A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

SAL’s Literary Resolutions for 2016

Knowing your resolutions for a new year is generally the easiest part of these annual aspirations. The real work invariably comes in executing them, though when we asked SAL staff and WITS Writers to share their literary resolutions for 2016, it became clear that publicly announcing them is also part of the battle. Now that everyone’s ambitions for the coming days have been unveiled, the fire has been lit, and we are well on our way to a bright, new era of reading, writing, and thinking– with the support of our friends, colleagues and all of you readers to hold us to them.

Amelia Peacock, Community Engagement Coordinator:
“In my short time at SAL, I have been so inspired to read and write more outside of the work I do in the office. With that in mind, I hope to do two things this year:

1. Exceed my annual Goodreads reading challenge – a whopping 16 books for 2016. I’m a slow and deliberate reader, but I think I can beat it!

2. Write something new every week, whether it’s a happy thought, an idea for a short story, a journal entry or returning to an old work-in-progress.”

Ann Teplick, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“I’ve long been obsessed with Dante’s Divine Comedy, and I am hoping in the upcoming year to read more translations of this work. Writing-wise, I am writing a lot of erasure poems taken from news articles on gun violence, a way for me to process this onslaught of horror.”

Vicky Edmonds, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“My resolutions are to complete a rough draft of a poetry workbook for K-5 students and to collect everything I need on the backend (permissions, releases) for a collection of children’s poetry.”

Ruth Dickey, Executive Director:
“I’ve been circling around a series of poems about grief for the past two years, writing down fragments but never fully committing to diving into the poems (or the grief, I realize as I write this).  My writing resolution for 2016 is to write at least 12 of these poems (one for each month).  I signed up for the Seattle 7’s Write Here Now to help motivate me (join me!  I’d like to jump start it with trying a commitment to a poem a day, which I’d been talking about with Sharon Williams, but January is slipping away.  Perhaps I should try for a short month, and go for February…”

Margot Kahn Case, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“In 2016, I resolve to finish my stack of old New Yorkers and a stack of unfinished books. It is embarrassing to admit, but I have a bad habit of starting a book and then getting busy/distracted and reading something else. All of these poor, half-finished magazines and books are on my dresser, patiently waiting.”

Kathleen Flenniken, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“In 2016, I’m reading a little Rilke everyday and exploring a variety of translations of the Duino Elegies.”

Christina Gould, Patron Services Manager:
“A few years ago, I resolved to read Taylor Branch’s trilogy about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the history of the Civil Rights Movement. My love of fiction (and the size and scope of the tomes) kept getting in the way. Finally, in 2015, I read the first, the Pulitzer Prize winner, Parting the Waters. This year, I will read the second, Pillar of Fire. Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ writing has peaked my interest to reread James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. It is also the year for me to return to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, especially since I will be in Naples in April. I have read My Brilliant Friend – one down, three to go!

I also resolve to take the moleskin notebook that I carry in my purse out of its safe, cozy place and use it –as a traveling, Artist’s Way-type journal to jot down notes, observations, thoughts and quotes.”

Emily Bedard, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“One reading goal is to get book recommendations from my kids – three from each would be great, preferably books I’ve never even heard of!”

Daemond Arrindell, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“My resolution is to write on a daily basis and submit to at least one journal/contest/residency per month. I’m also editing for chapbook contests.”

Erin Langner, WITS Program Associate & Sonder Editor:
“My literary resolution for 2016 is to get into the habit of writing a few pages everyday at more or less the same time. I enlisted in the aid of a writing boot camp class to get me on track for the first five weeks, which has helped determine (against most well-intentioned advice I’ve received) that time to be in the evening for me. So far, it’s been working…”

Katy Ellis, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“I resolve to write more poems in 2016– I am trying to add more pieces to a nearly complete manuscript. I also resolve to attend more readings outside of West Seattle and to buy real books from real stores.”

Nikkita Oliver, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“I resolve to write a page a day for 28 days and then take 7 days to review and edit those pages. And then I will start again. So, every 35 days will be a new cycle of writing.”

Rebecca Hoogs, Associate Director:
“I have two writing goals for the year: write a poem every day in January and submit more poems to journals in 2016.”

Alicia Craven, WITS Program Director:
“My literary resolution for 2016 is to have four long-distance book club experiences, where I pick a book to read at the same time as a friend or relative who’s in another city and schedule a call to discuss it. I’m starting out with Elena Ferrante’s My Beautiful Friend, which I also gifted to a friend in L.A. during the holidays, too.”

Jeanine Walker, WITS Writer-in-Residence:
“In 2016, I’d like to find an agent for my novel, which is 98% done! And, to finish a second book-like story to accompany my band The Drop Shadows’ EP, Outlaws. I’d also love to get my poetry manuscript published – it’s done and out at contests now. And, what if I could get 20 poems published? That would be amazing! And, I’ll be writing lots of comedy selections for my husband’s and my variety show, “Mixed Bag,” which just found it’s new home at the Royal Room. Yay, 2016!”

Posted in Sonder