A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Faces of SAL: Kristin Austin

Spring is in the air—the scent of Daphne, more daylight, and the hard work of our amazing volunteers! Kristin Austin joined the SAL volunteer team over a year ago, and here she shares with us her hidden talent, what she’s reading right now, and her favorite part of a SAL event. Hint: it involves students!

What’s been your favorite SAL event and why?

It is a challenge to pick a favorite event. I’ve enjoyed all that I have attended as a volunteer! I think that from the beginning of this season, I would choose either Doris Kearns Goodwin or Jill Lepore. Both are excellent writers and fantastic raconteurs. I love the concept of the Women You Need to Know (WYNK) Series that brought Jill Lepore to Seattle.


Why did you decide to volunteer for SAL?

I have followed SAL for years, wishing that I could go to almost every event. Due to other commitments, I was seldom able to do so. Now, with more time to volunteer, I am in the process of making this dream come true. I love to read, and would like to find the time to write, so volunteering with SAL felt like a natural fit. I am also a fan of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program—I love the role that SAL plays in connecting students with the writing community. One of my favorite parts of each event is getting to hear a WITS student writer read their own work before the guest author comes on stage.


What are you reading right now?

The last audio book that I read was These Truths by Jill Lepore. If you’ve seen the print edition, you will understand why it took a while. I listen only when I drive. I am now re-reading Edith Hamilton’s Mythology on audio after finishing Circe by Madeline Miller. Other recent reads include Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight, Louise Penny’s Kingdom of the Blind (yes, I would love to live in Three Pines), and Nina George’s Little French Bistro. I am currently reading Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, and I am looking at Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday as my next fiction book. My current non-fiction book is Becoming by Michelle Obama.


What is your hidden talent?

Persistence. A skill I learned elsewhere in life and am learning to apply to dreams I deferred.



Posted in SAL Volunteers