Founded in 1998 as an urban writer’s haven, Hugo House on Capitol Hill (named for poet Richard Hugo) has served as the city’s literary epicenter for more than two decades. The self-described “place for writers” offers workshops, readings, and events for anyone interested in the writing community, and opened their brand new home in 2018. 1634 11th Ave; hugohouse.org
Housed in the lower level of a bungalow in the Wallingford neighborhood is one of three poetry-only bookstores in the US. More than 10,000 new and used books of poetry and titles celebrating the genre fill the shelves of the 500-square-foot shop, and a full calendar of readings, discussions, and workshops run September through June. 2414 N 45th St; openpoetrybooks.com
*Editor’s Note: Open Books is moving to a new location in Pioneer Square in 2023.
Bookish types and architecture buffs alike flock to the city’s starkly modern flagship library downtown. The location opened to critical acclaim in 2004 (Condé Nast Traveler listed it as one of “the new seven wonders of the world”) with innovations like the “Books Spiral,” an Escheresque structure of four floors housing most of the nonfiction collection, and a corridor known as the “Red Hall,” named for the unconventionally colored walls, ceiling, and floor. *1000 Fourth Ave; spl.org
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