SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

WITS Voices: On Representation & Teaching Youth of Color

By Daemond Arrindell, WITS Writer-in-Residence The mentor texts used in my classes are usually quite diverse, with the intention of reflecting the demographics of the students, as well as countering the lack of representation of writers of color in the academic canon. As such, the students I work with are exposed to more than just […]

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Thinking Outside the Book: Tyehimba Jess and OLIO

By Gabrielle Bates Anastacia Renée: “Do you feel free on the page?” Tyehimba Jess: “I feel opportunity.” * Seeing and hearing Tyehimba Jess read from his Pulitzer-Prize winning collection Olio at SAL two weeks ago has me rethinking every parameter and practice I’ve ever accepted as fixed. The expansive, acrobatic, mechanical wonder of Jess’s syncopated […]

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WITS Voices: Enough with Maimed Dreams

By Evelin Garcia, WITS Writer-in-Residence The following poem made me reflect on the fact that if I did not take the challenge of teaching poetry with WITS, someone else would do it, and that although the challenge was great, I still did it. Enough with maimed dreams  On the road of life, transiting among others […]

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“Fear,” by Maxwell Smith

Fear When I was little, I was scared of fire. When it lit up, my face looked like a ghost, and my heart sounded like waves crashing on a beach. But now, I when I get scared, I become the thunderstorm. When I become the thunderstorm, my heart will look like courage ready to strike […]

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Introductions: Colson Whitehead

On February 15 at Benaroya Hall, Colson Whitehead—the Pulitzer Prize-winner with a taste for the fantastical—delivered a talk on his latest, The Underground Railroad. SAL Executive Director Ruth Dickey introduced Colson for this 2017/18 Literary Arts Series event, which included a Q&A with Seattle writer Stephanie Stokes Oliver. By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director In Sag Harbor, […]

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Lucie Brock-Broido Reads “Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room”

Many of us awoke to the sad news this morning that beloved poet Lucie Brock-Broido has passed away. Brock-Broido, the Director of Poetry and a professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia, once said during her 2014/15 SAL Poetry Series reading: “A poem goes driving, then hunting. I’m willing to go anywhere to […]

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WITS Voices: Revision—To See Again

By Katy Ellis, WITS Writer-in-Residence I have to admit revision has never been my strong point as a writer. Only in the last ten years have I truly grasped the fact that my second (or third or fourth or tenth) draft better says what I wanted to say in the first place. Now, I actually […]

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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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