A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Write It Out with SAL & Hugo House

Through our Writers in the Schools (WITS) program SAL empowers young people to discover and develop their authentic writing and performance voices—but we believe in the power of writing for people of all ages.

In Seattle, we’re fortunate to have a diverse arts ecosystem, which includes several longtime literary arts organizations like SAL, our public libraries, Seattle City of Literature, and Hugo House. Hugo House provides year-round classes, events, and fellowships for emerging and established writers. These days, their programs are available in-person and online. You may have joined us there for our inaugural 2021/22 Poetry Series event with Kaveh Akbar, which took place in the Lapis Theater in October, or joined Kaveh’s Hugo House class in December.

As we prepare for a new year—one in which you might be setting new reading and writing goals—we wanted to highlight a few offerings between our programs, including a workshop by our own Executive Director, Rebecca Hoogs:

Reading & Writing the SAL Poetry Series (January 23)

Join SAL’s Executive Director Rebecca Hoogs for a generative writing class inspired by this year’s Poetry Series. In this class, you will read and discuss a poem or two by each poet that SAL will host this year, and then use them as models for generative in-class writing. The class will feature poems by Kaveh Akbar, Rita Dove, Sherwin Bitsui, Kenzie Allen, and Don Mee Choi.

As a special promotion, register for any Hugo House class before the New Year with the code SAL10 and receive 10% off your class!

If you liked our event with Peter Wohlleben (The Heartbeat of Trees) and are looking forward to Richard Powers (The Overstory), you might enjoy a class with local writer Claudia Castro Luna:

On Reading a Tree (starts January 13)

Trees are an iconic symbol of the Northwest; some varieties may live well into the thousand-year range, yet they are static beings, their point of view rooted to a particular location. What do they see over their long lifespans? This is a class about seeing, about noticing the resonances between ourselves and the world around us. We will do this by anchoring our attention on our arboreal neighbors. We will investigate ourselves through the trees in our lives, read widely, and write poetry and creative nonfiction.

If you’re hungrily awaiting our conversation with Natalie Baszile (We Are Each Other’s Harvest) or you enjoyed books that you read for Summer Book Bingo (BIPOC Food Writing), you may enjoy this class by poet Jane Wong:

Writing Deliciously: The Poetry of Food (for BIPOC) (starts January 19)

How can writing about food open up evocative spaces of comfort, family, ancestral lineage, memory, shared rituals, and desires? How can writing through and about food strengthen our communities and open up our creative craft? Along with celebrating and exploring food writing by poets such Tommy Pico, Naomi Shihab Nye, Hanif Abdurraqib, Audre Lorde, and Chen Chen, this class will offer numerous delicious writing prompts and opportunities for feedback, connection, and sharing.

Or, if you’re like us and you can’t wait for our event with translator, poet, and MacArthur Fellow Don Mee Choi (DMZ Colony) you might enjoy Andrea Lingenfelter’s workshop:

Literary Translation for Poets (February 13)

This one-day workshop introduces the process and ethics of literary translation, offering firsthand experience with multiple approaches to the translation of a poem. Students will go home with four new poems—two differing translations of a poem provided by the instructor, a personal response to that poem, and an experimental homophonic translation of another poem—plus new tools and insights into your own poetic practice. (Instructor will provide a short Chinese poem, with literal translation and transliterations.)

Like SAL events, there are many flavors to explore in the worlds of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and books! Check out Hugo House’s Winter 2022 catalog here.

Posted in 2021/22 Season