A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

The Perfect SAL Event for You, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

By Danielle Palmer-Friedman, with illustrations by Madeline Kernan

In mid-September, the SAL constellation will enter the literary house, meaning buzzing hearts and minds for anyone under its sway. Our predictions for the upcoming months:

First, you’ll need to keep your cool and resist love affairs with several literary stars, whose arrival will be heralded by a season of dynamite lectures. From fall to spring, the sheer excitement of seeing your favorite authors live on stage will disrupt the mundane hours of your daily life—however, this will be a great time to focus on expanding your worldview and getting in some solid reading. By late May, the wave of wordsmiths will calm, leaving you to bask in their galactic afterglow. This period of literature-in-retrograde will prove the perfect time to connect with others from a deeper place of understanding as you head off into the summer of 2020 (perhaps, our charts predict, with a bingo board in hand).

Keep reading to see how the literary stars align for your astrological sign in our 2019/20 Season—and be sure to check out our full calendar of events.


You’re ruled by the sun, and Lindy West’s writing shines just like the fire inside your heart, Leo. Don’t worry about reigning in your passion. With West, you’re running with the right pride. Her withering wit, thoughtful confidence, and unapologetic writing is the perfect match for you. West opens the Women You Need to Know Series at Town Hall Seattle on November 26. And, as we all know, Leos are always the first to know.


Detail-aware, diligent, yet easygoing—ring a bell, Virgo? Min Jin Lee, who joins our Literary Arts Series on March 17, is a perfect complement to your deep-rooted presence in the world. She creates her characters with a strong sense of attention, having spent years researching prior to sitting down to write. Her lectures are brimming with a casual genius, underpinned by a layered understanding of people and cultures. Well-calculated, poignant, and purposeful—Lee is where you’ll want to be this season.


You can handle bringing a little more equity into the world, can’t you, Libra? Carol Anderson is all about leveling scales that have been out of balance since the dawn of our country. Her work focuses on the systemic barriers the U.S. has created for its black citizens, from voter suppression, to War on Drugs, and everything in between. As a Libra, you’ll also appreciate Anderson’s knack for handling a heavy topics with grace and tact. She brings a powerful serenity to her lectures that a peacemaker like you is bound to admire. Find her at Benaroya Hall on April 15 as part of our Literary Arts Series.


Straight and to the point—no messing about for you, Scorpio. You’ll find a kindred spirit in journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, who has reported on climate change for more than a decade. She’s traveled across the globe to gather data from some of the best scientists working today. With passion and powerful writing, Kolbert will help satiate your desire to solve the most important issue facing humanity today. Her work goes beyond just documenting what’s happening and instead focuses on what steps we can take to save ourselves—we know you’re not afraid to work hard, Scorpio. Catch Kolbert as part of our Journalism Series on April 22 at Benaroya Hall.


There’s freedom in knowing who you are, Sagittarius. Poet Natalie Diaz spent years venturing through her own story, her heritage, her identities. She has traveled through what it means to be Native, queer, Latinx, as well as a writer and an athlete. Sagittarius, follow Diaz—with your adventure-seeking brain and thirst for knowledge, you will love her bold words and blazing self-exploration. Diaz graces us as part of our Poetry Series on May 7 at Broadway Performance Hall in Capitol Hill.


Hullabaloo just isn’t your thing, Capricorn, and that’s why you’ll appreciate New Yorker writer Adam Davidson, of NPR’s Planet Money podcast. He takes a subject clouded in misinformation and fear – the U.S. economy – and works to blow the smoke away. You can rely on him to capture inspiring stories that will spark an unwavering focus on your long-term financial goals. His new book, The Passion Economy, tells of workers reinventing their industries with a dose of innovation. Choose his lecture on January 22 as part of our Journalism Series.


Richard Kenney’s poems will stimulate your sharp mind, Aquarius. Some might classify his work as challenging, but for you, it’s an ideal combination of the practical and abstract—with enough to chew on, you’ll finally be satisfied. He adds fantastical elements to modern circumstance, whether he’s discussing love or science. He peppers in humor with his allegories. He nestles independent thought into historical and literary contexts. You’ll be excited by Kenney’s ability to keep you pondering. Fall into his magical hat, containing a lexicon of surprises, on October 17 as part of our Poetry Series at Broadway Performance Hall.


Take one look at Maira Kalman’s illustrations, Pisces, and you’ll fall in love. In the space Kalman creates between romance and reality, you will find a beautiful escape. Her vibrant artwork harbors a deep understanding of the complexities of human existence, and of all our hopes and fears. She’s playful, sure, but her work also overflows with a wisdom and empathy that’s undeniably attractive for Pisces, the most sensitive of all the astrological signs. Run away with her work on April 29 as part of our Women You Need to Know Series at Town Hall Seattle.


Aries, you’re unafraid to start a fight, especially if it yields justice. Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey did just that by breaking the egg open on Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual abuse. This journalistic duo can’t be missed for someone as determined as you—like you, they are also creating the culture they need and want to see. (As Aries knows, things don’t change when complacency rules.) Be proud of your strong will and your passion for what you do, and be ready for productive confrontation on January 29 at Benaroya Hall.


Sentiment runs hot through your veins, Taurus, and you can’t help but seize on writing that’s so tangible you can feel it pulse in your palms. The author for you this season is Carmen Maria Machado, whose writing is robust, tantalizing, and beautifully crowded with creepy critiques of gender identity. Her work has been called “a love letter to an obstinate genre that won’t be gentrified” (the New York Times), so as a sign that often gets called headstrong, we think you’ll feel right at home in Machado’s presence. Get some return on your investment at Town Hall Seattle as part of our Women You Need to Know Series on January 24.


There’s a beehive inside your mind, Gemini; all those thoughts flickering around, making connections and sparkling in the dark of possibility. The poems of Hanif Abdurraqib – a poet, essayist, and music critic – are a little bit like the inside of your head. His poems vary as much as you do. They change format and rhythm. They hum, they chirp. They are perfect for the part of you that likes to think, analyze, and understand in multifaceted ways. Plus, Abdurraqib’s poetry is just one aspect of who he is as a writer—find out the other sides of him at this year’s Hinge event at Town Hall Seattle on October 23. Tickets are only $10-15!


Let’s cry it out together, Cancer. No need to hide your emotions from Naomi Shihab Nye, who opens our Poetry Series at Town Hall Seattle on September 19. This event will be as nurturing and sensitive as your inner self, but with all the depth and imagination of you, too. Nye has been writing poetry since she was six years old, so it’s no wonder her writing feels like home—her work feels remarkably intuitive, covering everything from domestic spaces to civil unrest. Let your heart rule and follow your feelings right into a seat at Nye’s lecture. Oh, and bring your tissues (we know you’ll need them).

Danielle Palmer-Friedman is a Seattle-based writer in love with ice cream and local theater and currently obsessed with poetry and taking leftover food home. You can read her published work from The Daily and City Arts, or check out her personal blog here.

Madeline Kernan is an illustrator and outdoor preschool teacher currently living in Queen Anne. You can find her on Instagram: follow her literary adventures on King County Metro @booksandthebus or see more of her artwork @mordgey