A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Creativity

White lined notebook open with 2 pens beside it

Writing Prompt: Words and Images to Remember When Times Feel Overwhelming

Do you have a middle or high-schooler at home looking for learning opportunities? Or, maybe you’d like some inspiration for yourself? Today’s #SALMoment comes from WITS Writer-in-Residence Laura Da’, who shares a writing prompt for when times feel overwhelming. This lesson teaches us to center and focus, to become quiet and still, even though the […]

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WITS Voices: Do Writing Savants Exist?

By Peter Mountford, WITS Writer-in-Residence This year’s two-week fiction-writing residency—my ninth, I believe, with the eighth grade class at Blue Heron Middle School—was my favorite to date. There’s an inexplicable magic to these groups, something of a class culture, and some years, the students are more guarded, wary, and their writing reflects that. This year […]

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“They Said”: The Winning Poem from the 2019/20 Elaine Wetterauer Writing Contest

Every year, Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) program holds the Elaine Wetterauer Writing Contest to celebrate the wisdom, creativity, and heart captured in student and teacher writing. The inspiration from this year’s contest was drawn from Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee, an epic historical novel that follows a Korean family over […]

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Find Connection with the #SALMoment of the Day

With our daily lives disrupted, we are all working to finding new forms of togetherness. From balconies, Italians break into song and Spain applauds its healthcare workers. Bookshops hand-deliver to Seattle porches. Local relief funds have opened up for artists and hospitality workers. And we at Seattle Arts & Lectures want to do what we […]

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A woman stands onstage at the microphone, looking at the audience with a smile.

WITS Voices: Praising the Particular

By Lisa Wells, WITS Writer-in-Residence I think of writing as a practice of awareness, a habit of heightened attention to detail—to light, gesture, sensation, intonation—and I try to approach the teaching of writing with the same quality of attention, awake to the shifting dynamics of the classroom. Good writing demands that we be awake in […]

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Late Bloomers: A Comic by David Lasky

At our recent Local Voices reading on February 10 at Hugo House, WITS Writer-in-Residence David Lasky gave some much-needed advice for creatives everywhere—especially for those of us who consider ourselves “late bloomers” in the arts. We just had to share it with you, below! David Lasky teaches comics writing through WITS at Renaissance School of […]

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A woman stands at the microphone on stage, holding a piece of paper. A young girl stands at another microphone to the right.

WITS Voices: Clearing the Lowest Bar—The Writing Warm-Up

By Karen Finneyfrock, WITS Writer-in-Residence There is a funny idea about inspiration that lurks in our culture. The idea holds that poets are just people who walk around, waiting to be struck by a fit of unexpected inspiration. We collectively imagine poets like hikers in the woods, and poetic inspiration a mountain lion watching silently, […]

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The shadowy foreground of the image shows the backlit heads of several audience members, listening to a short-haired woman who is reading and slightly out of focus in the background.

WITS Voices: A Tower of Dreams

By Arlene Naganawa, WITS Writer-in-Residence I love how poets use language in surprising, transformative ways, creating metaphors and images that we don’t often encounter in academic or journalistic writing. When I work with students, I encourage them to take leaps in their poems, to elevate their language. I don’t mean for students to use words […]

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Paisley Rekdal, in a red satin suit, stands against a wall at Hugo House that is designed to look like the shadows cast by Emily Dickinson's bedroom window.

Paisley Rekdal on Writing the Wrong Thing

Writers, what is your deepest fear about your craft? On February 6, we hosted a reading with Seattle-born poet and current Utah Poet Laureate, Paisley Rekdal. During the Q&A with SAL’s Associate Director, Rebecca Hoogs, Paisley answered questions about her writing process and her new work, Nightingale, but it was this question about fear that followed her home: “What […]

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A man wearing a golf cap speaks into a microphone at a lectern. The stage lights cast a blue, artsy lens flare across half of the image.

WITS Voices: The List Poem

By Daemond Arrindell, WITS Writer-in-Residence I have been teaching a lesson focused on anaphora, aka list poems, for over ten years. I’ve used it so consistently because of the positive results it yields, especially at the beginning of a residency, when the students are still wrestling with the ideas of what poetry is “supposed to […]

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