SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Introductions: Bill Bryson

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director I first learned of Bill Bryson’s work from my brother and sister-in-law, who have what I believe is one of the most romantic hobbies. For 25 years, they have read books out loud to one another, and Bryson was one of their early favorites. Diving into his work, it’s […]

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Faces of SAL: Sherry Prowda

By Gabriela Denise Frank Sherry Prowda, the founder of Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL), never used the word synchronicity when she unfolded SAL’s origin story for me, but it hovered over our conversation. Instead, she spoke of fortune and luck, gifts and generosity, even signs from the gods. When I asked how SAL began, she […]

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Bookshop Superheroes: Phinney Books

As we approach the anniversary of the start of the pandemic in our region, we are reflecting back on the year that has passed. And we know this for sure: bookstore workers and owners have been absolute essential workers—heroes on the frontlines of our mental health. After those first months when reading felt really hard, […]

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On Love: Book Recommendations from the SAL Staff

What books about love do you love? Lately, the staff at Seattle Arts & Lectures have been sharing and chatting a lot about this essay by Matthew Salesses, which came out this past August. In it, Salesses scrutinizes the popular belief that literary fiction gives rise to empathy in readers—and whether empathy can even be […]

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Introductions: Maggie Smith

By Rebecca Hoogs, SAL Associate Director Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry and just this fall, a book of micro-essays entitled Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. You might have first encountered Maggie through the poem, “Good Bones” which—let’s not say, went viral, let’s say, took hold, let’s say, […]

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Introductions: Madeline Miller

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director In one of my favorite passages in Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller writes of the first time that Patroclus hears Achilles play the lyre: His fingers touched the strings, and all my thoughts were displaced. The sound was pure and sweet as water, bright as lemons. It was like […]

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A Decade of Letterpress: Ryan Polich

Each year, in a project led by Sierra Nelson and Ann Teplick of Writers in the Schools, and the School of Visual Concepts, long-term patients from Seattle Children’s Hospital and a team of letterpress artists join forces to create an extraordinary collection of handprinted, limited-edition broadsides. In 2020, the Letterpress Program at the School of Visual Concepts […]

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A Decade of Letterpress: Jules Remedios Faye

Each year, in a project led by Sierra Nelson and Ann Teplick of Writers in the Schools, and the School of Visual Concepts, long-term patients from Seattle Children’s Hospital and a team of letterpress artists join forces to create an extraordinary collection of handprinted, limited-edition broadsides. In 2020, the Letterpress Program at the School of Visual Concepts […]

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Ruth Dickey stands at a lectern speaking into the microphone while holding a piece of paper.

A Letter From Ruth

Dear Friends,  Thanksgiving has long been one of my favorite holidays. I love the stuffing and mashed potatoes, and I love an excuse to cook all day with the parade, and then the dog show, on in the background. This year we’ll all be having very different sorts of Thanksgivings—quieter and smaller as we hope […]

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Connection: A WITS Intern Reflects on Event with Yaa Gyasi

Zoë Mertz is a University of Washington student doing a remote internship with the Writers in the Schools program at SAL. After attending the recent Literary Arts Series event with Yaa Gyasi on November 16, she wrote this reflective piece on attending events pre-Covid and what it’s like to attend online now. Read on to […]

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