SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Literary Arts Series

Two women with long, dark hair stand at a lucite lectern in front of a full Benaroya Hall, a brigh SAL banner and a living room stage set-up behind them.

How to Confront a Bully: A WITS Student Reflects on “She Said”

Today, February 24, marks a watershed in the #MeToo movement—a Manhattan jury has found former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of sex crimes. To reflect upon the moment, we’re sharing an essay from Akshaya Ajith, a ninth grader at Overlake High School and a former Writers in the Schools student. Akshaya attended SAL’s Literary Arts […]

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Introductions: Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director On October 7, 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published the first of several explosive New York Times stories on Harvey Weinstein. From that moment forward, their reporting fundamentally changed the conversation about sexual harassment and shifted a balance of power that had previously seemed intractable. In She Said, […]

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Amor Towles, in glasses and a bold blue suit, stands in the center of the picture, against a backdrop lit by multicolored, circular lights. He's smiling energetically and making direct eye contact.

Introductions: Amor Towles

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director A few years ago, everyone I knew began telling me about a book they absolutely adored and that I simply must read. But when I learned the book was about a Count who spends 30 years in a hotel in Moscow, I was first skeptical, and then outright resistant. […]

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Wei-Wei Lee, looking slightly over her shoulder, grins at the camera amid a black backdrop lit by multicolored, circular lights.

“cold hard marble truth,” by Wei-Wei Lee

It’s a mite hard to believe on nights like this that, somewhere, I have friends who aren’t dream-deep and snug in their beds, asleep, but may be dozing off in lecture with pens stuttering on notes; air conditioners humming furious against the peak afternoon heat. Harder still to believe, that while they scribble and we […]

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Zadie Smith on Sacredness, Vodka Martinis, Finding Joy, & Stealing Titles

“Across her career of five award-winning novels and two essay collections,” Executive Director Ruth Dickey began while introducing Zadie Smith, “The joy for us as readers is Smith’s enormous, beautiful, incisive intellect that roams widely around – from art to music, to considering the idea of joy, to reviewing books, to exploring families, to unpacking the […]

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Introductions: Zadie Smith

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director About Zadie Smith’s fourth novel, NW, the Washington Post wrote, “The impression of Smith’s casual brilliance is what constantly surprises.” And, indeed, across her career of five award-winning novels and two essay collections, the joy for us all as readers is Smith’s enormous, beautiful, incisive intellect that roams widely […]

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Introductions: Katherine Boo

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director When Bryan Stevenson was at SAL two years ago, he shared that one of the most important things that any of us can do to address inequality in our world is to get proximate, to get closer to poverty, to suffering, to injustice. Katherine Boo has spent her entire […]

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“Home and No Home,” by Draven Villwock-Taylor

Home and No Home There’s a person that can come home to a home with a light on the table and there’s someone that can come home to a home with a light on the balcony And there’s another person that can come home to a home with a chandelier on the ceiling but there’s […]

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Katherine Boo in Retrospect

By Danielle Palmer-Friedman Katherine Boo is not just a reporter—she’s a sponge. When she’s working on a story, she spends months, sometimes years, thoroughly documenting the lives of families living under extreme inequity. She meticulously records, never disregarding any detail for being too inconsequential. After Boo has gathered the histories, hopes, and abhorrences of the […]

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Barbara Kingsolver’s Promise of Openness

On Thursday, October 25, SAL crossed a top line off its Literary Arts bucket list—we were so lucky to have the singular Barbara Kingsolver on stage and in conversation. She spoke with Executive Director Ruth Dickey about everything that’s been on her mind lately, from the letters of Mary Treat, the female scientist and colleague […]

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