Stepping out from the anonymity of The Poetry Department, I am enormously pleased to invite you to an exhibition of my found poems at Peter Miller Books in Seattle.

The announcement (which I did not write!) reads:
“It is an honor to present our show for May: Orchestrated Light by J.I. Kleinberg. A collection of visual poems that span subjects from memory to light, some are haunting, all are lyrical, all are brilliant. They represent a remarkable, intuitive artistic sense, and are ever a clear signal of the powers of Judy Kleinberg.”

Rescheduled from its original launch date of May 2020, the show will run through May, with two events planned:

Opening celebration on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 5:00-7:00pm
First Thursday Seattle Art Walk on Thursday, May 5, 5:00-7:30pm

I’ll be there for both and would be thrilled and honored if you would join me. Please come. Bring friends. Spread the word.

Peter Miller Books, which stocks a breathtaking selection of titles on architecture and design as well as an array of exquisitely designed housewares and implements, is located in Pioneer Square, on Post Alley between S. Main and S. Jackson Street, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm. PLEASE NOTE: Peter Miller Books is just a couple of blocks from the new Open Books location, so definitely allow time for both!

(There’s nothing about the gallery or events on the website, so please leave a Comment here or contact the store if you have questions.) Hope to see you there!

Open open!

April 23, 2022

Great news! Open Books: A Poem Emporium has completed their move is now open for browsing, Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5:00pm, at the corner of First and Cherry in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

In addition to a superb collection of over 10,000 poetry titles, classes, and swag, the store now offers monthly membership in The Parlor for those who seek “a clean, beautiful workspace in Seattle, away from the clutter and distractions of home, for writing, reading, thinking, or co-working.”

last chance in Wallingford

February 25, 2022

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 26, 2022, will be your last chance for in-person shopping at the Wallingford location of Open Books. The store is open 10:00am to 2:00pm today and 10:00am to 6:00pm tomorrow.

After that, the store will offer curbside pickup in Wallingford during the first week of March, and resume pickups at the new Pioneer Square location toward the end of the month. The online store will remain open and the new store, at 108 Cherry Street, will open its doors in April.

Every book you buy now makes the move that much easier.

Open Books news!

December 17, 2021

Back in early November, we posted a letter from Billie Swift regarding the somewhat delicate status of Open Books, Seattle’s favorite (and only) poetry bookstore. Now, this wonderful news:

Dear Friends of Open Books,

We’ve found a new home!

After more than 25 years in our current location, Open Books will be moving into the Good Arts Building in Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s most accessible, beautiful, and historical neighborhoods, where we believe our beloved bookstore will not only persevere but thrive.

When we first stepped into the new space we felt immediately how special it was. The historic brick storefront with large, street-facing windows is a charming, warm, and inviting space sure to delight old friends and new passersby alike. The wider layout of the store will allow readers to roam between bookcases with ease, and a separate parlor space will enable intimate gatherings of poets for classes, workshops, craft talks, reading groups, submitting parties, individual studio time, and more. Add to all of this the close proximity of the light rail and a wonderful neighboring coffee shop and, well, we’re still pinching ourselves to see if it’s real.

Before we get there, though, we need your help.

Independent bookstores have struggled during the pandemic, and our store has been no exception. After nearly two years without event sales and with restricted in-store shopping, we are not in a financial position to shoulder the myriad expenses of a move and the outfitting of an entirely new shop. We are calling upon our local community and lovers of literature far and wide to support us in taking this exciting next step.

Click here to help us raise $50,000 to secure a long-term and sustainable future for Open Books!

We’ve done a bit of math, and if 200 people donate $250 each, we’ll reach our goal! And if an amount like $25 is more within your means, it would still mean the world to us. Every gift will go toward building a new home and a new future for Open Books. Our poem emporium has been around for more than 25 years. And we’d love to be around for 25 more.

