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Archives: Sep. 2012


Tacoma native non-fiction writer Inara Verzemnieks wins a $30,000 Rona Jaffe award

Inara Verzemnieks, a non-fiction writer and Tacoma native, has just been awarded a 2012 Rona Jaffee Foundation Writer’s Award, given annually to six women writers beginning their careers. The award is worth $30,000, and will be presented Sept. 20 in New York.

Verzemnieks, now completing her MFA in creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa, grew up in Tacoma and interned at The News Tribune. She worked as a reporter for 13 years at The Oregonian, where she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the James Beard Award in feature writing. Her creative writing has appeared in

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A brassy lunch in downtown Tacoma this Friday, thanks to TSO’s brass quintet

I just found out about this little downtown lunch secret: At noon this Friday you can pick up a boxed lunch from one of several yummy theater district eateries and head to a free outdoor concert by the Tacoma Symphony Brass Quintet. It’s the last in a series of summer lunch concerts that will hopefully be repeated soon – a collaboration between the Broadway Center, downtown restaurants, The Roberson and arts groups like B2 Gallery on St. Helens Avenue, where the concert will happen.
Pick up a box lunch from AmeRAWcan Bistro, Broadway Quick Stop, Rain City Cafe, Commerce Teriyaki,

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State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken and more at Gig Harbor fall 2012 Poetry Series

The Friends of Gig Harbor Library kick off their annual poetry series next Thursday night with State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken, at the Gig Harbor Library. Flenniken will read from her second collection of poems, “Plume,” recently published by the University of Washington Press. Flennikan grew up in Richland, Washington next door to the Hanford nuclear site at the height of the Cold War, working there for three years as an engineer. She describes the poems in “Plume” as “nuclear-age songs of innocence and experience set in the ‘empty’ desert west.”

The fall poetry series goes on every

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You too can perform onstage with Seattle Opera – supernumerary auditions for “Fidelio” happen this Saturday

Ever wanted to be in an opera, but don’t have the vocal chops? Here’s your chance. Seattle Opera is auditioning for supernumerary roles this weekend for its October production of Beethoven’s one and only opera, “Fidelio.”

What’s a supernumerary? Simply a non-speaking, non-singing actor in an opera – in other words, an extra. The job’s unpaid, and you do need to commit to all the rehearsals and performances. (Rehearsals are 7-10 p.m. Sept. 27, 29, Oct. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; performances are Oct. 13, 14 (matinee) 17, 20, 24, and 27.)

But you

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Tacoma Symphony Orchestra grant doubles endowment; another allows new development position

The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of two new grants totaling $554,000, one effectively doubling the organization’s endowment and the other allowing the formation of a new position to develop the orchestra’s patronage, executive director Andy Buelow announced this week.

A $419,000 gift from the estate of George A. Lagerquist, pledged 13 years ago, was recently given in completion to the Tacoma Symphony, for whose endowment fund it was earmarked. Lagerquist, who died in 2003, had made the pledge in 1999 in honor of his wife Mary, who died unexpectedly last year. A trustee and benefactor of

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Critic’s picks: Scott Cossu at Marine View jazz, “Sylvia” at Tacoma Little Theatre, Puyallup Fair art and landscapes from the PLU art collection

Jazz Live at Marine View with Scott Cossu

This month’s Jazz Live at Marine View church features Northwest composer and pianist Scott Cossu playing his own unique blend of jazz, classical and ethnic/New Age. Playing with him will be Jon Croarkin on flutes, harmonica and sax, Steven Banks on drums, Dan O’Brien on bass and Tor Dietrichson on conga and percussion.

5 p.m. Sept. 9. Free. Marine View Church, 8469 Eastside Dr. NE, Tacoma. 253-229-9206, marineviewpc.org, scottcossu.com

“Sylvia” opening at Tacoma Little Theatre

Opening at Tacoma Little Theatre this weekend is “Sylvia,” a comedy by

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Tammy Robacker poetry workshop at Write@253’s Tacoma Hilltop space

Former Tacoma poet laureate Tammy Robacker will lead a four-week poetry workshop beginning this weekend, courtesy of local writing group Write@253. The workshop series “Writing Poetry for the Five Senses” runs for the next four Sundays.

Robacker was chosen as the Tacoma poet laureate for 2010-11, and has since led numerous workshops and poetry events. Her poems, many of which are set in the Northwest and spring from events in her life, have been published in “The Vicissitudes” (Exquisite Disarray, 2010). The workshop series studies traditional poetic forms from sonnet and sestina to free-form non-rhyming, focusing on the use

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Alfredo Arreguin paints lush mysteries at the Tacoma Public Library’s Handforth Gallery

Work by Alfredo Arreguin, now up at the Handforth Gallery, Tacoma Public Library main branch. Courtesy image.

Alfredo Arreguin sees patterns. The Mexican-born, Seattle-based artist whose work is in the National Museum of American Art and has shown at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, paints lush landscapes comprised of patterns – intricate geometrics that hide or reveal larger portraits of animals or people. It’s a masterful effect, but the only chance Tacomans have had to see this work lately is at the Tacoma Art Museum, where Arreguin’s Frida Kahlo portrait was included in the exhibit about her several years ago. Now the Handforth Gallery at the Tacoma Public Library main branch is full of these mysterious, lush-colored patterns, each mingling Arreguin’s Mexican roots with visions of his adopted Northwest home in “Alfredo Arreguin: Selected Paintings.”

Staring into each of these paintings is like a journey back and forth along the eye’s perspective plane. In “El Arete,” for instance (the Kahlo portrait), Frida stares fiercely out with unblinking dark eyes, her lips blood-red, her hair-piece immaculately beautiful. But close-up her curvy outlines and smooth skin are made up of a grid of cross-like flowers and vaguely Native American faces, squares and diamonds alternating with subtly colored outlines. The effect is both wild and tamed, order coming out of chaos, a living person at once assembling from and dispersing into the atoms of the land that produced her. Read more »