Upcoming Events at SAL

WITS Back-to-School Luncheon Image

WITS Back-to-School Luncheon

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 12:00 pm


Come be inspired by the courage and imagination of our next generation of creative writers. This event will raise essential funding for SAL’s Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, which matches talented professional writers with local public schools and Seattle Children’s for year-long writing residencies. Last year, WITS writers helped more than 6,000 students at 27 public schools to build self-confidence, community, and essential writing skills as they learned to tell their unique stories through creative writing.

Doris Kearns Goodwin Image

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Monday, October 1, 2018 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She will speak on her forthcoming book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, which will explore presidential leadership throughout history.

Alice Walker Image

Alice Walker

Thursday, October 4, 2018 7:30 pm


Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated, prolific writer, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry.

Van Jones Image

Van Jones

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 7:30 pm


Van Jones is a social entrepreneur, CNN political contributor, and host of The Van Jones Show on CNN. Famous for his heartfelt election night coverage, Jones showed up as “the voice of reason” for people in red and blue states throughout the volatile 2016 political season.

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Jill Lepore

Friday, October 12, 2018 7:30 pm

Women You Need to Know

Jill Lepore is an award-winning history professor at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. In her new book, These Truths: A History of the United States (September 2018), Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation.

Phoebe Robinson Image

Phoebe Robinson

Friday, October 19, 2018 7:30 pm

SAL Presents

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress who is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the hit WNYC Studios podcast 2 Dope Queens, which was turned into four one-hour, critically-acclaimed HBO specials. This event will be a stand-up style exploration of her sophomore book, Everything is Trash, But It’s Okay.

Barbara Kingsolver Image

Barbara Kingsolver

Thursday, October 25, 2018 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Renowned American novelist Barbara Kingsolver, author of the instant classics Flight Behavior, The Poisonwood Bible, and The Lacuna, will speak about her life in reading and writing, as well as her forthcoming novel, Unsheltered.

Pete Souza Image

Pete Souza

Sunday, November 11, 2018 7:30 pm

SAL Presents

Pete Souza was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House Photo Office. His new book, Shade (October 2018), is a portrait in contrasts, telling the tale of two presidencies through a series of powerful visual juxtapositions between the Obama and Trump administrations.

Danez Smith Image

Danez Smith

Monday, November 26, 2018 7:30 pm


Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer and performer. Their most recent collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award.

Katherine Boo Image

Katherine Boo

Monday, January 28, 2019 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Katherine Boo is an internationally celebrated journalist on a quest to amplify the voices of underprivileged populations. Boo’s forthcoming book explores social mobility in low-income families, drawing on years of intimate reporting in African-American neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Soraya Chemaly Image

Soraya Chemaly

Thursday, January 31, 2019 7:30 pm

Women You Need to Know

Soraya Chemaly is an award‐winning writer and activist whose works focus on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media. Rage Becomes Her (2018) is her conversation‐shifting book that urges women to understand their anger, embrace its power, and use it for positive change.

Solmaz Sharif Image

Solmaz Sharif

Monday, February 11, 2019 7:30 pm


Born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif is the author of the poetry collection LOOK (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN Open Book Award and the winner of the 2017 American Book Award for poetry.

A Conversation with Zadie Smith Image

A Conversation with Zadie Smith

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Zadie Smith is one of the world’s preeminent fiction and non-fiction writers. Her novels include White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and Swing Time, among others; and her many non-fiction works on a range of subjects from pop culture to politics are collected in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays and 2018’s Feel Free.

An Evening with Dean Baquet & Marty Baron Image

An Evening with Dean Baquet & Marty Baron

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 7:30 pm


Two of the leading voices in journalism, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, and Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post, will be in conversation about the importance of investigative journalism and the path forward for media in this political era.

Ilya Kaminsky Image

Ilya Kaminsky

Monday, April 1, 2019 7:30 pm


Ilya Kaminsky is a hard of hearing Russian-Jewish-American poet, critic, translator, and professor, whose latest collection, Deaf Republic (2019), is forthcoming from Graywolf Press.

Valeria Luiselli Image

Valeria Luiselli

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Luiselli is an award-winning Mexican author living in the United States. The author of two novels and a collection of essays, Luiselli’s most recent book, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions, was described by the Texas Observer as “the First Must-Read Book of the Trump Era.”

HERE: Poems for the Planet, featuring Kimiko Hahn & friends Image

HERE: Poems for the Planet, featuring Kimiko Hahn & friends

Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:30 pm


Just in time for Earth Day, we’ll ​be celebrating eco-poetics as a mode of creative resistance​. This reading and discussion will launch the​ Copper Canyon Press​ anthology HERE: Poems for the Planet. Featuring poets who write with urgency and hope about the natural world, the event is supported by three organizations that create a better and more just landscape for poets and poetry: Cave Canem, Cant​oMundo, and Kundiman.

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Anthony Ray Hinton

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:30 pm


Anthony Ray Hinton was released in April 2015 after spending 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he did not commit. He was released with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative, where he serves as EJI’s Community Educator and travels both nationally and internationally to speak about his experience.

Kara Swisher Image

Kara Swisher

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 7:30 pm


Tech icon and “Silicon Valley’s most feared and well-liked journalist” (New York Magazine), Kara Swisher is the executive editor of Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast, and co-executive producer of the Code Conference.

Tayari Jones Image

Tayari Jones

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7:30 pm

Literary Arts

Tayari Jones is an award-winning author whose runaway bestseller, An American Marriage, features a newlywed couple and their reckoning with the horrors of mass incarceration, navigating ethically-charged questions about faithfulness and sacrifice.

Jericho Brown Image

Jericho Brown

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 7:30 pm


Jericho Brown is the award-winning author of three books of poetry, including a forthcoming collection with Copper Canyon Press, each work posing questions about race, masculinity, and sexuality, often through the lens of the Bible.

The Moth Mainstage Image

The Moth Mainstage

Thursday, May 23, 2019 7:30 pm

SAL Presents

Each Moth Mainstage features simple, old-fashioned storytelling, by five wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.

Imbolo Mbue Image

Imbolo Mbue

Friday, June 7, 2019 7:30 pm

Women You Need to Know

A native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon, Imbolo Mbue is the author of the bestselling debut Behold the Dreamers, the story of a young Cameroonian couple whose new lives in New York are upended by the Great Recession. The novel won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, and was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post.