ellen Forney