A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Creativity

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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A woman with red hair, wearing a bright pink shirt, throws her hands up into the air, gesturing emphatically while reading at a lectern.

WITS Voices: Impossible Journeys

By Rachel Kessler, WITS Writer-in-Residence Where do you want to go that is impossible? Fifth graders at Salish Coast Elementary School in Port Townsend, WA, took this writing prompt and hurtled headlong into potatoes, climbed inside engines, bound themselves to basketballs, and rode guinea pigs into battle. How did they get there? We began our […]

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A Comic from Carmen Maria Machado’s Talk

Maybe the only genre missing from Carmen Maria Machado’s genre-bending memoir, In the Dream House, is the graphic novel. Luckily for us, Tessa Hulls, “SAL Official Doodler” and author of the forthcoming graphic novel Feeding Ghosts (MCD Books, 2022), was in the audience for Machado’s Women You Need to Know (WYNK) talk. From the crowd, she […]

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A collection of letterpress letter stamps, all facing upwards, in different shapes and sizes.

WITS Voices: Writing Advice from 10th Graders

By Christina Lee Barnes, WITS Writer-in-Residence I’m often asked if my time in the WITS classroom helps inspire my own writing. While I haven’t yet written very much that is directly about my work with the students, I do draw inspiration from the willingness that students show to try out prompts, to dive in and […]

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Mary Ruefle gazes into the camera, head down, brows up, through her curly hair. Her hands are clasped in front of her, and the lapel of her navy blue blazer is decorated with a small pin.

Mary Ruefle: Impressions of a Sentence-Maker

By Bianca Glinskas As an emerging poet, I’ve been a bit clueless when it comes to considering how profoundly my writing process affects my work. I type in front of screens in noisy cafes. I am guilty of planning my poems out before I write them. For me, this has served as a sort of […]

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A hand-drawn bingo board that says "Winter Book Bingo" at the top. Categories are: PNW author, re-read a book you loved as a youngster, a book that was banned, a book about disability, themes of diaspora or migration, graphic novel or comic, poetry, a friend just read, translated into english, memoir or biography, QPOC author, listen to an audiobook read by author, free, epistolary format, spirituality or religion, nature, short stories, book later made into a movie, relates to social movement history, set in fall or winter, queer history, DIY, about the indigenous history of a place you've lived, book your ancestors would disapprove of, fantasy or sci-fi or horror.

A Winter Reading Challenge

On what otherwise might be a gloomy December day, we are delighted to share this winter reading challenge, with text by WITS Writer-in-Residence Shelby Handler and art by Beck Gross. Inspired by SAL and The Seattle Public Library’s Summer Book Bingo program, Shelby and Beck created their own Winter Book Bingo board to get them […]

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Maia Pody stands in front of a blurred out background of a body of water, with boats behind her. She's looking down at a page she is reading aloud from.

YPL Ambassador Maia Pody Has Something to Say

Need to brighten up your Thursday afternoon? Nancy Guppy’s Art Zone brings us this video, beautifully shot by Vincent Pierce, of our 2019 Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador Maia Pody reading her poem “Foam.” Thank you to Nancy Guppy and Seattle Channel for making this possible, and to Maia for sharing her work!

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The 2018/2019 Elaine Wetterauer Writing Contest Winners & Chapbook

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 poetry. This year, participating students and teachers were encouraged to reflect on art and culture that makes them “feel free,” inspired by the essay collection Feel […]

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