Monday, October 24, 2022

An Evening with Three Aqueduct Authors

This is a heads-up for an Aqueduct authors event I'd love to be able to attend myself. (I'm in Port Townsend for my annual sabbatical, so sad to say, I won't be there.) Over the years, I've seen many of Nisi's readings and know that she's a star performer, and so am confident she'll be brilliant. Also? This is the launch of her new collection, Our Fruiting Bodies, which Aqueduct will be releasing on November 1. Last summer, during a conference held via Zoom, I saw Tara reading from her collection, Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection, and found her performance of a delightfully creepy story enthralling. And to tell the truth, it was the memory of Holly Wade Matter's intriguing Seattle Public Library reading of an excerpt from what would become her novel Damned Pretty Things, that made me eager to read her novel ms when she offered it to Aqueduct years later. Which is to say, the evening promises to be a fun precursor to Halloween, full of feminist dark fantasy and horror. (Not to mention a chance for people in the Seattle area to see friends one hasn't seen in a while in the absolute, real-life flesh.)

Here are the details, and a little more about Nisi's, Holly's, and Tara's work to be featured at the event.

Thursday, October 27, 2022. 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM PDT
Third Place Books 5041 Wilson Ave S Seattle, WA 98118 United States

Next week, Third Place Books will welcome Nisi Shawl, Holly Wade Matter, and Tara Campbell to their Seward Park store. Our authors will be discussing their latest works of fiction: Our Fruiting Bodies, Damned Pretty Things, and Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

Copies of Our Fruiting Bodies, Damned Pretty Things, and Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A.

Per request of the authors, masks are required to attend. More about Third Place Books' COVID-19 policies for in-person events.
About Our Fruiting Bodies

Our Fruiting Bodies collects stories of old growth and fresh decay, of stubborn rebirth and the faint but nonimaginary paths connecting life and nonlife. From the sharp, sweet confessional of their Peter Pan-inspired "Awfully Big Adventure," through the melting ambitextualities of "Just Us"--from the early, dizzy-eyed quest at the heart of "Looking for Lilith" through the newly unfurling tendrils that pierce the grounds of "I Being Young and Foolish," Nisi Shawl's search for the power of fiction's truth puts pure, precious gifts right here, right in your hands, ripe and ready for reading.

About Damned Pretty Things

Fortune is an itinerant musician without a past who braids memories into her hair. Maud is a sheltered small-town girl and an unwitting heir to the notorious McBride family magic. The two young women meet when Fortune is commissioned to bring Maud to a rich man whose grandson she cursed. United by their love of music and their hunger for the road, Fortune and Maud form a that is threatened not only by Fortune's mission but also by their mutual desire for a man called Lightning.

About Cabinet of Wrath: A Doll Collection

Deep in the recesses of childhood memory, your old playthings await. Listen: don’t you hear them crying out for you? Come take a peek inside the Cabinet of Wrath to find out what really happens when toys go missing and the stark decision they must make if they ever want to go home again. Discover what doll heads really think about being separated from their bodies. Follow a skull-and-bones novelty ring as it assembles a full body for itself, bit by grisly bit, and learn how loving your doll too much can lead to grave consequences. Open the door to these fabulist tales of toys and vengeance for a playtime you’ll never forget.

About Third Place Books

Founded in 1998 in Lake Forest Park, Washington, Third Place Books is dedicated to the creation of a community around books and the ideas inside them. With locations in Lake Forest Park and Seattle's Ravenna and Seward Park neighborhoods, Third Place Books is proud to serve the entire Seattle metro area. Learn more about their event series.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Cesi Davidson's Bilabials



I'm pleased to announce the release of Cesi Davidson's Bilabials: Short Plays to Nourish the Mind and Soul. Aqueduct is publishing it as the eighty-fourth volume in our Conversation Pieces series in both print and e-book editions. You can purchase it now at And you can read a sample from the book at


 .Bilabials is the third volume in Cesi Davidson's series of Short Plays to Nourish the Mind & Soul. The three anthologies of plays, Articulation, Fricatives, and now Bilabials are eclectic mixes of stories with surprises, tragedies, delights, and wit. Bilabials departs from the earlier books by its concentration on plays with some theme of love. She also places prose between each play that may sting or please or some modicum of both. This collection isn’t a how to manual. It isn’t a for-women-only, “Aha.” This often laughable, often tear-jerking collection if a label is needed, is a rousing cheer for asking the question, “What is love anyway?” The answer lies somewhere on the horizon between the earth and the sky. This is where Cesi Davidson dwells. She offers her heart in her hands and releases her voice inviting us to travel into the depths of a mystifying unknown. Love is. 

“Cesi Davidson’s newest book of short plays is at the same time revolutionary and hilarious in its content and delivery. Appropriately, the first play is titled “Juicy,” and this book has so much sweet, liquid fun within. From the beginning, the reader experiences a trickle of exquisite sensuality running through each page. Cesi gives a gift to those of us with female bodies—and that gift is permission to feel good, whatever it looks like, and to research what could feel even better.” —Kim Chinh, actor, screenwriter, playwright, author of “Reclaiming Vietnam”

“Cesi Davidson has collected for us here a wondrous trip around, through, and within the heart. These short journeys into the emotions of those who love and those who do not add to our understanding of what love is and what love isn’t. When you laugh, cry, and sigh with recognition, you will be reminded that you are not only a witness to, but also a participant in the emotional life of all those around you.”—Celeste Rita Baker, World Fantasy Award Winner, author of Back, Belly and Side

“Once again I was entertained, moved, and shocked by Cesi’s expansive imagination in this third collection of inventive and delightful short plays. Give yourself to Cesi’s words, and you’ll experience the true essence of love with plenty of laughter inside the rich world in which all beings are sentient, intelligent, and funny.” —Rachel Lu (Actor, Elite Match)