Your Friends at Open Books

** Important note: Donations to Open Books are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. **

With Open Books joining the stellar ranks of Arundel Books and Peter Miller Books, Pioneer Square will, more than ever, be a book lover’s destination.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

November 7, 2021

This just in from Billie Swift:

Dear Friends of Open Books,

In the spring of 2016, I, like many of you, received word that Open Books was looking for new ownership. So, it was with a great deal of enthusiasm (and perhaps a small dose of panic) that I jumped at the chance to keep the door open to my favorite poetry haven. Five years later, Open Books remains ready to meet your poetry needs, even through this ongoing pandemic.

Now, once again, we find ourselves on the threshold of transition. On March 1, 2022, our ground-level lease will expire, and some time later the entire building will be put on the market. Since that leaves the location of our future whereabouts quite uncertain, my priority now is on securing a sustainable and long-term home for Open Books, wherever that may be. All offers and connections welcome!

And speaking of transition, there are even further changes on the horizon for us, as Alexander, our beloved bookseller, book buyer, and full-time employee extraordinaire is making changes of his own. Come spring, Alexander, like many people dear to us, will be leaving Seattle and, therefore, his role at Open Books.

Lastly, our events calendar: We’re putting our own event bookings on hold, virtual and in-person, until we know more about how long we’ll remain in our current location and what sort of space we’ll be able to offer for readings in the future. We’ll continue stocking books for SAL readings through the end of this season’s Poetry Series and we’ll continue to list those on our online virtual events calendar, along with the reading and classes we’ve already booked.

So here we are. Rounding out another year-that-never-was/and-was-too-much with lots of moving parts and changes afoot as we make our way into 2022.

In the meantime, we’re keeping our shelves stocked and restocked with the latest titles and perennial favorites. And, as always, your continued business, virtual or in-person, is tremendously appreciated. Here’s to building the next 25 years together!

Yours, with lots of tiny gerbils doing backflips in my stomach at all times,


Jack Straw streaming

July 9, 2020

Tune in tomorrow, Friday, July 10, 2020, at 7:00pm Pacific, for the Jack Straw 2020 Reading Series, Night 3. Hosted by 2020 Writers Program Curator Anastacia-Reneé, the reading will feature Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II, Arianne True, Jose Trejo-Maya, and Troy Osaki. The the writers will read from their homes, streamed live via Jack Straw’s Facebook page. The video will be available afterward on Facebook and YouTube.

The 2020 Jack Straw Writers Anthology will be available for purchase online from Open Books: A Poem Emporium.

what’s on, virtually

June 2, 2020

The folks at Open Books, Seattle’s all-poetry bookstore (now open for curbside pickup), have just made it a little easier for you to find virtual poetry readings and events. If you have an event to add, you’ll find an email on that page.


October 30, 2019

Get your Halloween started at Open Books with a spirited lunchtime open mic featuring haunting words from Poe to Plath to Notley, plus your favorites, or find something to share from the shelves of Open Books. Local poets Samar Abulhassan and Sierra Nelson get things started. Costumes optional.

Thursday, October 31, 2019, Noon-1:30pm.

. . . . .
image: Tom Hundley

Armantrout in Everett

May 31, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout will read from her latest collection, Wobble, on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at 2:00pm, at the Everett Library. The event is free.

If you miss her in Everett, catch Armantrout reading with Ron Silliman on Sunday, June 23, 5:00pm, at Open Books in Seattle.

More on Wobble at Wesleyan University Press.

dreams, delivered

May 30, 2019

Back in November 2016 we posted about Mathias Svalina’s Dream Delivery Service. In the intervening years, Svalina has continued to write and deliver dreams and for the month of June, 2019, he will be in Seattle! If you live in Seattle or have a mailbox, you can sign up now for daily dreams (or nightmares!) for the month of June. If you live within a 4-mile radius of Svalina’s home base, your dreams will be delivered by bike; otherwise they’ll come by mail. Click to subscribe to Dream Delivery Service for June.

On Saturday, June 29, at 7:00pm, pop in to Open Books to celebrate the closing of the Dream Delivery Service’s month in Seattle and to send Mathias on his way as he bicycles to Boise for the next step. Mathias will read a few of the 1,000 or so dreams he wrote for subscribers throughout the month of June.

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