5 Questions: Letitia Cain, SAL’s New Marketing Coordinator
October 31, 2018
You may have seen her staffing the Poetry Northwest table at SAL’s Poetry Series events, or managing SAL volunteers at Benaroya Hall. Or, maybe you’ve even met her through our Writers in the Schools program, where she works as a WITS Writer-in-Residence at Catherine Blaine K-8 School.
However you might know Letitia, we hope you’re getting the picture that she’s an invaluable member of the SAL community—so we’re beyond thrilled that we now get to introduce her as SAL’s new Marketing Coordinator.
Letitia is a poet who holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she’s often taught creative writing classes in the community that focus on the promotion of health and wellness through writing. We’ve asked her 5 questions about her career, what’s on her nightstand, and who excites her in our upcoming season . . .
Tell us a little about your career and your previous involvement with SAL. What have you been up to?
I’ve attended SAL’s lectures since 2002 and became a Poetry Series subscriber in 2009, when I returned to the area after living away for a few years. During my time away, I realized how lucky we are in Seattle to have such a brilliantly curated poetry and literature series, and I missed attending these events. In 2014, I started working for SAL as event staff with the SAL U Series. Then, after that series finished, I began working the rest of SAL’s events. For the past few years, I’ve been running front of house for most events, so you might even recognize me as the person running around during events looking a bit crazy. I’ve also been busy with writing poetry, finishing a MFA in 2017, teaching poetry writing & wellness classes for people diagnosed with cancer, and teaching middle school students with WITS.
What’s your new role with us? What about it is most exciting to you?
I am the Marketing Coordinator, and I’m so very thrilled! So many things about this position excite me, so it’s hard to choose just one. But if forced, I’d say I’m most excited about sharing the passion I have for literature and writing—and engaging a diverse community to connect to literature in a variety of ways. I want to make sure many more people are aware of and have access to the great gift of literature and creative thinking that SAL offers.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I write poetry and that takes up most of my spare time between reading books of poetry, writing, and revising. I also love to garden, cook, relax with my two kittens, Pinto & Tamarind, and spend time with loved ones. I live a quiet life, and I like to have time to think and breathe fresh air.
Which SAL authors are you most excited to see in our upcoming season?
That’s like asking which is your favorite child. It’s hard to choose just a few because I love the diversity of the authors and what each brings to the page for discussion. Valeria Luiselli’s book, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions, brought me to tears multiple times. In some ways, it reads like of a book of poetry—I can’t wait to hear what she has to say in her talk. Solmaz Sharif also writes poetry in a way that I admire, and I am super excited to hear what she has to say about craft and her writing. And, I’m reading Imbolo Mbue’s book, Behold the Dreamers, and I don’t want to put it down—we’ll end the season with her talk, setting us up for inspiration for the summer.
What are you reading right now? What’s on your nightstand?
Oh, I guess I got ahead of the questions—I’m a moody reader, which means I read lots of books at the same time and pick depending on how I feel at that moment. Right now, I’m reading Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue; Whereas, a poetry book by Layli Long Soldier that comments on the Congressional Resolution of Apology to Native Americans from the 111th Congress; Saladish by Ilene Rosen—I’m always reading a book about cooking or herbs or plants; and Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay by Anne Carson.