Landless in Seattle: The Art of Another Floating Homes Community

At the December launch party, from left to right: Amy Vaugn, cover designer; Elliott Wolf, publisher of Peanut Butter Publishing; and Danielle Harvey, senior executive editor and editor of Landless in Seattle  | Photo by Andrew Selby  |  post by Jennifer Gennari

Peanut Butter Publishing began on a floating home in Seattle, founded by longtime resident Elliott Wolf, to make writers dreams come true. Why peanut butter? “No one ever remembers the publisher of books, only the title and sometimes the author. So, I wanted a really sticky name,” Wolf said. “Now, no one forgets.” His publishing company has been thriving for more than fifty years.

Wolf has lived on the same houseboat since 1970, on the first co-op dock in Seattle. “People who live on floating homes are the most creative, talented group of people that seem to flock to this alternative form of residency,” he said.

With the loss of revenue during the pandemic from floating home tours, Wolf wanted to celebrate and fundraise for his community. Living in a floating home is a landless lifestyle, he mused, and with that the anthology’s title was conceived. Landless in Seattle, published in December 2023, gives a portion of its proceeds to support the Seattle Floating Homes Association.

Anthologies are centered on a theme, and in this case it’s life aboard Lake Washington’s and Lake Union’s 500 floating homes. Wolf and senior executive editor Danielle Harvey opened submissions to anyone who lives or had lived on the docks. People are more than their nine-to-five jobs, Harvey noted, and the book gathers their artistic endeavors in one place. “It’s a great way to showcase all kinds of creativity,” she said.

The 256-page volume features short stories, photography, visual art, and poetry. Contributor Heidi Eagleton, an architect from Houston who was interested in creating pocket communities, fell in love with Seattle’s floating home the first time she visited. Her story, “Mi Sueno,” is one of 32 pieces in the collection.

Harvey, who earned an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University, has been an editor with Peanut Butter Publishing for about ten years. At a small press, she says, she has the joy of working with a variety of people. She edited all the submissions, accepting those that fit their theme and vision for the book. At the launch party, four contributors read from their work.

Wolf is already thinking of a volume two. Harvey says, “It’s nice to take something niche, like the floating homes community, and give it a voice.”

Landless in Seattle can be ordered online for $28.95 plus $7 for shipping.