Faces of SAL: Justine Chan
January 30, 2019
Happiness is born from gratitude. And our talented volunteers make us happy at SAL! We are so thankful for the marvelous volunteers that are part of our team, including Justine Chan–a stellar event volunteer who has been with us since 2016. Learn what’s inspiring her reading and writing (hint: the forest is involved). Plus, discover Justine’s hidden talent that comes out when she takes a walk.
What’s been your favorite SAL event & why?
My favorite SAL event was Lucie Brock-Broido back in 2015 in the Chihuly Glass Garden. She was so wonderful and intelligent; her poems are beautiful and her voice, with its smoky sweetness, really brought them to life. It really was like she was casting a spell on all of us in that marvelous space beneath the colorful glass pieces (editor’s note: listen to Lucie’s recording on our podcast!). After the reading, my friend Miranda and I stayed to say hi to Lucie. We didn’t have a book for her to sign, and she didn’t mind–she just reached across the table and held our hands and thanked us. It was perfect.
Why did you decide to volunteer for SAL?
Giving back to the community, especially my writing community, is super important to me, and volunteering keeps me out of trouble. I really appreciate all the work that SAL does–you guys inspire me.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading A Floresta by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. It’s all in Portuguese so it’s taking me a while to get through it because there are many words I don’t quite know and have to look up. But now, I know the words for “dwarf,” “chestnut,” “moss,” and other forest words–this is all good! I picked up this YA novel (it has pictures!) from a Portuguese bookstore in Macau so I could practice reading Portuguese, and I think it’s working. In any case, it’s lovely and I hope to see what Isabel and her little dwarf friend get up to next. The next book I’m going to read is The Overstory by Richard Powers–more forest books!
What’s your hidden talent?
I’m exceptionally good at meeting and petting friendly outdoor cats on my walks or runs.