A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Faces of SAL: Sarah Neilson

In this new year, we pause to reflect on our blessings. And a very important blessing we have at SAL is our superstar team of volunteers. They provide many talents, and Sarah Neilson is no exception. Sarah helps us behind the scenes by writing the fantastic bios for our event programs. Read on to hear her book recommendations and learn about what she likes to chase. Hint: it does involve sweat!

 What’s been your favorite SAL event?

 This is so tough! My first SAL event was Roxane Gay in 2016. It was the first time I’d seen her in person, and as a huge fan of her writing, it was so awesome to be able to do that. I just love her. I also recently saw Danez Smith, which was life-changing. They are an incredible writer, performer, and human.

Why did you decide to volunteer for SAL?

I love SAL programming, I love SAL as an organization, and I love writing, so why not? It’s really cool to get to know more about the speakers by writing bios about them. I love working with an organization that does so much to foster the love of literature and writing in school kids, and brings awesome opportunities to lit-heads like me who just really appreciate being able to see so many cool writers, journalists, and cultural figures speak!

 What are you reading right now?

I just finished Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom, out in January from The New Press. It was fantastic. Other books I recently finished that I can’t recommend highly enough: Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Amateur by Thomas Page McBee, Pretend We Live Here by Genevieve Hudson, and Tough Girl by Carolyn Wood (a PNW local!). (Asking me this is dangerous; I read a lot, and I can and will go on far too long about all the books I love.)

 What’s your hidden talent? 

Hmm… I love athletics, and I have a talent for signing up for big races like marathons and Ironman. (Ok, half Ironman, but check back in a few years). Is that a talent? Let’s call it chasing lofty goals. 😉 I do have kind of an impressive medal collection; besides books, they’re the one thing I collect!

Posted in SAL Volunteers