A literary event in April 2014 has me thinking that climate fiction may have arrived in Seattle. Richard Hugo House, a non-profit organization that supports writers with educational programs and events, has posted the schedule for its annual Hugo Literary Series. The org has invited three writers–Nick Flynn, Rick Bass, and Jennine Capó Crucet–to write about climate change and its impact on our present and future lives. For a program titled “Some Like It Hot,” the writers are asked to answer these questions: “How do we reconcile love for our modern lifestyle with the strange weather outside our car windows? Will the rising water drown us when it rages down our doors? Or will our anxieties kill us off before we have a chance to battle through Mad Max’s desert world come true?”
Nick Flynn is a poet best known for his 2004 memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Rick Bass is a writer and environmentalist who won the 1995 James Jones Literary Society First Novel Fellowship for his novel Where the Sea Used to Be. Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of How to Leave Hialeah, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize and other awards. None of the writers appears to have composed fiction with climate change themes, but the challenge posed by Hugo House should result in some interesting new literary takes on the future of humanity in a warmed world.
Here’s a link to more information and tickets to the series, including “Some Like It Hot” on April 25, 2014. Will you attend?