Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.
Our programs include
Women You Need to Know (WYNK)
Writers in the Schools (WITS)
Youth Poet Laureate
A future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society.
Seattle Arts & Lectures was founded in 1987 and launched its first season in 1988 with John Updike, Calvin Trillin, Donald Barthelme, Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris, Isabel Allende, and Rosamond Bernier. See our full archive of past events here.
In 1994, SAL brought the nationally-recognized Writers in the Schools to Seattle—an educational program that places local professional writers in public school classrooms to develop skills and spark student interest in reading and writing. The Poetry Series, featuring such notables as Philip Levine and Anne Carson, debuted in 2000, as did Wednesday University/SAL U, an adult continuing education program co-presented by the University of Washington Alumni Association and taught by distinguished UW professors. Hinge, inaugurated in the 2014/15 season, presents new books by and for the next generation at accessible ticket prices. In the 2015/16 season, SAL introduced Women You Need to Know (WYNK), a three-part series designed to showcase cutting-edge, thought-provoking women. It opened with the graphic novelist and Tony Award winner, Alison Bechdel. Summer Book Bingo, also launched in 2015, is a partnership with the Seattle Public Library to present a free summer reading program for adults (Kids Book Bingo, a program of SAL alone, was launched in 2017). From 2016/17 to 2017/18, SAL presented Sherman Alexie Loves, a two-year series that was curated by Seattle author, Sherman Alexie. In the 2018/19 season, SAL is debuting a three-part Journalism Series in partnership with National Book Award-winning writer and correspondent Timothy Egan and renowned journalist Sam Howe Verhovek.
As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped engage, inspire, and connect our growing community. In 2016/17 alone, over 25,000 SAL attendees had accessible, meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time through SAL programming. Our Writers in the Schools program matches accomplished creative writers with local K-12 public schools and hospitals for year-long writing residencies. In 2016/17, over 7,800 students worked with a WITS Writer-in-Residence or attended a Spotlight Author Visit to discover their authentic voices, build community, and develop writing skills that will support them throughout their lives.
The Prowda Literary Champion Award is named for Sherry Prowda, SAL’s founder and first Executive Director. It was created to honor Prowda’s vision of a future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society, and her leadership as a champion of the literary arts.
Each year, the award, selected by a group of literary visionaries, celebrates the individuals and organizations that make Seattle an outstanding place for writers and readers.
Behind the scenes at SAL is a corps of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time to ensure we meet our mission of sparking imaginations and bringing together people and ideas. We have a host of areas to get involved in, from ushering at our events, to assisting with mailings and other administrative tasks, to working on our annual fundraising events.
SAL interns acquire hands-on experience and training in many aspects of marketing and communications, while also gaining a good understanding of nonprofit literary arts. Marketing & Communications interns assist SAL’s Associate Director and SAL’s Events Associate & Content Editor with content production, sales efforts, and implementing the year’s programs.
We are looking for an intern to be part of the team implementing this arts education program in public schools throughout the Puget Sound Region! Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a literary arts education program that places professional local writers in 27 public schools and in five school districts, as well as Seattle Children’s. The mission of WITS is to inspire student and teacher excellence in literacy and the literary arts, and to establish the foundation for a life-long commitment to reading, writing, and creative expression.
Phoebe Robinson isn’t here for the Instagram-curated version of your life. In her second book, “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay,” the comedienne of “2 Dope Queens” podcast (and HBO) fame gets down to the gritty details of just how trash we all can be. From “fauxfeminists” who love claiming they “just don’t get along with other women” to herself trying to sneak out a fart on the massage table, Robinson is telling on everybody in this book, including (and mostly really) herself. She gets real about money, sex, interracial dating, loving our bodies and being an ally. Read more.
It’s comforting to know that an eminent, American historian of presidential lore such as author Doris Kearns Goodwin is a stickler for precise and abundant detail.
When I ask her where (meaning, what part of the country) she happens to be during a recent phone call, she tells me she’s sitting on her couch in Concord, Massachusetts, “waiting to go to the Red Sox game on Friday.” Read more.
This November, something new is coming to Seattle Central’s Broadway Performance Hall: Seattle Arts & Lecture (SAL), a nationally-known organizer of literary presentations and education programs, is bringing the 18th season of their Poetry Series to Central. Read more.