SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Tyehimba Jess and the Voice of the Interior

Seattle poet and educator Quenton Baker, whose work focuses on anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery, writes below on Tyehimba Jess’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Olio. Jess’s work weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of African American musicians from the Civil War era on, in an effort to understand how these performers met, resisted, and […]

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WITS Voices: Ten Years with WITS

By Peter Mountford, WITS Writer-in-Residence I have now entered my tenth year of teaching WITS, and I’m taking a look back. Specifically to my first residency at the TOPS school with teacher Lori Eickelberg’s 8th graders in the spring of 2008. Two years out of my MFA program, I was hard at work on a […]

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Three Poems by Theo Hadley

Pierre We realize perhaps we’ve been playing the waltz too slowly. We continue rapping our knuckles against the walls. Half of us learn how to dance, the rest of us learn how to cuff our jeans. Pierre has a bad day. He climbs the stairs and says No, Really too many times and then he […]

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Introductions: Gregory Orr

On February 7 at McCaw Hall, Gregory Orr—master of the personal lyric poem, and one of our greatest advocates for how the reading and writing of poetry can help us heal and live more fully—read from his three collections: Concerning the Book that Is the Body of the Beloved, How Beautiful the Beloved, and River Inside the River. SAL […]

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Bittersweet: Ending My Time with TOPS Fifth Grade

By Laura Gamache, WITS Writer-in-Residence The book said everything perishes The book said that’s why we sing -Gregory Orr Every WITS teaching residency has a beginning, middle and end, like the stories humans are wired to crave. As a primarily lyric poet, I tend to work with kids as if we’re outside the narrative arc […]

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“Mom,” by Namaka Auwae-Dekker

Mom, Today I was followed by every man who’s ever left us (again) Which is to say ghosts are hereditary Which is to ask who will my children carry in the echo of their ribcage? How much of me is in what is not here, How much of me is in what did not stay? […]

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5 Reasons to See Gregory Orr

We can think of many reasons to see the master of the short, personal lyric, Gregory Orr, at his Poetry Series event on Wednesday at McCaw’s Nesholm Family Lecture Hall—here are just five! Tickets will be available at the door; the box office opens at 6:00 PM. For their Sunday After SAL program, Open Books: A […]

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WITS Voices: Hybrid Poems and the Middle Schoolers Who Execute with Ease

By Imani Sims, WITS Writer-in-Residence It’s always an experiment when trying to engage young minds with new content. The haibun form allows for concrete examples while also allowing the freedom to imagine. This fall, I spoke to a group of young folks who embraced this idea with vigor.   The Form: Haibun Definition: A “literary form originating […]

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WITS Voices: Where the Place of Kindness Lives

By Jeanine Walker, WITS Writer-in-Residence As a poet, I love to play with words. When writing or revising a poem, I can spend hours switching out a single word or phrase in an attempt to get the exact right one. Despite this, I believe a poet’s business is not words, exactly. A poet’s job is […]

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In Search of an American Childhood: On Jesmyn Ward

By Rachel Edelman American legislators can’t seem to resist using impoverished children to slander and taunt the opposing political party. Forty-eight hours after Jesmyn Ward spoke for Seattle Arts & Lectures at Benaroya Hall, the U.S. Senate used a standoff over bare-bones protections for undocumented and uninsured kids—DACA and CHIP—to halt all “nonessential” work of […]

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